Neurofeedback for Managing Toxic Stress

Stress is unavoidable in our on-the-go culture. Although sometimes stress can help us focus and get through challenging situations, stress can also have long-term implications on your physical and mental health. Sometimes called “toxic stress,” this kind of stress is important to address because it can be a cause of many physical and mental health challenges. Fortunately, neurofeedback is an excellent tool for managing toxic stress and helping you find peace in your day-to-day experience. Here’s what to know about toxic stress and neurofeedback at our Brentwood and Chattanooga offices.

What is Toxic Stress?

“Toxic stress” is often used as a term for chronic or long-term stress. Some types of stress, called eustress, are very mild and can be as simple as feeling nervous about an upcoming presentation. Toxic stress is much more complex and can be tied to your body’s “fight or flight” response in the central nervous system. Sustained and long-term engagement of this response can be overwhelming to your mind and body, ultimately leading to negative changes to the brain itself. It can also be a predecessor or aggravator to health problems like high blood pressure or heart disease – not to mention mental health concerns like depression, anxiety, and more.

What Causes Toxic Stress?

Toxic stress can have a variety of causes. Some of them can be significant and severe, such as an unsafe environment or exposure to abuse and neglect. However, it can also be caused by ordinary stress extended over weeks, months, or years, especially without a support system in place. For example, a hostile or high-risk working environment, a long and crowded commute, or a tense living arrangement can all be causes of toxic stress over time. It can be difficult to say when stress becomes toxic because the answer is different for everyone.

Symptoms of Toxic Stress

Symptoms of toxic stress include both physical and mental factors. Mental symptoms typically include anxiety, brain fog, depression, social withdrawal, and even uncharacteristic behaviors like outbursts of anger or irritability. Physical symptoms, on the other hand, can include:

  • Chronic pain such as migraines, stomach ulcers, and muscle tension
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Reduced immunity and chronic illness

It’s important to know that toxic stress can also affect children. They may experience some of the same symptoms, but others are unique. Because they may not be able to fully express their feelings, they may have tantrums, be defiant, or rebel. Poor performance at school can be another indicator. In older children such as teens, it may escalate to aggressive or self-destructive behavior.

Neurofeedback and Toxic Stress

Stressors are not always in your control, and therefore you can’t always treat toxic stress by removing the source of stress. Fortunately, stress can be easily mapped out down to its specific brain waves. With neurofeedback, this allows us to change those wave patterns and reduce their impact on the mind and body. By “rewiring” your stress response, we can help you achieve a more stable and manageable mental state when you experience stressors. And by better managing your stress levels, you can better focus on your overall health and wellbeing.

Toxic Stress Treatment at Tennessee Neurofeedback

Toxic stress can have a long-term impact on your health, relationships, and emotional peace. To learn more about neurofeedback and how we can help, contact our offices today by calling or booking a session online.