Are Your Emotions Running Wild?

We all have those memories that haunt us. They can be from an injury or an emotional event. When we have a traumatic experience, we respond with fight or flight or freeze. When the memory of an event is attached to a strong emotion, your brain cannot tell the difference between it being in the present or the past. I have been asked what brainwave optimization is and what it will do for you. A client shared this analogy with me to gain a better understanding of what she was experiencing.

“When something traumatic happens, the memory and emotions attached to the memory are like wild horses. Are they running wild and free across within your mind?

happy beautiful woman thinking looking up

Each time you relive the event, another wild horse is born. As you continue to relive the event, the herd gets larger and larger. Soon they take over your life.

After brainwave optimization, that changed for me. Imagine you go out to the open plain and round up all these wild horses and herd them into a huge corral. You close the gate, stand, and watch as these emotions wildly express themselves. They run, kick, and toss themselves in every direction, trying to get out. As you move closer to the gate you reach for the lock, open the gate, and swing it open. Immediately the horses stampede to the opening that separates them from their freedom. The powerful sounds of hoofs hitting the dry dirt create a massive dust cloud, covering the landscape. But then there is silence. The dust settles. The powerful force of a hundred horses has come to a standstill, eyes staring at you, waiting. Waiting for you to decide. The open gate is the recall of the trauma. But this time, your mind is able to stop the emotions long enough for you to decide. What do you want these horrifying emotions to do? Instead of the regular routine of holding you captive, you now have a choice in how you want to respond.”

This client is still working with her therapist, but now she has the capability to work through this traumatic experience.

This is not the first time I have heard an experience like this story. Brainwave optimization helps your brain reach a uniquely deep state of relaxation. Our clients typically experience calmness, better sleep, and release of stress.

We all have some wild horses trying to rule our lives. Brainwave optimization can help you get your life back.

Until next time, take care.

Signature Photo JRW
Joey Wilson

An Optimal Brain
29995 Technology Drive, Suite 103
Murrieta, Ca 92563
(951) 290-8281
info@anoptimalbrain.com
www.anoptimalbrain.com

 

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Happy Brain Happy Life!

brain and heart take a self portrait with her smart phone

Published December 1, 2017

Pic With Title


As we approach the holidays, this is the time for celebration. Webster Dictionary defines Celebration: to celebrate by observing (a day) or commemorate (an event) with ceremonies or festivities.
Holidays can be fun or stressful. It all depends on how you manage your thoughts.
Positive thinking, happy thoughts have a positive effect:[i]

  • Supports a healthy brain
  • Stimulates the growth of nerve connections
  • Improves:
    • Cognition by increasing mental productivity
    • Your ability to analyze and think
  • Affects the perspective of your surroundings
  • Increases attentiveness
  • Creates more happy thoughts

Happy people are more creative, solve problems faster, are more mentally alert and the most important benefit is that people love to be around happy people. Sounds pretty good to me, especially around the holidays.

  • There are four primary chemicals in the brain that effect happiness[ii]:
    • Dopamine
    • Oxytocin
    • Serotonin
    • Endorphins

I would say this is a social behavior “Happy” cocktail. Being happy allows you to enjoy the moment. To experience the good things about family, friends and the reason for the season. The holidays can bring on stress that we usually do not experience during the rest of the year. Sometimes the stress can be too much, and it becomes difficult to have a positive experience.

We may have bad memories or experiences that challenge us during this time. These negative thoughts are powerful. They can make or break your holidays. Negative thoughts create negative actions. The words you say to yourself or others creates a mood. This negative mood disturbs your interaction with your environment. It affects your ability to perceive, remember, and reinforce existing or create new negative neural connections. It may put your mind in a state of little to no hope. There are people who have a more positive outlook, but most us remember negative things more strongly and in more detail.[iii] One study showed that 79% of medical students report developing symptoms suggestive of the illnesses they are studying. Because they get paranoid and think they’ll get sick, their bodies comply by getting sick.[iv] As a dear friend of mine would say “the point is”, negative thoughts are toxic. Your brain is very powerful, and your thoughts are alive. They can either make you or break you. It is a matter of choice.

The holidays are here, and we have an opportunity to make it a joyful experience. It may be difficult due to circumstances that you have no control over, such as a loss of a loved one. It will be bitter sweet. Yet within the grief, grasp the positive moments. Look around you and see what you do have. In any circumstance find the good and positive moments. Don’t let those negative thoughts hold you down. Hold on to those moments that are good and cherish them.

Until next time, take care. 3.jpg

An Optimal Brain is a licensed provider for Brainstate Technologies.
For more information, you may reach us at:

951.290.8281
info@anoptimalbrain.com
www.anoptimalbrain.com


[i] Psychology Today: Susan Reynolds –https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/prime-your-gray-cells/201108/happy-brain-happy-life
[ii][ii] Technology Advice: Nicole Lazzarohttp://technologyadvice.com/blog/information-technology/activate-chemicals-gamify-happiness-nicole-lazzaro/
[iii] PsychCentral: Edie Weinstein, MSW, LSWhttps://pro.psychcentral.com/are-some-people-predisposed-to-negative-thinking/0014452.html
[iv] Mindbodygreen: Dr. Lissa Rankinhttps://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-9690/scientific-proof-that-negative-beliefs-harm-your-health.html

 

Are YOU Stuck with Your Brain?

Wonderland series - The mad hatter

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By Joey Wilson

Physically, yes you are. Did you ever wonder where  Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland got the idea for the Mad Hatter? It was a phrase associated with industrial felt hat workers in 19th century England. Workers were becoming toxic due to a process called carroting. To make felt mercury was used to separate fur from the animal skin. A toxic nitrous gas was released from mercury (II) nitrate causing the fur to shrink and change color, which made it easy to remove. A side effect of the process was Mercurial disease or “Mad as a Hatter.” The hatters over time exhibited tremors, irritability, and mental instability[i].

We may not be making felt hats, but we are living in a very toxic world. Toxins that effect the brain are everywhere. You will find them from our household cleaning products to perfume. They are in the air we breathe and what we eat. The brain is very efficient in absorbing these heavy metals and chemicals and retaining them. If these substances are allowed to build up and damage the brain, the following symptoms may result[ii]:

  • Personality changes
  • Memory loss
  • Inability to focus
  • Physical tics
  • Fatigue
  • Seizures
  • Depression

For optimal brain health there is one more key factor to consider: your thoughts.

In the book of Proverbs there is one verse that comes to mind: “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.” Proverbs 23:7

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What do you think about? Did you know that what you think about, over time most likely will occur? Our thinking can change our DNA[iii]. The brain is the command center of the human body. What we think creates our habits. You don’t think so? Right now, do not think of a pink elephant. A big fat PINK elephant! Did you think of a pink elephant? Most likely you did. A simple suggestion made you create a thought. Suggestions bombard you every day, mostly negative. You then must make a choice to accept or reject this suggestion.

Many of us live with “Stinkin Thinkin”[iv]. What is “Stinkin Thinkin”. It is when our thought are negative. Here are some examples:

Siinkin Thinkin # 1        All or Nothing Thinking

The world is perceived as black or white, not grey. If it’s not perfect then it is no good or you are a total failure.

Stinkin Thinkin # 2        Overgeneralization

Having a single negative event become a never-ending pattern of defeat using words such as “always” or “never”, and reliving it in your thoughts. A depressed salesman became terribly upset when he noticed bird dung on the windshield of his car. He tells himself, “Just my luck! Birds are always taking a dump on my car!”

Stinkin Thinkin # 3        Mental Filter

You pick a single negative comment and dwell on it exclusively. Your vision of reality now becomes distorted or darkened. For example: You do an awesome presentation, you receive excellent feedback. One person approached you and comments about your tie being a slight distraction. For days, you obsess about the critic and forget the positives.

Stinkin Thinkin #4                   Discounting the Positive

Rejecting the positive experiences by insisting they “don’t count”. You tell yourself you did not do a good job. Someone else could have done it better. Discounting the positives takes the joy out of life and makes you feel inadequate.

Stinkin Thinkin #5                   Jumping to Conclusions

You interpret things negatively when there are no facts to support your conclusion. “I am going to fail this test”. “I am not good at this”.

Stinkin Thinkin #6                   Magnification

You exaggerate the importance of your problems and shortcoming, or you minimize the importance of your desired qualities.

Stinkin thinkin #7                    Emotional Reasoning

You assume that your negative emotions necessarily reflect the way things really are: “I feel hopeless. I must really be hopeless.”

Stinkin Thinkin #8                   “Should” Statements

You tell yourself things should be the way you hoped or expect them to be. It does not meet your expectations, “I shouldn’t have made so many mistakes!” You quit for several days or forever. Other offenders; “Musts”,” Ought’s” and “Have Tos.”

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Stinkin Thinkin #9                   Labeling

Labeling is an extreme form of all or nothing. For example; you attach a label of “I am loser!” instead of “I made a mistake”. Labelling is a useless abstraction that will lead to anger, anxiety, frustration, and low self-esteem.

Have you heard the idiom “You can’t judge a book by its cover”? I am not referring to the song by Bo Diddle. We label people either by how they look, act or say. This can make you biased, hostile, and feel hopeless about improving things.

Stinkin Thinkin #10    Personalization and Blame

Personalization comes when you hold yourself personally responsible for an event that is not entirely under your control. Then there is blame. You blame other people or circumstances for your problems, and overlook in how you may be contributing to the situation.

The good news is the brain and how you think can change. Your mind controls your brain and your brain responds to your thoughts. With positive thoughts, your brain will function the way it was created to be: relaxed, balanced and in harmony. With negative thoughts or Stinkin Thinkin, your brain responds in ways that are detrimental to your mental and physical health, and actions.

It starts with your core values and beliefs. How do you see yourself and what do you believe about the outside world? Your core will shape your attitude and how you are going to react to situations. The results of your actions will shape your life.[v]

Core Values and Life Cycle

This is simple, yet hard to do. To add more to the equation, your life experiences spice up the mix. I am rather confident we all have experienced some level of emotional and/or physical trauma. The severity of the trauma will determine if you will be able to work through the process.

When your brain is functioning at its natural state of relaxation, the left side of the brain is slightly dominating. When you are in danger, the right-side kicks in and you go into fight or flight. By reliving the experience, over time this excited state becomes the new normal. You are no longer able to return to your natural state of relaxation. This is when your brain becomes stuck.

At this state, it becomes difficult to create change. The reason is – the brain is fighting the change. You can force change, however it may induce additional stress (this has been my personal experience). Brainwave Optimization (BWO) helps your brain to break the state of being stuck. It does it on your brain’s terms, from the inside out.

When your brain is functioning properly, in harmony, balanced and relaxed, you are in a better position to work on the challenges that are holding you back from a better life. It is simple but hard to do. We all have gifts and talents. The problem is we sometimes allow our thought life to become toxic. What are you capable of achieving? Start your journey and detoxify your mind and your brain and become that person you were created to be.

Until next time, take care.

JRW

 An Optimal Brain is a licensed provider for Brainstate Technologies.

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For more information, you may reach us at:

951.290.8281

info@anoptimalbrain.com

www.anoptimalbrain.comwww.anoptimalbrain.com

____________________________________________

Footnotes:

[i] Kathryn J. Kitzmiller, Ph.D., CAS (Chemical Abstract Services) “The Not-So-Mad Hatter: Occupational Hazards of Mercury” http://www.cas.org/news/insights/science-connections/mad-hatter

[ii] Dr. Daniel Amen MD, Amen Clinics “Brain Toxicity” http://www.amenclinics.com/conditions/brain-toxicity/

[iii] Dr. Caroline Leaf, “Switch On Your Brain”, BakerBooks,

[iv] David Burns, “The Top 10 Types of “Stinkin Thinkin” PsychCentral, https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-top-10-types-of-stinkin-thinkin/

[v] Modeled after Jeff Olson, “The Slight Edge” SUCCESS | BOOKS

Want to be Better Focused & More Energetic?

1Get Rid of The Clutter!

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Written By: Joey Wilson

Yes, it is that simple – declutter your life. Your brain is a processor, taking in information and doing something with it. How is all the incoming information being used? Well, it depends. In a recent study at Princeton University, putting it in simple terms, when clutter is present within your environment, it restricts your ability to focus[i]. Even though you may not be focusing on that “stuff” surrounding you, it competes with your ability to process information. It causes a distraction, causing your brain to be less effective. When you are less focused, productivity will go down. How does this happen? Visual input, your eyes. When you are not intentionally focusing on your surroundings, your eyes are inputting visual information to the brain. Your brain is taking in information at the same time as you are trying to focus. It is competing for your brain’s attention at the same time you are trying to focus on a solution or problem. Remember, multitasking is a myth.

Many of you who have spent any time with a toddler can relate to this. Have you ever taken a child to the store with you and as you pass by the candy stand the torture begins? “Can you buy me a candy? Please buy me a candy, I want a candy!” You know how the routine goes. Well, clutter is that child screaming for attention!

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The visual input from the clutter is competing for your attention. It will wear you down, causing you to work harder on focusing and concentration – taking your energy away. Neuroscientists are discovering that external influences will compete with your thought process.

For you to be more effective start decluttering your workspace, even your living space. Keep it simple if possible. I guess I need to start working on cleaning my office. Hmm, do I really need to get rid of those shells from Costa Rica? I can’t get rid of my Snickers candy tin! I think I have my work cut out for me.

One more thing, stay hydrated. Your brain consists about 73% water[ii], so as you are decluttering, drink plenty of water.

[1] Erin Doland, March 29, 2011 Scientists find physical clutter negatively affects your ability to focus, process information. from: https://unclutterer.com/2011/03/29/scientists-find-physical-clutter-negatively-affects-your-ability-to-focus-process-information/
[1] H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158. from: USGS – https://water.usgs.gov/edu/propertyyou.html

Were You a “Stressed Out Wreck” as a Child?

Hopefully not. Have we forgotten what life is all about and we are focusing on too “Many Things” in life?

Why is it as we get older, we try to cram more stuff into our day? Do you remember when we were young most of us were too busy having fun. Enjoying our friends and playing. We would take the time to relax in a child’s way because we were kids! It appears as we got older, we had let that go. It is difficult when you are putting in up 60 maybe 70 hours a week into your career. The additional pressures of life can add additional stress. So, what is one of the differences between you now and your early childhood? It is your brain chemistry.2

Cerebral congestion[i], so much is coming at you and your brain cannot deal with it. Your brain is telling you to stop! Its full but you have so much to get done.

Our life style will change our brain chemistry and how it performs. If we continue to push ourselves and not take breaks, we can drive us into a continue state of Fight or Flight When we are relaxed, the left side of our brain is slightly dominant. When we are excited we become right side dominant. If we continue to be right side dominant, we can become stuck and no longer be in harmony and balance. A couple of tips to help you not become “STUCK”.

Multitasking[ii]: This is a Myth. It takes the brain at least one second to disengage and engage into the other task. In this time lapse, you are not focused on either task, therefore could be missing, or misinterpreting vital information.

The Siesta[iii]: 20 to 30 minutes power naps may sound strange in our society, but you will perform better if you give your brain a rest. You will be more efficient and perform at a higher level.

Know your circadian rhythms[iv]: Your internal clock. What time do you perform best? If possible make major decisions at your peak. If you are at your low level of your circadian rhythm, it becomes more stressful for you in making those major decisions.

Don’t cram so much “STUFF” into your day. Enjoy the day to the fullest, for it each day is unique and comes only once. If its windy outside, go fly a kite and enjoy that moment in time.

Take care,

By Joey Wilson

An Optimal Brain

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[i] Why Your Brain Needs More Downtime – Scientific American – Source: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/mental-downtime/

[ii] A Brain-Based Method for Being More Productive -Geil Browning -Source: https://www.inc.com/geil-browning/a-brain-based-method-for-being-more-productive.html

[iii] I am of Hispanic background. Family cultural tradition.

[iv] 10 ways to Rejuvenate Your Mind While You Work – Source: https://www.emergenetics.com/blog/10-ways-to-rejuvenate-your-mind/

https://www.emergenetics.com/blog/10-ways-to-rejuvenate-your-mind/

Improve Your Quality of Life

Are we a society hooked on drugs?

For example, in the first six months of 2015:

  1. Over 10 million prescriptions for Lyrica (for fibromyalgia)
  2.  10 million for Vyvanse (A federally controlled substance (CII) because it can be abused or lead to dependence. Used for treatment of deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  3. 8.3 million for Abilify (Antipsychotic for schizophrenia, depression, bipolar)

In the first six months of this year over 250 million prescriptions will be given for the top 100 branded drugs. How many of them will leave these individuals compromised in ways they would have never known if they hadn’t used them in the first place? Of these prescriptions how may improve the quality of life and enhance the overall well-being of these unique individuals?

These medications do serve a purpose. However, the majority of these medications clamp down and prevent the brain from relaxing.

What does it mean to have a “Relaxed Brain?”

Our brain ideally in a relaxed state is flexible, unclouded and allows us to focus. Since the brain is our “Master Control Center” of the body, in a Relaxed state, the body functions properly. But life is not perfect. Life is stressful. It can be traumatic. During a time of stress or trauma, the brain wants to do only one thing – survive. It will do what it must do to keep us alive. Fight, Flight or Freeze is great when you are in a dangerous situation. But today we stress out about money, our children at school and even what we are going to wear for the day. The brain cannot tell the difference between stress induced by the pressure of work or being chased by a Bengal tiger. When we continually live at this high level of stress, our brain begins to lose flexibility and stress become accumulative. It creates a new “Setpoint,” and it becomes the “New Normal.” When we experience fewer stressors, it becomes difficult to be calm because we are now “Stuck” at this new “Setpoint.” We will experience anxiety, depression, anger, insomnia, digestion issues, lack of focus, fogged mind to name a few. Get the point? We are messed up!

An Optimal Brain uses a licensed technology from Brain State Technologies to bring the brain back to a relaxed state. It is a non-evasive process that takes the frequencies of the brain, converts the frequencies to a digital signal and sends it to a software program that converts the brain frequencies to sound. This sound is fed back to the brain through ear buds. What this does is create a sound mirror that the brain recognizes. Do you know what is so amazing about our brain? It knows what is normal. It now can hear itself, realizes it is not functioning normally, and then begins the process of Resetting itself. It breaks the brain from being “Stuck” and begins to return to the Relaxed state. When we are in a Relaxed state, we become focused, clear headed and our bodies function properly. This process is called Brain Wave Optimization (BWO).

BWO is currently used by the Military for PTSD and in professional sports. With over 100,000 BWO’s performed, it has given many the quality of life and well-being they have been seeking. If you want an improved quality of life, An Optimal Brain will offer BWO beginning January 2017. I personally have gone through the process, and it has given me a better and more fulfilling life. Are you feeling “Stuck” or not experiencing the fulfilled life or overall well-being you always wanted? Call 951-319-7819 or email info@anoptimalbrain.com today to schedule your BWO evaluation.

Dancing in Harmony

A female client, Hope[1], at an early age was sexually assaulted numerous times by a family member, and a close trusted adult friend. It has caused a severe trauma that revisited her during her whole life of more than 40 years. She had sought out professional help and believed she had dealt with it, however, it would occasionally come back to haunt her.

She came to An Optimal Brain[2] to help her to deal with another traumatic experience that had recently occurred within her life. During Brainwave Optimization (BWO)[3] to her surprise, the childhood emotions once again rose its ugly head. She worked through it and continued BWO.

Three months later she visited us, excited to shared her new story. She was experiencing joy and happiness within her life. She had a calmness she could not describe. Most importantly, how she now was dealing with her past. When the traumatic emotion hits, she now experiences it in a different way. Strangely, when the memory comes back and the typical emotional response begins builds up, it came to a point and stopped, as if it waiting for her to make a choice in how she was going to respond. Instead of the typical automatic response of anxiety or fear, Hope chose not to allow the memory of her childhood to hold her captive. She made a conscious decision to put the memory and the typical emotional response into her past. She could make the decision it was not a part of her present or future. It no longer had a hold on her. Hope now has the power to decide on how to respond. She chose to allow the negative emotional experience to be in her past, not in her current life.

It is not the first time I heard this story of “Given the Power of Choice”. It may be a different trauma, but the results have been similar.

Trauma can come in so many ways, sexual assault, trauma due to warfare, physical injury, auto accident and birth. During a traumatic situation, the brain communicates the body to go into survival mode. Digestion, urination, and other bodily processes that are necessary shut down for “get ready for survival mode.” All this available energy is now channeled to the muscles and brain, for immediate survival, and is for short-term. After the life-threatening event, the body returns to its normal relaxed state of flexibility, a normal response. When a person continues to relive the traumatic situation, the brain perceives this as a life-threatening situation therefore, activates the neurotransmitters to prepare for battle. It signals the body to release a barrage of hormones, preparing the body for the imminent threat. If the person continues to struggle with the stress the brain begins to perceive every situation as negative and soon it is locked in this state. A new set-point is created. We refer to it as being “Stuck.” It becomes a challenge for the brain to return to its normal relaxed state of flexibility.

Depending on how we deal with it, the memory will either become insignificant or it controls our life. As we live our lives, there are triggers which will set off the memory and emotion. When that occurs, we respond either in a fight/flight or freeze. It will exhibit itself as anxiety, anger, depression, or fear. Our brains are designed to be in a relaxed state of flexibility when there is not a threat. In a life threating situation, the brain prioritizes resources for they are limited within the body. Being stuck in a constant state of high arousal is exhausting. Again, to survive, the brain must prioritize its resources. As the stress accumulates, physical damage to the bodily functions can occur and has exhibited as joint pain, cancer, cardiovascular disease, lupus and weakened immune system.[4]

At An Optimal Brain[5], we do not treat or diagnose. What we do is help the brain break away from being stuck and to begin the process of resetting itself. To help it return to its natural, relaxed state of flexibility.

Hope is a different woman from the first time we met. She now has the opportunity in how she will respond when the negative memory and emotion peers its ugly head. She has chosen to leave it her past. She has now regained control of her life.

With BWO, each person will respond differently. If you are like Hope and are looking for a way to have a choice in dealing with your haunting past, visit our website; www.anoptimalbrain.com and contact us. Hope did and now she has “The Opportunity to Make a Choice.”

[1]Fictitious name given for blog

[2]An Brain Optimal®is a licensed provider for Brain State Technologies®

[3]Brainwave Optimization® and Brain State Technologies® are registered trademarks of Brain State Technologies, LLC.

Brainwave Optimization® is not intended to treat, cure, heal, or diagnose any disease, mental illness or symptom.

Brainwave Optimization® is intended to facilitate relaxation and auto-calibration of neural oscillations.

[4]US Department of Veteran Affairs

[5]An Optimal Brain®, we do not intend to treat, cure, heal, or diagnose any disease, mental illness or symptom.