Worry, Stress and Neurofeedback.
Worry is an appropriate basic human emotion. There are times that it appropriate to worry, such as a big test, a job interview, or a medical procedure. While worry is sometimes appropriate, it should not lead to a debilitating situation that prevents you from engaging life as you would like, or causes you to repeatedly emotionally overreact in unrelated situations. For those who worry to where it affects other aspects of your life, you should learn about how neurofeedback might be able help.
Many people who struggle with worry will maintain that they are just "wired" that way. It turns out, this notion is not too far off. "Trait Anxiety" is a tendency to feel anxious across many situations, and this has been correlated with something referred to as the "resting connectivity status" of the brain. The brain produces electrical patterns as a by-product of its function, and some of these patterns are make someone more vigilant. But this doesn't mean that you need to remain this way forever. Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to remodel and change itself based on the demands placed on it, and neurofeedback has been shown to positively shift this defaulting pattern. One study involving OCD (contamination anxiety) demonstrated that there was a specific resting state within the brain consistent in those with OCD, and that neurofeedback therapy was to shift this activity. As the paper states, "Changes in resting-state connectivity in the target orbitofrontal region correlated with these improvements in anxiety."
The ability for neurofeedback to shift the electrical patterning in the brain is something has been repeatedly documented. Another study demonstrated that high trait anxiety was due the "resting state functional status" of the brain, and that neurofeedback therapy was able to positively shift this resting state resulting in a decrease in the trait anxiety that the person was experiencing.
It is important to understand when doing neurofeedback for the purpose of decreasing overthinking and worry, we are not treating that specifically. These studies have demonstrated that while shifting this default pattern of activity within the brain can result in the a reduction of those symptoms, the goal of those studies and of the neurofeedback that we provide to help develop the networks that allow someone to be more relaxed and engaging.
Do you want to live life to the fullest? Click here to get started as a patient, or call (203)316-8212.
Sleep, Health and Human Performance.
Over the last 10 years, the impact that sleep has on human health and performance has become demonstrably clear. Adults who average less than 6 hours of sleep per night have greater risk of many health concerns, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, anxieties and obesity. Even cancer has now been linked to sleep, and the CDC recently included night time shift work as a “probable carcinogen”.
The quality of the sleep you do get is also important, and research is now indicating that compromised sleep quality can be a major factor in the development of brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Several aspects of performance are also highly influenced by sleep:
Academics/Professional - retention, recall and critical thinking are all not only greatly enhanced with better sleep, but significantly com-promised with less sleep; For example, a mildly sleep-deprived 6th grader will perform at a 4th grade level on cognitive tests, and college students who sleep longer have been shown to have higher grades.
Athletics - athletes who get less than 7 hours of sleep are almost twice as likely to be injured in sporting events compared to those getting 8 hours of sleep or more.
Your sleep is designed to heal and restore your brain and your body, but it requires adequate time to do so. If you struggle to get the sleep that you need due to difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or simply are waking up exhausted, call us to learn about how Neurofeedback Therapy may be able help you and your family! Click here to get started as a patient, or call (203)316-8212.