Mood Management

Last weekend I spent four days in Wisconsin learning a more accelerated from of psychotherapy called Brainspotting which was developed by Dr. David Grand largely as an outgrowth from EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprogramming). The idea behind any of these types of therapy is the understanding that the part of our brains that make our adult decisions (neocortex) is influenced by the mid-brain (reptilian brain) that was imprinted in childhood with our memories and perceptions of those memories. These perceptions then form beliefs that can unconsciously “drive the bus of our lives” if we are unable to re-program them. One of the amazing breakthroughs of neuroscience is the knowledge that we CAN re-program these old tapes so that we are in charge of the bus rather than an upset childhood version of ourselves.

The problem with this re-programming plan is that it cannot be done by just having insight into our personalities. Insight happens within the neocortex. Real transformation happens through the integration of that insight in the midbrain. This is why “talk therapy” doesn’t work for very long after leaving a therapist’s office (if it works at all). There are many factors at play when we are talking about perception of reality and how to make sure you are not acting from your upset child self. I have listed some of these:

  • Your nutrition: This is not discussed at workshops like the one I just attended. In fact, the breakfast that was included with my tuition consisted of the usual fruit juices, coffee and pastries. Needless to say I travel with my own food. Food=Mood. It’s a very simple experiment for you to perform. Notice how you feel after you eat; emotionally, physically and mentally. At Fern Life Center we do food sensitivity testing a LOT because we know that eating foods that are considered intolerances by the body will mean meals are experienced as stressful events for your physiology, and therefore affect your mood. Additionally, you might be imbalanced with certain micronutrients. This can also be tested easily.
  • Your Hormones: Yes, your hormones do affect your mood. In particular, your adrenal system is very important. Anything you perceive as an emergency will tax your entire system and remember these perceptions are linked to beliefs that originated in childhood. Once again, if your hormones and adrenals are taxed, there is a high chance that your mind is involved somewhere in the problem as well as the solution.
  • Your GI tract: Your neurotransmitters are synapsed in your gut wall. If your gut is not healthy then your mood and energy will not be good either. Leaky gut usually has a root in leaky mind. Both must have diligent work in getting patched up.
  • Your ability to detox: It cannot be over-emphasized. The ability to detox your toxicants is vitally important for you to feel at your optimal best. That means the liver, the GI tract, the kidneys, your lungs and your skin need to be maximized for the best detoxing. Ways to do this? Epsom salts baths at night and far infrared saunas 3-5 times per week will enlist the largest detoxing organ in your body; the skin. Medical oversight is best for the rest of it. I usually recommend personalized detoxification so you don’t just release toxins into the system to be picked up by the blood stream and sent to the brain…crabby mood and brain fog guaranteed if this happens!
  • Your neurotransmitters: As mentioned above, those neurotransmitters are synapsed in the gut, but they are also the messenger chemical response system from the brain (based on your perceptions) to the rest of the body to tell it how to act. So if fight, flight or freeze is a natural habit for you, that particular cocktail of neurotransmitters will be released quite rapidly in a body sensation or perception of stress.

The good news is that all of this can be fixed. Brainspotting and re-balancing the systems in the body are the path to feeling great.

Here’s to your health!

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