Whether or not the pandemic is over is yet to be seen. One thing we do know is that the damage done was not just physical but mental and emotional. The toll taken on all ages of worrying about nearly invisible germs that must be dodged, washed away, and avoided at all costs has left us a people suffering from post-traumatic stress. And many are still locked in the headspace, still as afraid as a year ago. For those who have tried to move on, there are constant reminders–the vaccinated, the unvaccinated, rules of masks, whether schools can open. Most areas of the country and the world at large are still reeling from the aftershock or still caught in the tangle of fear.
Fear and Anxiety
Hand in hand with fear is anxiety. Anxiety is the reaction to a situation perceived as dangerous or stressful. These days, based on that definition, we are in the age of anxiety. Only an all-out war would seem to top this in the national consciousness.
Reacting to Fear and Anxiety
Fear actually has a central location in our brain. The area is called the amygdala and it is located deep on the sides of our head in an area called the temporal lobe. It gets its name from being almond shaped. The amygdala serves us well, helps us to avoid fearful and anxious situations in our past so we don’t continue to make the same mistakes or subject ourselves to dangerous situations. It keeps us on alert when we must be careful.
Your amygdala fires, the stress/anxiety/fear warnings based on how you see the world. It is complicated because our brain is complicated, but imagine your eyes see a threat and messages go throughout your brain telling you to run, fight, flee, or whatever response you might take. Part of the message goes to your amygdala for many reasons including the emotional component. The more your amygdala is stimulated the more easily it can get triggered. When a pandemic has a child or adult in fear all day, the amygdala takes very little stimulus to fire over and over again. Everything becomes a threat- and fear and anxiety are everywhere.
Moving the Brain to a More Normal Space
With the technology of neurofeedback, the brain can retrain itself to be less reactive and take pressure off the amygdala. It can help things move back to a more normal state. Sure there are reasons to be fearful and certainly, there is a lot of anxiety floating around us, more than there used to be. And our brains are taking a tremendous beating and trying to keep us normalized. With neurofeedback, we can retrain our new over-reactivity and bring things back to the normal range.
Schedule a free consultation and begin reducing your anxiety!