Mediation to help anxiety sounds like a simple solution, an excellent tool for sufferers to help overcome their anxious thoughts. But what if you're too anxious to meditate?
What if tuning into your thoughts only fuels the anxious spiral?
Composer Tahlee Rouillon knows how difficult it can be to try and meditate when you're in the grips of anxiety, feeling overwhelmed or simply exhausted from doing 'life' all day long. Her interest in the healing effects of music for anxiety lead her to the creation of 'meditones' – soothing, modern music integrated with binaural beats, frequencies of sound that balance the brainwaves giving you the same benefits as meditation, simply by putting on your headphones.
Tahlee Rouillon is music composer extraordinaire and creator of meditones TM. She offers an easy way to achieve all the benefits of meditation without the effort through a sonic shortcut called meditones TM. Meditones TM use specific frequencies of sound, overlaid with calm, soothing music, to synchronise brainwaves to the same state achieved via meditation.
Described as 'the voice of an angel' and a 'musical genius', Tahlee has just exceeded her funding goals through Kickstarter to launch the first meditones TM app later in 2019.
Question: What originally inspired you to try meditation?
Tahlee Rouillon: Bored and at home in my late teens, I was flicking through channels on the TV and stumbled across a show called Wai Lana Yoga. Wai Lana was the most flexible, gymnastic and strongest person I'd ever seen. After watching a few episodes, agawk at her athletic prowess, I decided to give it a go on the loungeroom floor.
After some deeply challenging yoga poses, we ended the session in savasana (also called corpse pose) where you lay on your back and relax. Whilst lying there, she guided me through a meditation and the most profound sense of peace washed over me. I'd never experienced anything like it, and from that day I was hooked. I began a journey into meditation that hasn't left my side for decades.
Question: Can you tell us about how anxiety affected you, daily?
Tahlee Rouillon: In so many subtle and complex ways! Anxiety showed up as feeling like people didn't like me; worrying about getting lost when travelling on public transport; hating my body and constantly dieting and exercising - often to the point of injury; needing to plan out everything with multiple lists and go over them again and again; not being able to sleep because I thought I wasn't any good at my job; feeling self-conscious in new group situations or at parties; not wanting to leave the house; and full blown panic attacks.
Question: How did music heal your anxiety?
Tahlee Rouillon: I'd always loved music and was often moved at how much it could make me feel things. Joy, ecstasy, sorrow, melancholy, and of course, peace. When I was at university doing my Bachelor of Music, I discovered ambient electronic music. All of a sudden, there was this whole world of music specifically designed to help people feel calm. I couldn't get enough of it and devoured all the ambient music I could find. I loved how I felt when I listened to it and it became the soundtrack to my life. It was around that time that I really started to feel my calling. I wanted to make music that was healing, beautiful and calming too.
Question: Can you tell us about your meditones?
Tahlee Rouillon: Meditones™ help you produce relaxed brain waves with headphones. They are precisely tuned frequencies of sound, that when heard with headphones, guide your brain into effortless calm and deep relaxation. Science boffins call them 'binaural beats'. But I call them meditones because they're tones that help you meditate.
Question: How will meditones help those who are too anxious to meditate?
Tahlee Rouillon: Meditones™ are perfect for people with anxiety because you don't need to do a thing to experience their benefits. Your brain will naturally and effortlessly go into deep states of meditation, just by hearing them with headphones. This means you get to feel the effects and gain all the benefits of deep meditation without having to switch off your anxiety. Plus, long term use of meditones physically changes your neural pathways. Your brain adapts to the calm environment created by meditones, making it easier to become and stay relaxed. They help you heal your anxiety and feel calm more often, even beyond meditation.
Question: What other daily rituals have you put in place to help your anxiety?
Tahlee Rouillon: I love journaling in the morning which gets me out of my head and helps to begin the day calmly. There's something about putting pen to paper that really helps me process and release my worries, feelings and anxious thoughts. I've also recently begun a breathwork practice which I find so grounding. Then I use meditones at night to help me let go of the day and have a restful night's sleep.
Interview by Brooke Hunter