Can Neurofeedback Help Anxiety?

Anxiety is your body’s response to stress, whether psychological, physical, dietary, or environmental. Your brain locks into a pattern of anxiety which, unfortunately, can be challenging to break. However, it is possible to do this with neurofeedback — physiological help for your brain to learn a new response to stress, like brain training. Over time, your brain will develop the skills necessary to reduce or eliminate anxiety.  

Anxiety exhibits itself in many ways: a nagging sense of fear, defensiveness, negative thinking, excessive worrying, hyper-emotional responses, and catastrophizing. In most cases, there is also the presence of behavioral issues, addiction, perfectionism, or a need to control situations. Anxiety creates feelings of being overwhelmed, stressed, exhausted, or obsessive.  

Sometimes anxiety is outwardly apparent; however, this is not always the case. A person may appear calm on the outside, but his or her brain never stops. There is a constant internal monologue that may interrupt sleep and quality of life. It becomes challenging to live in the present due to worrying about the future or the past.  

The best solution to this situation is to help the person learn to calm him- or herself and take control of his or her life. Neurofeedback is the quickest, most efficient way to do this. Used for many years, neurofeedback has solid, proven results. Patients report improved quality of life along with less dependence on medication. By teaching your brain to make healthier patterns consistently, a calmer brain takes control and anxiety responses are averted. 

Neurofeedback: A Better Alternative to Medication 

Though anxiety patients are frequently prescribed medications, prescription drugs cannot teach patients to quiet their minds. Medications mostly affect the entire brain, but only one or more brain areas cause anxiety. However, training your brain allows you to target those specific, problematic areas without additional side effects.  

Since medications only work when you are taking them, patients become dependent on them to decrease their anxiety. Therefore, once you stop the medication, the anxiety returns. And if the medication is addictive, stress and withdrawal symptoms may occur with improper weaning. With neurofeedback, the brain learns to decrease anxiety for the long term naturally. Patients can then wean off of medications with a doctor’s supervision.  

How Does Neurofeedback Minimize Anxiety? 

To prepare for “fight or flight,” our bodies give us a rush of adrenaline. For people with anxiety, this fight or flight response is perpetually engaged whether a danger is present. This is most likely caused by an overactive cortex — the part of the brain that deals with conscious thoughts. The brain compensates by staying in a hyper-alert state.  

Neurofeedback is like exercise for the brain. While training your brain, you watch your brainwaves on an EEG monitor. As you learn to reduce anxiety, you watch as your brainwaves change. This allows you to learn how to recreate a calm state while moderating your stress response. In turn, anxiety is lessened and becomes infrequent. Neurofeedback encourages your brain to learn and maintain consistent, healthier patterns. 

Because patients can monitor their brains during the training session, neurofeedback fosters awareness while providing reinforcement. As the brain learns, clients are then able to decrease the frequency of their brain training sessions. Once a patient has reached their goal and the new, healthy patterns are maintained, training no longer has to continue. However, a few patients who suffer from persistent, resistant, or complex issues may require occasional maintenance.  

How Can Oklahoma Neurofeedback Specialists Help? 

Oklahoma Neurofeedback Specialists are ready to help you learn to self-regulate your thoughts and emotions while eliminating the anxious feelings preventing you from living a full, happy life. Book your free anxiety treatment consultation today to discuss a tailored treatment plan specific for you.

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