Come to the calm of a well functioning brain.
There are some small studies that have found the art therapy can help to reduce depression and it's symptoms. Art can come in many forms, gardening, knitting, drawing, and writing, just to name a few.
In the frontal cortex of the brain, there are parts that relate movement to emotions and thinking that of course can be related to depression. The inability to concentrate is connected to the prefrontal cortex, slow responses are related to the accumbens, loss of pleasure is related to the striatum, and negative feelings to the limbic system. These areas are called the effort driven rewards circuit. Simply moving your hands, vs. the legs or back, can help to get this system moving again. This involves the creative movements of the hands and is not related to the use of electronics.
LENS can help the brain to balance out and get the reactive areas under control.. Let's work together to get the brain connected in a good way..
This is the time of year when we are sometimes challenged with social interactions. There is a place in the brain that is in charge of shifting attention and it is called the anterior cingulate gyrus or ACG. This area of the brain can get stuck, so there is limited ability to be mentally flexible. This leads to the hamster on the wheel syndrome, which is a mind stuck in the same thought pattern. This all relates back to the serotonin that is available in the brain.
Here are a few tricks to help with keeping your brain a little more flexible. There is a correlation to the foods that we eat and the serotonin in the brain. Try eating more chickpeas and sweet potatoes. L-Trypohan is a building block of serotonin and can also be found in some foods such as, chicken, turkey, salmon, beef, nut butter, eggs and green peas. Exercise can help to keep the repetitive thoughts at bay. Start out with 10 minutes and work up from there. Writing down thoughts can also help to get them out of the mind and out of the wheel of repetition. If you are prone to saying "no", then take a breathe and give yourself time to rethink the reaction. Get the frontal area of the brain working better, it is slower that the reactive lower brain area.
I hope that your holidays are filled with the beauty of love and understanding.
LENS neurofeedback is a noninvasive gentle way of healing. It can help to create a smoother and less anxious thought process.
Here are a few more strategies from tinabryson.com.
One of the lessons that she teaches her parents, and teachers and others is to learn to read the child's nonverbal language. Is the child being clingy and insecure? Teach them to understand how it feels to be brave vs. insecure? How does their body look when they are insecure? How does their body feel when they are brave? There is a great deal of activity going on in the brain when the body is understood and how the positions affect our state of mind (this works with older people also). Here are a few tools for the car. Find an exercise ball that will fit in between the two seats. If the child is having a hard time after school, then this is a good way of releasing this pent up emotion, by kicking it with their feet. Are they hungry? You can also use an exercise ball to roll up and down the body. One other strategy is to breathe with the child. If you can slow down the breathe then they can mirror this activity. There is such a thing as mirror neurons.
Here is one more strategy. This therapist calls it chasing the why? Why is the child behaving in this manner? Many times they do not have the right words to explain why. Are they over-activated in some situations? Is it because they are sensitive? Keep looking, they are not always trying to be manipulative.
Try LENS neurofeedback. It helps the brain to work correctly, it reduces the interference.
There is a good therapist online. Her website is tinabryson.com. She has effective strategies for helping children to cope with their emotions. Here are a few.
Her lesson number 1 is too be emotionally responsive. Can you find out what is causing the behavior vs. just looking at the behavior. This is done by validating their feelings and experiences. Try to see what they are actually experiencing. This brings the reactivity down and builds the brain connections. It also helps to build attachment. This does not mean that you allow uncontrolled behavior. Reactivity can be toned down by understanding the child and explaining to them that they are out of control and that you need to take the reins, gently, until they can regain control.
Lesson number 2 is to communicate comfort rather than threat. The treat detection in the brain is primitive. When this part of the brain is activated then the frontal region shuts down. This means that the child or person will react with fight, flight or freeze. When the voice is raised, fingers are being pointed, the face looks angry, there is limited thinking being done. One of the tricks is to get down below the child's eye level and acknowledge how they are feeling. This is very effective, especially if you address the behavior once the child is calm, not when they are escalated.
LENS can help with anxiety. It helps to keep the brain smooth and stabilized.
Yes, there is a gap between the stress that men and women carry. Yes, we are all stressed-out with the responsibilities of life, including work and family. Here is the big however, in a 2016 study in The Journal of Brain and Behavior, women reported higher stress levels consistently. Women do more unpaid domestic work that men, three times as much. In the DSM 5, anxiety disorders are higher in women. House work is often overlooked as work, because it is unpaid. Yet this work can be harder that a regular job. Here is a new term that is being coined, it is called Emotional Labor. This is the duties that are expected of you, but go unnoticed. This can lead to insomnia and family conflict.
Here are a few ways of getting this lion tamed. Be sure and embrace self care. Start with the basics, eat good food, exercise and get enough sleep. Get to know your triggers and be specific about what stresses you out. Seek validation, give yourself reminders, or find someone that will, that your not crazy and the amount on your plate is really a lot. This is the touchy subject, talk to your spouse about shared duties. Especially if your working outside of the home.
Remember that Love is a verb and it implies action.
LENS can help to calm down the over stressed and wired brain.
Hello, my name is Dana Lee Collins M.A.,L.P.C. I am a psychotherapist that has been trained in the art of neurofeedback. This science helps to heal the brain of trauma. I am dedicated to helping people heal.