I started neurofeedback, or as we call it, "brain training", in the fall of 2016. Having researched the benefits that could be experienced through this modality or deep meditation, it seemed like what I needed in an effort to overcome anxiety that had built up over years of suffering from severe insomnia.
Bedtime was not only a welcome time of day, due to the exhaustion that plagued me from illness, it had also become a highly stressful time. While I longed for the sleep that had seemed to escape me I dreaded the dark and quiet of the loneliness that came in the middle of the night. As I lay awake I was aware and frustrated while the rest of the world slept. Knowing, as well, that the restoration that I prayed for each night may not come, leaving the mental state of exhaustion to wreak havoc on my stability the following day. It had become a vicious cycle that I wanted desperately to escape.
As a trained Bulletproof® coach I have spent quite a bit of time understanding and researching the power of our thoughts and the thought patterns that run us on a daily basis. It is said that the neurons that fire together wire together. In my case the pattern of insomnia leading to my lack of stability and performance, led to thoughts around what if. What if I didn't sleep, what would occur, how will tomorrow look? After running through these questions night after night the process became a habit. A habit that was now on auto-pilot running through my subconscious mind. Now that the neurons had wired together I consciously couldn't talk myself out of the cycle. As my sleep healed and the severity of insomnia decreased, the anxiety seemed to increase unsolicited. The vicious cycle.
You might be asking, what is neurofeedback?
Neurofeedback is a mirror for the brain. Think of this. You look in the mirror and immediately start adjusting your posture, you stand taller, adjust your hair and smile. Right? This is exactly what is occurring in the brain. We have an amazing ability to self correct and the brain, given the right information, will do the same.
This description from NeurOptimal® is spot on.
"The brain has an inherent ability to self-correct when given the right information and NeurOptimal® is designed to provide the brain with the information it needs to make its own adjustments. Inconsistency, or abrupt changes in electrical activity in the brain, undermines optimal functioning of the brain. NeurOptimal® detects these abrupt changes and informs the brain of these sudden shifts through interruptions in the sound you are listening to. These almost imperceptible pauses invite your central nervous system to pull away from this less-than-ideal path it was on. This happens over and over until the natural self-correction becomes your new normal and your brain functions more efficiently, effectively and comfortably. When this happens, you sleep better, are less stressed, can focus more easily and feel the joy of an easier life, despite the challenges you may face from the outside."
What did I experience?
The first thing I noticed was that I simply loved the deep relaxation that came during a session. After 30 minutes in a deep meditative state I was refreshed, relaxed and the fog seemed to lift from my brain. It was, and still is, an amazing time that I look forward to.
Within a few weeks I noticed other changes. Confidence, calm and a loosening of the tirade of thoughts that ran through my mind consistently. I was able to create space, sit in quiet and focus a little more easily.
And the anxiety? It went away in such a fashion that it was almost unnoticed! The thought pattern disintegrated in such a way that I wasn't readily aware. I wasn't anxious about the anxiety! I simply went to bed one night and realized that I was ready for sleep and that I knew the next day would take care of itself. What a gift!
Having experienced the amazing benefits from this modality and experiencing first hand what this can do in others (you will see more on my son's experience soon), I knew I had to bring this to my clients and offer it as a training in Iowa.
If you are interested in learning more, experiencing "brain training" or renting a unit to share the sessions with your family, I would love to connect.
With love and gratitude,
Advocate for living your best life and finding inspiration in stories and personal journeys.