The Power of Travel
Even Mind Travel
With all the pressures of everyday life, a vacation can really do wonders for the mind, body and spirit. Whether it’s a ski getaway to Aspen, a yoga retreat in India, or a “staycation” weekend in Waikiki, everyone can benefit from taking some time to get away and unwind. Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of time and money to take a break exactly when it’s needed most.
Master Hypnotist Beverly Craddock, of Hawaii Hypnosis Center, in Honolulu, says there are still plenty of things a person can do to get the benefits of travel without having to go any further than the living room.
“The benefit of travel on the brain is twofold,” Beverly explains. “First, when we’re away from the stress of our day-to-day environment, we’re able to relax more deeply. Secondly, when we go to a different environment, we’re creating positive stimulation in our brain through new visuals, different smells, and interesting sounds. Merely the sound of different birds singing in the background can create calm stimulation in your subconscious mind.”
If a person needs the benefits of a vacation but doesn’t have the time or funds to make that happen, Beverly suggests they get creative to achieve these benefits at home. “Play a new kind of music or put on some background sound effects, like ocean sounds, a crackling fire, or a rainstorm,” she suggests. “Buy a scented candle, just to change things up. By changing your environmental inputs, you can stimulate your brain in great ways.”
Beverly also suggests turning off the television and reading a book, which stimulates learning centers in the brain by powering the imagination. Television and computer screens not only require no learning on the part of the brain, they cause the visual cortex to become overworked and overstimulated.
“Electronic screens are a series of small dots that make up a larger image,” Beverly says. “Researchers are finding out that the brain has to work very quickly to translate those dots into the images we see, especially when those images are moving. So, watching someone run on television is actually more tiring for the brain than watching someone run in person.”
Relaxing deeply is also critical to getting the travel experience without the travel. For that deep relaxation, it’s important to understand how humans actually experience relaxation.
“Most people have the mistaken belief that they must relax the mind to truly relax,” Beverly explains. “But that is not true. What actually occurs most commonly is that the body relaxes and the mind is drawn into a focused state. Think about the last time you had a massage. The body relaxes and your mind wanders off, focused on whatever thoughts come along.”
One critical recommendation Beverly offers for true relaxation is to ditch the electronic devices—especially that ever-present smartphone. She says just turning off the ringer or setting the phone down isn’t enough.
“There was a recent study out of the University of Texas that found that merely having a smartphone in the same room—even if it is turned off—causes our brain to be preoccupied by the possibility of the information that could be found on the device,” Beverly explains. “As our brains have become conditioned to the constant connection of our devices, we have become incapable of truly disconnecting—and our ability to relax is suffering because of it.”
The Texas study seemed to show that the modern brain is almost constantly in a state of wonder at what is happening in the virtual world. That state of wonder is linked to technology’s endless connection to information. However, it has created a subconscious alertness in the brain that prevents people from being present and from truly relaxing.
“Whether you are relaxing on a beach in Bali or relaxing on your couch at home,” Beverly concludes, “knowing the secrets of your brain can help you get the real relaxation that your brain needs to survive when you return to your real life—whether that’s in five days or five minutes.”
As a master hypnotist, many of Beverly’s clients are surprised to learn that there is more to her work than just dropping people into trance and offering powerful suggestions to change behavior. She is trained and experienced in working with the subconscious motivational mind and follows the latest in brain and neuroscience research that can help people live more peaceful and productive lives. The mission of a master hypnotist goes beyond suggestion into helping clients use all that brain knowledge to achieve a better reality.
Randy Hampton is a writer, social scientist, hypnotist and blogger living in Honolulu.
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