Whether you are stressed, have a bit too much on your plate, or just need some relaxation, help is only minutes away.
Personal coach and clinical hypnotherapist, Heather Hayward, shares how you can alleviate stress and anxiety through the simple steps of meditation.
She explains how to improve your mind and your health in less than five minutes per day.
RadioMD Presents: Wellness for Life Radio | Original Air Date: May 29, 2015
Host: Susanne Bennett, DC
Guest: Heather Hayward, CHt
You’re listening to Radio MD. She’s a chiropractic, holistic physician, best-selling author, international speaker, entrepreneur, and talk show host. She’s Dr. Suzanne Bennett. It’s time now for Wellness for Life Radio. Here’s Dr. Suzanne.
DR. SUZANNE: If you find yourself worrying all the time, full of anxiety, or you just have too much on your plate at the moment, my next guest is going to provide some great information on how you can alleviate this through the simple steps of guided meditation. Please welcome personal coach and clinical hypnotherapist, Heather Hayward. Now Heather, let’s jump right into what are some of the benefits people can experience through meditation. Now, physical benefits.
HEATHER: Well, I think one of the most important ones is a calmer mind. When you have a calmer mind, you have the ability to concentrate and not be so distracted. And I think that we’re training a whole generation to be distracted. So, good concentration is one of the absolute benefits, and to be able to stay in a conversation with someone that perhaps is difficult, and it allows you to kind of grow your ability to be with discomfort because you have more soothing qualities that you have been practicing in your meditation so that you have kind of reset your touchstone – where you start the day from – rather than waking up and already looping with the 50 things on your list. You have more clarity of perception.
One of the things, on a spiritual note, is more compassion for those around you. You do have much more compassion and a feeling of being more connected to people. Not only that, but you’ve got all the physical benefits: regulating lower blood pressure, reducing stress and anxiety, and it also boosts your immune system, which is quite amazing.
DR. SUZANNE: Well, I know for a fact that when I go through my meditations, often I do my meditations in nature because that’s really what just zeroes in on my presence and my body and just connecting to earth energy. Now, I also know that through guided meditations that you do, there are different brain waves that you’re trying to activate and really pinpoint to. Can you explain those different forms of brain waves that meditation will help you with?
HEATHER: Sure. So, when we’re in beta, we’re in our very analytical mind. Beta is very useful right now to be able to articulate information, but too much beta is when people have anxiety, worry, and then you go all the way to panic. And that’s when you think your mind is thinking you. So, meditation takes us from beta into alpha. Alpha is where – just to go back to what you just said, you know when you’re walking in nature, or you’re walking along the beach and you’ve brought up a certain topic and within 12 - 15 minutes of moving and just looking around, you are in a more open, receptive, and, my word, “flexible” state, where you can actually think, “Hmm. they might be right.” They’re usually not though, Dr. Suzanne. But it’s the ability to be flexible and more open; that’s the alpha. It is a trait of openness and it’s also where true personal change can happen, where you have the ability to perceive things differently. And so in meditation, which can be a walking meditation. I sound so anti-sitting even though all of my audios are about being in a quiet room, having headphones, and you can lie down, but you can also do these things walking. The theta brainwaves, which are slower than alpha, is really the deepest state of meditation. Delta is a whole different thing, but theta is where you want to go, and that is when your eyes are closed. It’s kind of where your body is asleep but your mind is awake. It’s that twilight, like right when you’re waking up or you’re going off to sleep? It’s that state. And imagine being able to recreate that state in about less than 6 minutes, for people who are really, really trained. And it helps with neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to change. So, you can actually change the structure of the brain and, as you would say, cool the basal ganglia, which means cooling that knee jerk reaction to worry and anxiety so quick. And in today’s world, when we not only have our phones to manage and all our texts and social media, then we have our kids sometimes. And then, where I am, I’m helping my parents learn! It’s just a huge banquet of stimulus, and so, to be able to enter – at will – alpha and theta is very healing and it’s calming. So, you can ask me another question.
DR. SUZANNE: So, through you’re guided meditations, that’s how quickly we can get into those brain wave states. Now what I do is – when we were talking about that alpha and you were saying that I do it when I go out in the nature, that’s when I have all my little “ah ha” moments. I mean, it’s incredible when I’m in the ocean snorkeling, where I have some amazing, powerful inner voice, creative side of me comes out which really I love. And right after I get those “ah ha” moments, I’m always writing it down so that I don’t lose that information. Then, when I do use your guided meditations, I go into that theta state – which actually is when I’m laying down and doing it – so much, so deep that actually at times it actually goes into delta where it’s so slow I fall asleep. Your meditations are so powerful that they really can help with my sleep, and that was one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to use your guided meditations was that the sleep was so important to me so that I can rest and rejuvenate and restore and reverse the aging process. You’ve got some different forms of meditations, right?
HEATHER: So, I have the My Meditation, which is just totally simple, no fluff, guided of 5 minutes, a 10, a 15 and a 20. So that when you want to create a disciplined, structured, step-by-step, how long to breathe, what to say when you’re breathing, and then periods of silence, and Jonathan J. Beaudette – who is my composer, who made this music which is just a complete hammock for your mind. It doesn’t take you out. We have alpha waves and theta waves put into our music.
Then I have guided meditations, which take you on a whole different experience, which are for the people who really want to hear “So, now close your eyes, relax your shoulders, and go deeper and deeper into yourself.” It’s a way that you can completely retreat from the world without having to leave your home or even your car – as some of my business people have told me; they drive around with their pillow and their little eye pillow too. We have guided and then just straight meditation on my site. Jonathan Beaudette and I have created these.
DR. SUZANNE: We just have one more minute. You mentioned a little bit about being meditative in an active state. What can we do right now that can help us meditate at this moment during an active state?
HEATHER: Right now, everyone, on the inhalation to yourself say “I,” on the exhalation say “am,” on the inhalation say “breathing,” on the exhalation say “now.” And even as I talk, you can actually use your choice point – which right now is just “I am breathing now,” one word, one breath – even in that it soothes the autonomic nervous system and it just calms you down because you’ve woken up the left lobe which is the fact: “I am breathing now.” That’s one that I give my parents.
DR. SUZANNE: “I am breathing now.” So, simple, but so powerful. Heather, you have been fabulous. Love you. Heather, thank you so much for joining me. Everyone can get to her information at heatherhayward.com. Thanks for listening.
This is Dr. Suzanne on RadioMD. Until next time, stay well.