List of top fourteen psychological techniques used to reduce tension: 1. Yoga 2. Meditation 3. Hypnosis 4. Cognitive Therapy 5. Bio-Feedback 6. Music 7. Laughter 8. Acting 9. Recreation 10. Aroma Therapy 11. Colour Therapy 12. Helitherapy – Therapy through Sun Rays 13. Silence and Patience 14. Gems Therapy.
Psychological Technique # 1. Yoga:
Yoga brings higher and more accomplished state of mind which transcends man’s usual and everyday experience and opens for him a new field of vision.
According to Swami Sivanand, Yoga is a synthetic technique embodying not only the various methods which thoroughly rejuvenate the body, maintain its vigour, and vitality, and regulate the outgoing tendencies of the mind. It augments the intellectual capacity and leads to meditation.
The Asanas and the Pranayama purify the body of the practitioner and make him fit to undertake meditation. Meditation opens the avenues of intuitional knowledge, makes the whole psychological nature of man calm, steady, luminous by awakening an ecstatic feeling.
This brings an individual in contact with the source of Supreme Purusha, a contact in which lies the ultimate fulfillment of human life to bring endless joy and perfection.
Yoga and drugs, both act as tools to heal the ferocious disease called tension but there lies a basic difference between the two methods:
(a) Drugs prevent the brain from receiving the stimulus from any organ of the body, whereas the Yoga increases endurance capacity by affecting the central nervous system.
(b) Most of the drugs create negative side-effects, whereas yoga creates no bad effects.
Patanjali, father of Yoga, has suggested the following steps which form part of yoga to liberate man from sorrow and to obtain desired physical and mental levels:
Control and discipline by self-restraint.
Rules, methods and principles.
Making body postures.
Kriya with air through breathing.
Avoidance of undesirable action.
Various body postures (asanas), which help an individual to augment tension bearing capacity, are:
Shavasana is a process of relaxing the whole body including brain and various systems. Relaxation is induced throughout the body in this pose which has beneficial impact on blood circulation. In this no peripheral resistance is encountered. Peripheral resistance is one of the causes of hypertension, i.e. high blood pressure. Failure to attain relaxation may result in insomnia and various neurosis problems.
Yoga nindra can be considered as the next stage of shavasana because it is considered to be the entry into layers of consciousness. Yoga-nindra helps in calming down of mind, slowing down heart-beat, leads to less consumption of oxygen, normalises blood pressure, alpha waves increase and thereby relaxation is achieved.
Shavasana is considered adequate if the same is undertaken for five to fifteen minutes whereas yoga-nindra is required to be undertaken for minimum ten minutes and may be extended to an hour.
(c) Surya Namaskar:
It is a chain of systematic body postures which helps in reducing physical and mental tension. This asana increases cardiac activity and helps in better flow of blood throughout the body. It tones up the nervous system by successively stretching the spinal column. The functioning of para-sympathetic and sympathetic nervous system becomes more acute.
(d) Paschimottan Asana:
This asana helps in strengthening Susukshmna nadi which normalises the functioning of nervous system and increases mind’s capacity.
This asana is useful in reducing tension as it is very effective in increasing mental and physical energy. Through the practice of this asana one can learn to obtain the stage of hypnotic trance where extrasensory perception become possible which calms the mind and cuts the roots of tension.
As the name suggests, all parts of the body get benefitted by this asana. Nervous system gets toned up which makes a person more capable of handling day to day problems.
B. Pranayama and Tension:
Pranayama is more than a mere breathing exercise which is the collecting, storing and conscious control of the vital pranic energies in one’s body. Prayanama is a specific day of inhaling and exhaling breath.
The three day of controlling breath in pranayama is as follows:
Filling the breath.
Throwing the breath out.
Rolding the breath in or out.
The art of pranayama is the ladder of mental peace. It restores calmness and equipoise of the disturbed mind and helps in enhancing self-confidence. By pranayama one can change breath quality and thereby positive emotions can be created in the body.
Some of the pranayamas which help in reducing tension are:
i. Shawans-presha pranayama.
ii. Chandra-bhedhi pranayama.
iv. Nadi-shodhan pranayama.
vi. Kapal-bhati pranayama.
C. Bandhas as Tension Reliever:
When pranayama exercises are practised with breath retention of more than ten seconds, there arises a need to complement them with bandhas. Three types of bandhas help in optimum consumption of oxygen that an individual inhales.
The advantage of different bandhas can be summarised as follows:
(a) Moola Bandha:
This is performed by contracting the rectum upward. This bandha helps in giving strength to inner muscles and activates their functioning. This bandha has a very beneficial effect on nervous system which increases the capacity of a person to bear and control tension producing factors.
(b) Uddiyan Bandha:
This is done by exhaling the breath and by contracting the belly inwards. When exhaling is done all impure air from lungs is thrown out to make way for fresh air through inhaling. This bandha removes waste by increasing the blood flow near kidneys and near about parts.
(c) Jallandhar Bandha:
This is performed by pressing the chin about three-four inches above the heart in the hollow form in the neck. This bandha helps in creating beneficial effect on the nervous system and the cortex, i.e. breathing control system. This affects ‘Vasomotar’ nerve and places pressure on heart.
D. Mudras as Tension Reliever:
Mudras represent combined poses of different fingers of hands whereby various levels of pressure are created on fingers and palm which have the effect of increasing the calmness of mind. Four fingers and thumb represent five elements from which body is said to be created.
By creating pressure through mudras like vayu mudra, shunya mudra, prithvi mudra, aapaan mudra, prana mudra, lekhni mudra, one can overcome the deficiency of different elements which result into various diseases in body and thus increase tension bearing capacity.
Various mudras which have direct bearing on increasing tension endurance are:
(a) Gyan Mudra (First Finger and Thumb):
In this mudra, pressure is created on the upper portion of palm, this result into subsiding the agitated feelings. This mudra has direct bearing on mental faculty. It removes uncertainty, insecurity anger, fear which creates tension.
(b) Shanti Mudra (Pressure on Nose with Second Finger):
This mudra as the name suggests help in bringing calmness of mind and subside agitated feeling created by anger.
Psychological Technique # 2. Meditation:
Meditation is an attempt to still the mind through of stopping all discursive thinking to enable the higher level of conscious or the ‘budha mind’ to function. Meditation helps in bringing state of rest or a stage where there is least excitement.
Rest is a perfect antidote to tension which allows to normalise its resources towards the resolution of any disorder that may arise. This helps in toning up the nervous system which in turn leads to better coordination between mind and body, perception and action.
Deep rest during meditation helps in release of deep rooted tension and strain which otherwise is not possible even in a state of sleep. It helps in improving perception and makes the mind more creative, orderly and efficient during awakened state. Elimination of impurities becomes more effective during meditation.
Beneficial Effects of Meditation:
Deep state of rest created through meditation brings beneficial effects which can be summarised under three broad headings:
(a) Physiological changes.
(b) Biological changes.
(c) Electro-physiological changes.
(a) Physiological Changes:
Physiological changes that come after meditation are such that they physiological rejuvenation by dissolving the effects of fatigue and tension.
Research studies have established that meditation helps in reduction of oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide elimination, arterial lactae and its concentration, the decrease in heart rate, respiration rate brings rapid rise in skin resistance, abundance in alpha wave activity, and Symphony in contral and frontal derivation with occasional frontal theta wave.
Studies have also established that blood flow indicates reduced sympathetic activity and reduced metabolic rate.
(b) Biological Changes:
The practice of meditation brings decline in plasma Cortisol and lactae level, and significantly increases in the concentration of plasma phonlalanine and prelactin.
(c) Electro-Physiological Changes:
During meditation it has been scientifically established that the spreading of large amplitude alpha waves take place in the interior region of brain.
Electro Myographic Changes (EMG):
Frontal muscle activity is considered to be a physiological measure of anxiety. EMG shows that during and after the meditation muscular activity and tension get reduced.
Meditation helps in creating state of deep relaxation which increases the ability of the individual to resist environmental stress. It increases physiological stability and adaptability of the nervous system which allows relaxation.
It has been established that meditation produces beneficial effects in hypothalamus (a part of the brain) which is the centre that regulates and coordinates autonomic functions, secretes hormones, regulates appetite and temperament, and helps in controlling responses of Viscera.
This is considered to be the major relay mechanism between cerebrum and autonomic centre. This, in turn affects the quality of sleep. The regulating mechanism in the hypothalamus has its own contribution in reducing or in increasing the tension level. Phycho-neurogenic factors operating through the cerebral cortex increase/decrease tension level. By controlling hypothalamus inner harmony can be brought.
Endocrine glands, harmonal balance, autonomic nervous system, the viseral functions all are dependant on the working and production of hypothalamus. The fall in blood lactate during meditation brings in calmness and reduction in tension level. Meditation produces lasting effects in tension reduction as it goes deep into subconscious level by way of purification of mind.
Effects on Alpha, Beta, Delta Waves during Meditation:
Alpha is one of the electrical energies produced by the brain and can be measured by an electro-encephalograph (EEG). The rhythm of this energy is measured in cycles per second (CPS). Normal relaxed mind with eyes closed produces waves, with a frequency of 8 to 13 cycles per second.
These waves disappear when one’s eyes are opened. Generally about 14 CPS and up are called Beta waves, about 7 to 14 CPS are called Alpha waves, about 4 to 7 CPS are called Theta waves, below 4 waves are called Delta waves.
Alpha waves usually appear in a relaxed mental state of a person, beta waves during intense mental activity, theta waves are more commonly seen in infants and delta waves during stupor, sleep or surgical anaesthesia.
One can do different things in Alpha than one can do in Beta state. At lower frequencies brain receives and stores more information. The problem is to keep the mind alert at these frequencies which are associated more with day dreaming and sleep than with practical activity.
The more one meditates the more it helps one to go deeper to control mind which increases body’s healing power and restores the energy that one squanders on tension.
Meditation has been suggested by different experts in their own ways, but close inspection of all the different meditative techniques clearly indicats that virtually all types of meditation involve physical immobility and some form of perceptual concentration. The only difference observed in different techniques is target of concentration which can be an object, an idea, mantra or breathing.
Psychological Technique # 3. Hypnosis:
Hypnosis is an important method of experimental psychology which plays a vital role in handling problems created by tension. Auguste Liebeault, a famous researcher in the field of hypnosis, has stated in his research work of 1864 that hypnosis is an extension of suggest-ability that began by having the subject focus on the idea of sleep.
During ensuring of sleep, a suggestion is initiated by the hypnotist and is retained in the conscious level of the subject. This establishes the necessary support and rapport between the subject and the hypnotist.
The famous psychologist Sigmund Freud has observed in his research work that suggestions given during hypnosis often would not be available for the recall after awakening but those forgotten suggestions however could be carried out post hypnotically with a patient rationalizing for his act. Further Freud has concluded in his research work that much of human behaviour is in fact the result of unconscious motivation.
It has been observed by researchers in this field that suggestions planted during the hypnotic period have an incredibly strong influence on the subject after the hypnotic period is over. This technique has been found valuable in the treatment of tobacco habit, over eating habits, inferiority- complex etc. As all diseases produce tension, this technique has been found quite useful in removing diseases and the tension they produce.
Some researchers link the effects of hypnosis with trance state while others give a cognitive behavioural explanation. The former category of researchers defines hypnosis as a trance state characterized by a very relaxed drowsy and lethargic appearance.
In trance state, a hypnotised person loses initiatives to carry out his plan. His energy is diverted from the activity he was engaged towards the instructions of the hypnotist. This has heightened ability to produce fantasies and has an increased susceptibility to suggestion.
Another definition given by other researchers in this field, says that hypnosis does not include the concept of a trance state but instead it results from positive attitudes, strong motivations and positive enhanced expectancies towards the situation in which the subject finds himself.
The psychologist Josef Breuer discovered that the root causes of hyateric symptoms were painful memories and pent up emotions buried below consciousness. The hysteric symptoms could be eliminated in an indirect manner by encouraging spontaneous verbalisation by patient under hypnosis to evoke a catharsis of the pent up energies causing the symptom.
Employing hypnosis in the treatment of anxiety, Lazarus (1963) has reported that if a patient is asked to simulate a state of sensory deprivation during hypnosis experiences relaxation and calmness. This results in a marked reduction in free floating anxiety.
Sensory deprivation may be induced in many different ways. In the strict sense such deprivation involves the elimination of visual, auditory, tactual (touch) olfactory (smell) and gustatory (taste) sources of information for a period of time. Rarely, however, all five senses are restricted.
Simulated deprivation involves the gradual reduction and elimination of sensory information with the aid of hypnotic suggestions e.g. a subject may be told under hypnosis that he is losing all sense of touch. When such a state is induced during hypnosis, a feeling of anxiety is often replaced with a state of calmness.
Reflection of Alpha and Beta Waves during Hypnosis:
When a subject has his eyes open and when one is cognitively active, this state is reflected in EEG machines by the presence of beta waves viz., machine reflect high frequency, low amplitude waves.
Against this if the subject has his eyes closed but nevertheless he is in wakeful position without actively involved in any mental activity, this state is reflected in EEG machine by the presence of alpha waves. It is the state of low frequency and high amplitude.
The third state reflected in EEG machine is a state of low amplitude with low frequency which reflects presence of delta waves. Jakobson & Kales (1965) found an absence of delta waves during hypnosis. There is evidence to suggest that alpha wave activity can be altered or manipulated.
Merininn (1955), found that subjects high in hypnotic suspect-ability showed decrease in the amplitude and frequency of alpha waves during hypnosis.
The behaviours which result from tension are, inability to concentrate, difficulty in making decisions, extreme sensitivity discouragement, sleep disturbance, excessive sweating and sustained muscle tension.
In terms of research works of Coleman, 1976, all the above can be changed with hypnotic suggestions. Motivational level of a person can be changed by hypnosis which can change the behaviour of a person and thereby one can get rid of tension.
In hypnosis, enhancement of bodily relaxation can be induced by suggestion. This technique can make the subject visualise pleasant feeling and thereby relaxation is induced into body and mind. This technique has been established as capable of producing many results which are not possible in normal wakeful state.
Psychological Technique # 4. Cognitive Therapy:
It has been seen that encephalic events contribute to the development and maintenance of pathologic anxiety. Since encephalic events have been learnt and conditioned, they can be unlearnt and deconditioned. Modifying the emotional impact of certain beliefs and perception of visual images and thoughts has been described as cognitive restructuring.
Cognitive therapy is designed to reveal and breakdown irrational belief that leads to distress. In this skill an individual replaces those thoughts which create tension by rational positive thoughts.
This is a type of analysis of a situation in which a person develops an insight of the problem and replaces it with rational positive and constructive thoughts which create pleasure. By this technique an individual monitors his own internal arousal level to remain calm and quite in response to provocative situations.
This self-monitoring is done by adopting any of the following skills through conscious efforts:
This is a technique to substitute constructive ideas to the dead end thought. This helps in allowing one’s emotions to subside. It is basically a technique of substituting undesired thoughts with desired ones in a particular situation.
(b) Stop Thinking:
It is a technique to eliminate those ideas which create imbalance resulting in emotional turmoil. By this process one can clear the existing mental state of affairs by blanking of ideas.
(c) Diversion of Mind:
This technique helps in diverting one’s mind from the object creating tension to a pleasure giving object.
(d) Foreseeing a Situation:
One can use this technique by foreseeing all the negative points of the situation which are likely to be encountered in the mental framework before the situation actually takes place. This method helps in reducing the level of intensity of the situation which can create emotional imbalance. This is a therapy to increase one’s tension bearing capacity.
Psychological Technique # 5. Bio-Feedback:
Bio-feedback techniques teach an individual to voluntarily control involuntary activity with the use of various instruments. This technique helps in making conscious efforts of a person to modify his internal responses such as heart rate, blood pressure, brain wave creation, certain muscle activity and body temperature by closely observing their effect on bio-feedback machines.
The various biofeedback machines through which visual or auditory feedback comes are as follows:
These machines point out a state of arousal through reflection of brain waves.
These machines tell about muscle tension.
(c) The Temperature Feedback Machines:
These machines help in knowing flow of blood in different parts of the body.
Researches have established that even involuntary physiological responses could be brought under control through the instrumental conditioning, by watching such responses and making a person conscious of it.
In this technique a person is attached with feedback devices that indicate heart beats and skin temperature. Green light, red light and amber light in this machine respectively indicate whether heart is working slowly, fast or within permissible limit.
Bio-feedback is effective as it trains a person in learning the art of relaxation which in turn lowers sympathetic nervous system activity. By this way one can be conscious of bad effects that tension produces.
Psychological Technique # 6. Music:
Music acts as a gateway to bring peace and happiness. By scientific methods it has been proved that music is an important technique of relaxation. Dr Clyde Nash, Jr. of St. Luke Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, says that music not only helps a patient to relax but also reduces doctor’s tension in the operation theatre.
The patients who have already undergone operation without music when experienced an operation with music, found it to be a better alternative to anaesthesia.
In many hospitals for the treatment of various disorders, music is used with conventional therapy. Studies by music therapist Halen, Lindquist & Bonny suggest that surgery patients experience lower blood pressure and reduce heart rates while treated to soothing-classic music before their operations.
Similarly, patients need less pain medication and are able to leave the hospital sooner when exposed to more tunes after their surgeries.
A psychologist, Janet Lapp of California State University, concluded that music acts as a better supplemental therapy in comparison to biofeedback and relaxation techniques in the case of patients suffering from migraine-headache. Dr. Oliver Sacks has concluded that music processing is done in the mind by both hemispheres of the brain and play effective role in curing patients suffering from neurological disorders.
Sound comes in circles and one hears it at centre, which is absolute soundless and it, produces different effects on a person depending on his liking. Sound that produces pleasing effects helps in creating relaxation of muscles and the mind.
Every music has three phases, i.e.:
(a) The meaning of the song.
(b) The laws of music.
(c) The sounds or language of music.
Though in all types of music, all the three phases are necessarily to be there but one can enjoy even taking care of one aspect.
Music has been broadly classified into three categories based on gunas that each music involves:
This type of music relaxes both singers and audience. Hymnal music which is sung in His praise for His realisation belongs to this category. This type of music is called Nada-Yoga.
In this grade of music all rules of the science of music are rigorously followed by the singers. Such type of music may not be so relaxing but it does not produce any noise pollution and is not jarring to the hearers.
Modern rock’n roll belongs to this category. This type of music creates only momentary pleasure but in long run it creates problems similar to noise pollution.
Music plays a pivotal role in meditation for bringing calmness and creating soothing effect. One is supposed to be alert by becoming conscious of the innermost core of it. This technique of music which was initially developed for creating awareness is being used for relaxation by way of self-forgetfulness.
Music gives short term relief in the form of relaxation by the sound it creates outwardly. When this sound is used inwardly then relaxation takes the form of samadhi which creates long time relaxation of body and mind, and increases tension bearing capacity of a person.
Psychological Technique # 7. Laughter:
This world is not a tragedy but a comedy. One who has learnt the technique of deep laughter, he has learnt everything.
In the words of R.L. Stevenson, “That man is a success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who leaves the world better than he found it whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem or a reduced soul; who never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had”.
One’s emotions speak of one’s personality. Our emotions have great impact on the persons around us. Emotions can be positive like laughter, optimism, self-confidence etc., or negative like distress, anger, fear etc. One can increase one’s tension bearing capacity by consciously involving his self in positive emotions to the best possible extent. The role of laughter – emotion has got world-wide acceptance for the reduction of tension.
Laughter acts as a powerful drug with no side effects which relieves people from tension of mind and exhaustion of body by injecting new stimulating spirit. By this process one’s behaviour and temperament change which leave cheerful personality.
Researchers have established that the following changes take place due to laughter:
1. It stimulates production of beta endorphis, a brain chemical which reduces pain and gives a feeling of happiness.
2. It acts as a natural pain killer in the body.
3. It improves digestion.
4. It is a good antidote to stress and tones up the system too.
5. Facial muscles, while laughing, instruct the brain to feel good.
6. It increases one’s life span.
7. It deepens breathing.
8. It speeds up the process of tissue healing.
9. It improves blood circulation.
10. It stabilises many body functions.
11. It oscilliates immune system.
However it is necessary to remember the precautions that are suggested for laughter:
(a) Don’t laugh at others expense or at their disability.
(b) Don’t laugh with food in mouth as food may get into the wind pipe and may result into serious complication.
It has been physiologically established that in smile only seventeen muscles are involved against the involvement of forty muscles in frowning.
The important principles of laughter and smile are:
(a) Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone.
(b) Smile and somebody some-where will smile back at you. Smile is a demonstration of an open attitude to conversation.
It is a fact that many individuals can’t laugh at themselves. If one does an introspection, tension bearing capacity of a person can be increased. Osho Rajneesh says: “To me, to laugh wholeheartedly is the greatest celebration that can happen to a man…. to laugh wholeheartedly, to become the laughter. Then no mediation is needed, it is enough.”
As per Osho, sometimes even great scriptures can’t go as deep as a joke can go, because the joke directly touches the heart whereas scripture goes into the intellect.
According to Mark Twain the best way to cheer oneself up is to try and cheer somebody else up. As per Swami Ram Tirath, it is the law of nature that action and reaction are opposite and equal…. One can’t feel happy unless he has made somebody happy. It has been rightly said that a happy heart is like a balloon which one can’t keep down.
However, laughter can also be created by any of the three methods mentioned below:
(a) Laughing with mouth shut. In this method one laughs without making sound by keeping the mouth shut, laughing is done internally wherein it is felt that each and every limb of one’s body is laughing. This tones up specially intestines.
(b) Laughing with open mouth but without sound. This creates special effect on lungs and digestive system.
(c) Laughing loudly: In this method mouth is kept open, hands are raised to make way for more and more oxygen for lungs and one laughs with sound.
All the three methods tone up the nervous system and increase the tension bearing capacity of a person. The effect that laughs produces can be compared with state when one is in deep meditation. In those few moments of laugh, when thinking process stops, as laugh and thinking are diametrically opposite.
The beneficial effects of meditation are bound to enter the body due to the vacuum that is created in the laughing process, which leads to relaxation of body and mind.
Laughing is one of the psychological coping and damage repair mechanism built into a human system. It is viewing setbacks and hurts with a sense of humour and trying to joke about it. This pattern both alleviates emotional tension and helps an individual to see the experience in broader perspective. When this mechanism fails the individual bursts into tears.
Crying and Coping Tension:
Crying and coping tension is one inbuilt psychological coping and damage repair mechanism that operates in a human body. Crying out is a common means of alleviating emotional tension and hurt feelings. Such reactions can commonly be observed in children. This is one of the means to regain emotional equilibrium and mental poise.
This is another inbuilt psychological coping and damage repair mechanisms that exists in human systems to withstand stress and tension. Seeking emotional support from others till one regains one’s own equilibrium is one of the mechanism by which ill-effects of tension can be kept apart and away.
Dreaming and Nightmares:
Dreaming nightmare is coping and damage repair mechanism that exists in human system which operates on a psychological level. It has been seen that individuals who have undergone highly traumatic experiences often report dreams or nightmares in which they get relief of the traumatic experience.
Dreams manifest uncertainty and fear of those unfinished happenings which the dreamer feels are important for subsequent decision in life.
It is important to remember that individuals having extreme personalities either strong or feeble, rarely dream because the former category of persons are able to solve most of their problems in conscious state and the latter category of persons on account of the fact that they are not creative either they do not face the problem or don’t strive for a solution.
In real life every one faces situation in which one does not find solution during the conscious state, it is necessary to understand the three drives by which one’s behaviour is influenced, which are as follows:
(a) Biological Drives (Id).
(b) Social Rules (Super Ego).
(c) Mediating thought processes (Ego).
Id follows the pleasure principle and represents blind demands for instant gratification without caring for social norms and morals. Super ego represents the prohibitive rules and ideals of society which a person is expected to follow. And lastly ego is basically a mediator between the aforesaid two forces by compromising between the two extremes.
In compromising the two extremes, tension takes birth as ego tries to satisfy Id’s urges for pleasure within the parameter of social norms. Our behaviour is determined by the instincts and desires that are concealed in one’s conscious and unconscious mind thought and behaviour.
A person does his worldly tasks through conscious mind, but unconscious impulses from unconscious mind keep on coming to the conscious mind and affect one’s behaviour.
At conscious level, one is aware of the things that are around, and at the preconscious levels one is aware of memories and thoughts which can be easily recalled. Against this at unconscious level are the memories, motives and thoughts which cannot be easily recalled.
Id lies entirely in unconscious mind whereas ego and super ego fall in all the three levels of consciousness, (conscious, sub-conscious and unconscious). It is through natural and automatic process that one can repress ideas, memories, motives and feelings which are unacceptable to oneself or which create disturbing result.
Such repressed materials, which have not been able to find outlet, do not remain silent and keep on coming to surface level of consciousness and in that process they create disturbed behaviour.
Major portion of mind is constituted by this subconscious and unconscious mind. The unconscious mind does not know logic and it is more powerful than the conscious mind. These collected emotions and suppressed desires of unconscious mind express themselves in pure or altered forms in awakened or a sleep state. Dreaming is basically a disguised manifestation of Id motives.
Psychological Technique # 8. Acting:
Peterbrooh has rightly said “when an actor is inhabited by his role, he really and truly plays his part in totality, one can’t see any trace of separation between the him, who is not the role and the him, who is the role, and the two are fused completely”.
The above quotation itself speaks of the role of acting, actor and the effects of role. Research studies have established that behaving in certain ways can change one’s feelings. Mental practice can have the same effect as real practice. Creative researchers have suggested that one can get into happy mood by thinking about a happy period of one’s life.
Slide into imaging what one wants to achieve, from giving a great speech to hitting a perfect golf shot. Make the experience as real and detailed as one can. Take it from the beginning through successful completion. Latest research of School of Medicine of University of California, in San Francisco, has concluded that everyone has got six facial expressions and each signifies a specific emotion.
The six emotions are:
5. Fear, and
The conclusions of the Californian study suggest that everyone has to do five things to get optimum results in one’s life:
(a) Pretend to laugh.
(b) Read with expression and read that conveys a mood other than sadness.
(c) Relax: During relaxation there is reduction in heart and breathing rates, consumption of oxygen and blood lactate level goes down.
(d) Diversion: This helps in reducing tension when one involves oneself in something stimulating and different e.g. watch movies and divert attention from the source of tension.
(e) Think of one’s own positive points to increase self-confidence. Grooming also helps in gaining self- confidence. For this there is a need to rehearse and tell oneself that one is looking smart.
At last, it is important to remember that one’s deeds determine one’s image. Thinking can be deceived easily by acting. Recurring acting ultimately emerge as part of behaviour. A therapist can help an individual to see these patterns which in turn help in examining reasons why one continues to choose them.
Drama therapy attempts to increase an individual’s self-control by providing him with the opportunity and group support to experiment with other more satisfying roles. The desired emotions can be created in body merely by acting and the same technique can be used for increasing tension bearing capacity of a person.
Psychological Technique # 9. Recreation:
Leisure time is very important for increasing relaxation both of body and mind. It gives opportunity for developing and exploring one’s interest to understand one’s own-self.
Free time if utilised properly by way of meaningful and enjoyable activities, it can become source of happiness as it induces relaxation but if free time is taken as free time it can become a cause of tension. Leisure is free time but that must not be forced upon like the time of unemployment or compulsory retirement.
Recreation can be done through finding leisure time which has the following functions:
(a) Rest and refreshment.
(b) Entertainment and amusement to compensate for dullness and monotony.
(c) It is enrichment and development of interest and aspects of one’s personality which otherwise never find expression, and satiation.
Leisure behaviour is not dependent on personal factors like one’s need, interest and ability but also on one’s social factors, like position and role in various groups and the standards one has to adhere to, in the given environment.
Psychological Technique # 10. Aroma Therapy:
Aroma therapy emphasises that smell produces effects on mood, body and mind. The systematic use of it can bring change in life by alleviating stress and tension. The tools of aroma therapy are botanical essences and vegetable oils. Essential oils that are used in this therapy are extracted from plants and these have direct effect on the body, nervous system and mind.
Massage of these oils relaxes tight muscles, open blocked nerves, increase lymph flow and circulation of blood. These massages produce stimulation to the brain which relaxes the body and mind.
Scientific researchers have confirmed that essential oils massage and even the smell of them has the power to alter one’s state of mind. It can produce beneficial results in the cure of physical, mental and psychosomatic stress problems.
The use of these essential oils can be made through a variety of ways including direct inhalation or as a massage. Room fresheners and mood enhancers available in market are based on this therapy.
Researchers have revealed that smelling of different plants produces different results as follows:
(a) Rose fragrance helps in alleviating hangovers and it produces soothing effect on stress and depression.
(b) Orange plant smell mitigates anxiety, insomnia and worry.
(c) Basil (Tulsi), Rosemary (an evergreen fragrant shrub), Patchouli fragrance stimulate mental clarity, concentration and memory.
Smells of some plants have theraputic and preventive effects and help in overcoming bad effects of various diseases. Eucalyptus has excellent anti-septical and anti-bacterial properties which help an individual to fight with infection and lead a happy healthy life.
Psychological Technique # 11. Colour Therapy:
It has been scientifically established through researches that colours can trigger off many symptoms of tension and can be useful in treatment of mentally ill patients. Colours have an important role to play in influencing people and their attitude.
Our ancient’s sages knew the importance of colours in healing. Russians proved scientifically that man could feel colours through the skin and that skin is indefinitely more sensitive to sensations than one could have ever thought of.
Each colour creates a specific atmosphere and that influences a person’s mind:
(a) Yellow is the brightest primary colour nearest to sunlight and most luminious. It consequently has cheering effect.
(b) Red is most aggressive and demanding colour in the whole spectrum. This colour forces itself on a person. It is used widely for danger signals. It has sexually suggestive quality.
(c) Orange is stimulating and psychological tests have shown that if it is used extensively in a room, the occupants feel driven out by its sheer forcefulness.
(d) Green is the colour of the nature and is well known for its restful effect on the eyes. It is opposite to red and produces positive sedative.
(e) Purple stimulates the brains. It is associate with grandness, royalty and ceremonials.
(f) Brown is restful and if used in harmony with another warm colour can take for a cosy setting.
(g) Blue has the effect of retreating and is also sedative. Traditionally it is associated with chill of holiness.
Colours can be dingy colours, violent colours and clashing colours. Colours by making change in external environment can act as a powerful therapy for tension reduction.
Psychological Technique # 12. Helitherapy – Therapy through Sun Rays:
Various diseases can be cured through this therapy and the tension bearing capacity of a person can be thus increased. Seven colours found in sun rays are red, yellow, orange, blue, green, indigo and violet. In terms of results of various researches, different colours produce different effects on the body.
Some of the effects linked with various colours can be summarised as follows:
Orange Colour of Sun Rays:
This colour of sun rays produces beneficial effects on stomach, liver, kidney, bronchitis, blood circulation etc. It makes veins stronger and reduces their contraction. It improves brain functioning, it develops courage and inspires a man to gain greater heights in all fields. The problem of excess urination, pain in joints and chest pain can also be overcome by the use of this colour of sun rays.
Green Colour of Sun Rays:
This is basically combination of yellow and blue colour. It purifies blood. It improves eliminating functions of the body.
Blue Colour of Sun Rays:
This colour produces cooling and soothing effect. It has beneficial effect on throat, is anticeptic and helps in concentration and meditation. It reduces stimulated emotions and high blood pressure. It is good in reducing swelling of different parts of body; arrest the falling of hair, helps in producing sound sleep and healing of burn wound at any portion of body.
Different colours produce different artificial minerals which are summarised as follows:
Orange colour has in it:
Alkaline, iron, copper, calcium, hydrogen, carbon, barium, arsenic, nickel and aluminium.
Blue colour has in it:
Barium, aluminum, lead, copper, oxygen, tin, zinc and phospherus.
Different it colours are capable of curing diseases due to the fact that each colour produces different minerals which in turn increases tension bearing capacity of a person.
(a) Passionate – Purple
(b) Devilish – Black
(c) Virginal – White
(d) Blasphemous – Blue
(e) Scandalous – Red
At present various colours are available in the market. By proper combination of shades and tints proper atmosphere can be created which has pleasing effect on body and by this therapy tension can be kept apart by change in working environment. Colours play an important role in grooming and creating self-confidence. By this confidence, many tense situations can be changed.
Colours not only play important role in external environment but help in diagnosing the various types of diseases that a person is suffering by looking at the colour of various parts of the body as follows:
1. Colour of skin shows essence of lungs.
2. Colour of lips shows the essence of spleen.
3. Colour of tongue shows conditions of heart and digestive system.
4. Colour of nails shows the essence of liver.
5. Colour of ears shows essence of kidneys.
It is necessary while making diagnosis that all features are taken together as the body acts as an organic whole. In a nutshell, helitherapy plays a vital role in creating relaxation by making change in external environment and thereby acts as a powerful therapy of tension reduction.
Psychological Technique # 13. Silence and Patience:
By observing silence and patience one can save vital energy which increases ones tension bearing capacity. The process of observing silence helps in setting down thinking process and thereby helps in reducing tension. Silence and patience are powerful tools in breaking the vicious circle of tension.
As tension results in change in behaviours and emotions, this has a direct bearing on persons and environment that exist around tense persons. Silence helps in making rational decisions as a person in tension cannot be expected to make rational decisions in the state of disturbed mind.
It has been rightly said that one who can’t sensibly control a moment of annoyance, will have to spend days in annoyance. Silence is an important technique to control the string of life. By having control on emotions one can prove the well-known quotation “My life is in the hands of any fool who makes me lose my temper”.
Psychological Technique # 14. Gems Therapy:
This therapy establishes that different gems of different colours produce different beneficial effects and each gem represents its own corresponding star. As in Indian philosophy astrology has its own role to play. The outcome of any endeavour is based on the position of different stars, by using various gems, stars can be effected.
Based on this theory the relationship of stars, gems and colours can broadly be summarised as given in Table 6.1:
As all diseases produce tension, gem therapy believes that by wearing different stones in the form of rings or by placing such gems on chest by wearing mala around neck one can influence the stars. This therapy believes that by wearing such stones the effects that different stars produce can be altered and thereby diseases can be cured.