We all worry and feel fearful from time to time. Human emotions are part of the makeup of every human being. Today feelings are treated as diseases rather than finding out the “why” behind why someone feels the way they do. When worry, fear, or stress become excessive and begin to control you rather than you redirecting your brain it may be called “generalized anxiety disorder” (GAD). GAD can mimic panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and other types of anxiety, while they are all different, each are being affected by different parts of the brain.
Many adults report that they can remember feeling anxious ever since they were a child. If this continues as an adult, this now makes your “feelings” of stress and anxiety chronic. Chronic means it has been going on for a long time. Anything that you do for a long time will begin to take up real estate in your brain. For example, if you played a sport while you were a kid you made incredible sensory-motor connections in your brain. However, if you are not using those connections today, and you are struggling with stress and anxiety, the longer this continues, your brain will use your earlier connections to help you continue the pattern. Your brain “thinks” this is what you want to do.
Even if your stress and anxiety are relatively new but are continuing now, you are generating the same pattern discussed above. If you keep the pattern of thought of stress and anxiety, it becomes like the “hamster in the wheel”. Does the hamster ever get anywhere? No! You must step off the hamster wheel and go in another direction.
While anxiety can be generated by fearful thoughts about the future, there are many other reasons that patterns of anxiety can be manifested in the brain:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Developmental Trauma
- Chemistry Imbalances/MTHFR
- Biological Make-up
- Unresolved Infections
Physical Symptoms of Stress and Anxiety:
- Dry mouth
- Lightheaded or dizzy
- Hot/cold flashes
- Numbness or tingling
- Shortened breath or sighing
- Gut symptoms
- Heart pounding
Your brain is feeding back to you the “feelings” of anxiety. Not only are you feeling anxiety through your thoughts but it also affects your brain’s chemistry on your future thoughts and how your entire body is functioning.
Your brain responds to neurotransmitters (NT). NTs send messages to your brain directing how you feel, think, act, and so much more. The main NT associated with stress and anxiety are:
There are two types of brain matter. There is grey matter for processing information and white matter responsible for sending information everywhere circuits have been created. In QEEG brain mapping GAD shows dysregulation in the global circuitry of the white matter connections in the brain and the Prefrontal and Anterior Cortex. The Prefrontal affects your personality, behavior, and the ability to plan. The Anterior Cortex manages thinking, emotions, personality, judgment, self-control, muscle control and movements, memory storage and so much more.
The CMB Difference:
At CMB, we have a 3-tier approach to evaluate your unique story.
- Brain – A comprehensive approach through QEEG will identify how your brain is wired from the top down
- Chemistry – Evaluate your internal biology through functional labs;
- Mechanical – Educate you on the power of movement in helping you redirect your brain
We begin with a brain map. A brain map is a road map that identifies how your brain is wired. We use QEEG (Quantitative electroencephalography) which allows us to see how the brain is organized and if a brain wave is under- or over-aroused.
QEEG has found an over-aroused pattern in the frontal region to be associated with anxiety and stress. Dysregulation in the frontal region shifts blood flow from the front of the brain to the back of the brain preparing the body for a flight-or-fight response. To change this pattern, you must practice a new pattern. The practice is supported through a therapy called Neurofeedback. Neurofeedback is used to promote organization, self-regulation, and awareness so the individual can learn to balance their brain, reduce anxiety, and move forward.