How Kids Change Your Brain
When women say they have “mom brain,” they’re typically describing the experience of feeling scattered, distracted, forgetful, or disorganized as a result of having children. It’s frequently used as an apology (“So sorry I left my keys in the front door! I was juggling the groceries and our toddler! Mom brain!”). Obviously, parenthood comes along with sleep deprivation, especially in the newborn phase, and losing track of time or tasks is an expected side effect.
Here are 7 things that can help:
1. LOOK AT YOUR BRAIN - LEARN WHAT'S CAUSING YOUR ANXIETY
When it comes to mental health, we typically only look at the symptoms and we ignore the brain function, which, in most cases, is the root cause of the symptoms. If you don’t address how the brain is functioning, you can’t address the mental health symptoms.
The brain communicates using electricity, which can be measured by an EEG brain map. A brain map shows areas of the brain that are stuck producing too much electricity (never fully turn off), which can cause symptoms like anxiety, insomnia, anger, and migraines. It also shows areas that are producing too little electricity, which can cause symptoms like attention deficit, impulsivity, depression, fatigue, brain fog, as well as digestive, hormone, and immune system dysregulation.
With a 30 minute, non-invasive EEG brain map, you can understand the brain function causing your symptoms. When you normalize the brain function – the symptoms are greatly reduced or, in many cases, eliminated. This is why it so important to look at each person’s brain and understand what activity is causing their symptoms. Healthy brain function is the foundation of mental health. Without looking at each person’s brain... You are just guessing based on symptoms. Once we know what physiology is causing your anxiety, we can personalize nutritional, behavioral and neurofeedback interventions to return your brain activity to a normal state.
2. BECOME MORE AWARE
A big step in dealing with stress is becoming aware of it when we experience anxiety. Anxiety manifests outward as a headache, stomach pain, fatigue, shortness of breath, insomnia, and other sleep issues. If you experience these common symptoms, it could mean your brain is working hard to think about all those worst-case scenarios constantly. Again, an EEG brain map helps you understand the root cause of these symptoms.
3. STOP YOUR INFORMATION ADDICTION
After entering the era of social media, mom can be worried more than ever. Why? It’s the speed at which news spreads and the advance in technology that helps us to know what’s happening in any corner of the world. This creates fear. Our minds are getting opened to the idea of the worst possibilities of events that can happen to our kids if we let them out of our sight.
The truth is, anything can happen to any of us at any time. We can only minimize the risks but we cannot forever prevent misfortunes 100 percent of the time. Before restricting kids from doing something, we should do our own research and not rely on media that is designed to create fear.
Once we understand the risks and take all the necessary steps, we need to stop reading about them. Reading, listening, and talking about it increases fear in our minds and emotional addiction continues. Stay away from people who cause fear in your mind. You can tell them how it causes anxiety for you, and excuse yourself from such conversations.
4. LEARN TO LET GO
Learning to let go releases so much burden. It is the antidote to wanting to be in control all the time. Anxious people generally want to control the outcomes because they are too afraid of losing control. An anxious brain, when in overdrive, can start to make a mountain out of a molehill. But trying to understand what you can control and what you can’t is so empowering. When you are used to clutching so hard, it won’t be easy to let go. But gradually you can train yourself to think this new way.
If your child doesn’t want to eat the veggies, what you can do is educate them about why we need to eat veggies and expose them to different varieties of it regularly. But you cannot forcefully put it in their mouth. It might work in the beginning, but as kids grow up, it does not work.
So, there you learn to differentiate between what you can control and what you can’t. It can be hurtful when kids don’t do what you think is good for them. But trying to control them has far more side effects in the future.
Another thing to let go of is – perfection. Perfectionism and anxiety disorders go hand in hand. When you want everything to be done perfectly, it can be harmful to kids. Since they are learning, they make mistakes all the time and they do messy work. Learn to be okay with average results and avoid over criticizing them for making mistakes, as it’s your parental anxiety that’s making you demand perfection.
5. TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY
Mind and body are interrelated. When one is sick, the other gets sick too. Lack of nutrition, sleep, and exercise can also cause anxiety, brain fog and fatigue.
Sleep deprivation has been proven to cause anxiety. Studies show that people with chronic insomnia are at high risk of developing an anxiety disorder. Being deficient in certain minerals and vitamins can affect your physical and mental energy and your body’s health along with the biochemical balance in your brain, resulting in anxiety.
Similarly, exercise helps to release neurochemicals that boost our mood. Exercise may improve mental health by helping the brain cope better with stress. In one study, researchers found that those who got regular vigorous exercise were 25 percent less likely to develop depression or an anxiety disorder over the next five years.
6. REMEMBER TO BREATHE
If we are alive now, we are breathing. But this involuntary act of breathing is not enough when you are an anxious mom who feels overwhelmed by the number of tasks you need to do on a daily basis. When you feel overwhelmed due to stress, take a moment to take a few deep breaths. This instantly brings calm and helps to center your emotions. You feel grounded and come back to the present moment which helps in reducing anxiety and stress.
7. REST AND REJUVENATE
The anxiety after becoming a mother mainly happens due to the overwhelming amount of tasks you have to do on a daily basis. You are balancing chores, kids, school, work, and everything under the sun that has to be taken care of. It’s natural to feel stressed. A minimum amount of stress is okay if you can function despite it. But if you tend to panic and lose focus and end up in mental paralysis, you may need some help. Bringing a balance is essential to not succumb to stress. Taking time out to rest and rejuvenate does not waste your time, but it, in fact, helps to increase productivity and start with a fresh mind. Indulge in self-care activities and your mental health will improve considerably. Also, try to schedule fun activities with kids on your calendar to laugh more and enjoy life. Being immersed in the daily tasks and forgetting to have fun will increase stress and anxiety.
WHEN YOU NEED ADDITIONAL HELP
At the Brain Performance Center we use EEG brain mapping to objectively measure brainwave function. An EEG brain map can identify electrical dysfunctions in the brain that are often the root cause of anxiety. Once we know what physiology is causing the anxiety, we can personalize nutritional, behavioral and neurofeedback interventions to return the brain activity to a normal state.
Neurofeedback brain training is a non-invasive, highly effective, non-pharmaceutical way to normalize the brain activity at the root of anxiety. It is a powerful form of biofeedback, using EEG sensors on your scalp connected to sophisticated audio/visual feedback exercises. Your brain actually controls the exercises on a video screen. Neurofeedback can accurately target a specific brain region and retrain brainwave dysfunction back to its normal state. It’s like physical therapy for the brain.
Contact the Brain Performance Center for more information about EEG brain mapping and Neurofeedback brain training for anxiety, ADHD, depression, insomnia and more. Training can be done at one of our three centers in Southern California or in your home with our state-of-the-art remote neurofeedback equipment rental program. Email us at Info@BrainPerformance.com or call us at 800-385-0710.