Hello Reader! I am a serious brain nerd. I believe that counseling can only be as helpful as your brain is healthy.
So as a counselor and coach…and nerd…let me encourage you to consider 7 signs your brain might need balancing so that you can give your best and get the best out of your work in counseling or coaching. (If you are interested in my own experience, jump down to the end of the post now and then come back.)
The importance of brain health
When your brain is unbalanced you don’t make the best decisions, you don’t reach your highest career earnings, and you don’t love others as well as you were designed to love. Not because you don’t want to either! Your brain is working as hard as it can, but it needs some balancing to increase the functionality.
Since I’m so passionate about the brain, I’ve engaged a few other professionals who are geniuses in their work to help us with our goal of balancing our brains so that the world can receive the gifts within each of us.
These brilliant and kind people study the beautiful science of the brain, called neuroscience. “Neuroscience is the study of the structure and function of the nervous system and the brain. Going deeper, neurotransmitters are the currency on which the nervous system operates. The brain uses neurotransmitters to tell your heart to beat, your lungs to breathe, and your stomach to digest. When neurotransmitter levels become imbalanced, there are many areas of one’s health that can be compromised including energy levels, metabolism, sleep, memory, focus, and emotional wellbeing.”-Nikki Drummund, CCN with NeuroFit Nutrition.
“Neurotransmitter levels can be depleted many ways. As a matter of fact, it is estimated that 86% of Americans have suboptimal neurotransmitter levels.”-Neurogistics.com. Our brains become unbalanced over time through many things including a combination of poor nutrition, lack of sleep, high or long-term stress, toxic relationships, unbalanced medication, improper fitness, and traumatic events.
Balancing your brain is not necessarily about medication, although at some points well-researched and well-maintained medication might be needed. Brain balancing is about testing those beautiful neurotransmitters and then providing your brain with natural supplements to re-balance the created levels of neurotransmitters.
7 Signs Your Brain Might Need Balancing
- Poor Memory
If your memory was worse than it was ten years ago, it is a sign your brain is struggling.
- Poor judgment/impulsiveness
If you struggle with consistent problems of poor judgment or impulsive behavior, your brain may be troubled.
- Short attention span/distractibility
Having a short attention span or being easily distracted could be a sign of brain dysfunction, meaning it is time to start taking better care of it.
From time to time, all of us feel sad, but when sad or depressed feelings persist, it is called clinical depression and is usually associated with lower activity in the brain. Boosting brain function often has a very positive effect on mood.
- Obesity or being overweight
In studies at the Amen Clinics, we have found that as your weight goes up, your ability to think and reason go down, which means that over time, if you don’t get your weight under control, it will become harder for you to use your own good judgment.
- Low Energy
When people feel physically tired, it is often due to low brain function. Low libido could also be connected to low brain function as well.
- Chronic insomnia/sleep apnea
Another sign that your brain may be in trouble, is a lack of sleep or sleep apnea. Research suggests that people who get less than seven hours of sleep at night have lower overall blood flow to the brain and poorer cognitive functioning. – Dr. Daniel Amen with the Amen Brain Clinics
Getting a Balanced Brain-in your head and your gut
Learn how you can change your life by balancing your brain. Start by scheduling an appointment with a medical professional who is skilled in Neuroscience and nutrition. Consider calling one of those I work with and listed below. Many local professionals specialize in helping clients balance their brain chemistry using scientific, safe, and natural alternatives.
The gut is often called the second brain. Your gut is one of the most important organs for the health of your brain. When your gut is not healthy, your brain will not be healthy. Intestinal problems increase inflammation, that low level fire that destroys your organs, and increases your risk for low mood, worry, chronic pain and less-than-ideal cognitive health. Optimizing the “gut-brain axis” is critical to your mental health.
You are a whole person and your brain needs whole person health. This includes caring for yourself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually all in relational contexts. I’m here to help you as you make these changes.
You have a powerful place in this world and the world needs what you have to offer!
A Quick Note on Neuroenhancement , a.k.a. “smart drugs”
The National Science Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences, sponsored a panel who reviewed currently available Neuroenhancement (smart drugs). (Published in the April 20 online issue of Nature Reviews Neuroscience) The panel, consisting of neuroscientists, ethicists, psychologists and educators, concluded that, “Neither the benefits nor the dangers of neurocognitive enhancement are trivial”. The panelists were not comfortable with boosting the brain power of normal, healthy persons. (Neuroenhancement is done through drugs aimed at triggering certain reactions in the brain that will wear off and cause side effects. Neuroenhancement is about obtaining a certain performance level and not about health.)
In contrast, balancing your brain with the partnership of medical professionals is about health by healing the brain naturally. As a result balancing your brain has no painful side-effects, is medically monitored, and is only needed until the brains naturally occurring neurotransmitters are re-balanced to function optimally on their own.
So what are your thoughts?
Do you think that checking with one of the trusted medical professionals might be helpful for balancing your brain?
I have met with each of these professionals for my own benefit, for my families benefit, and for yours too. After a couple of concussions as a child (I was an athlete), some poor nutrition, and high stress over years, my brain had become unbalanced. I was experiencing 6 of the 7 signs (not overweight, but yo-yo underweight that was connected to my gut health). I first tried working with a family practitioner and the helpful staff at People’s Pharmacy but we were only able to respond to general panel tests. Then after visiting with Dr. Amen, Nikki Drummond and Dr. Pam at Neurogistics, I understood what was missing. The neurotransmitter testing was critical to understanding my brain’s needs.
As a counselor, coach, and nerd I am grateful to the brilliant professionals who work with me in a team environment.
Whether you need brain balancing or some coaching with living as a whole and healthy person, we are here. Together we will help you be you, find your voice and impact your world.
To your health!
Liz Lawrence, MA, LPC-S is counselor, coach and creative who is passionate about people. She directs the Streams Counseling Center in Austin, Texas and co-leads the non-profit Renue.Me whose mission is to invest in the dreams of leaders in underprivileged communities around the world. Connect with her at www.lizlawrencelpc.com or www.renue.me
- Photo from Amen Clinics and graphic by Author on Canva