Trauma Induced Anxiety: How Brainwaves Can Improve Your Life
Brain health plays a crucial role in our overall well-being and is considered the foundation of good health. It has been established that individuals with better brain health tend to live longer, exhibit faster reaction times, process information more efficiently, and have better coordination, motor function, and balance. Furthermore, good brain health enables us to better handle life’s difficulties, including stress, anxiety, depression, and other traumatic experiences. In this blog we dive in Trauma Induced Anxiety and How Brainwaves Can Improve Your Life.
One of the crucial components of brain health is brainwaves, electrical frequencies that control our moods, emotions, and reactions, and trigger chemical reactions throughout the body. For instance, when we experience anxiety, a specific brainwave frequency is activated, which sets off a chain of chemical reactions in the body, leading to an increase in heart rate and muscle activity, resulting in heightened focus and alertness.
For example, if we are anxious, we use a specific brainwave frequency, which triggers a chemical reaction in our body that gets our heart pumping and muscles firing, increasing our focus and making us more alert.
We have five different types of brainwaves that work together to give us a balanced perspective of the world. The sensorimotor rhythm (SMR), also known as low Beta, is considered the ‘sweet spot’ as it is associated with ‘flow states,’ a state of relaxed yet alert focus.
According to Dr Andrew Hill (Neurofeedback specialist) described the sensorimotor rhythm like this:
“If you’ve seen a cat on a windowsill watching a bird, then you’ve seen SMR. It’s this liquid, still-body and laser-like focus.
A still body and focused mind are advantageous because you can jump into action much easier from relaxation than tension.
These brain waves are produced when your body is completely still, and your mind is focused on a single task.”
The Benefits Of Improved Brain Health
Trauma Induced Anxiety and Stress
Trauma-induced anxiety and stress can result in elevated levels of high beta activity. If we experience elongated periods of high stress and anxiety, it’s easy for our brains to get ‘stuck’ in this highly anxious state – also known as fight or flight mode. Being ‘stuck’ means that our brains are on high alert; sometimes permanently and trivial things can trigger a ‘high beta’ stress response.
An email, or text message, a question from your kids, a car pushing in front of you, missing house keys, all small things that, under more calm and balanced brain circumstances, would result in low or no reaction. But instead, we may see a sharper, angrier response with an elevated heart rate and shallower breathing.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, if you are suffering from depression, you will usually show plenty of slower brain waves (like Theta). In these situations, listening to SMR stimulates your brain, helping to increase the speed of brain activity which in turn improves your mood, energy levels and, importantly, reduces feelings of depression.
Management of Trauma Induced Anxiety
If you’re someone who experiences anxiety and depression, then balance for improving brain health is super important. In this case, focusing on an SMR frequency range is the best option. As it falls around the middle of all frequencies, it can help bring you down from an anxiety episode and up from depression simultaneously. This can be completed without the worry of triggering the other condition.
Managing Trauma-Induced Anxiety
If you deal with insomnia, it’s most likely that you produce a lower-than-average amount of SMR brainwave activity. SMR stimulation during the daytime or early evening will boost your natural SMR levels and help you to fight against insomnia.
It is study time and you’re struggling to focus, or your feeling tired and unmotivated. You can help boost your concentration and energy levels by increasing Beta and SMR activity.
Additionally, it has been shown that SMR brainwave frequency is related to automaticity during skill execution. An example of this is a study that looked at improving golf putting performance using SMR neurofeedback training. The study found that SMR can enhance focus and sports performance.
Finding balance in life, including a balanced brain, is vital for us to be able to deal with the stresses and strains that life throws at us.
After all, we can’t remove every stress from our worlds, but we can invest in our mental health to ensure that we are geared up daily to tackle what’s put in front of us.
If you are after a simple, effective way to stimulate a little more SMR brainwave activity, whilst helping to calm and elevate your mood, then brainwave entrainment is one way in which balance can be found.