Today's question: What brain-rewiring-friendly complementary modalities can be used during retraining?
A: First off, for those who are new to rewiring, I highly recommend devoting energy and effort to brain retraining alone for a period of time. It is important to adhere to the guiding principles of whatever program you are applying.
We also want to be mindful that we are not entertaining of Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs) about searching for the next thing, or needing "more" in order to recover. This is a very common ANTs for many retrainers. The limbic system tries to convince us that what we are doing isn't enough and we have to keep searching and doing more things, without actually giving the things we are doing the time and space to really make changes or be effective. That underlying stress pattern that results can sabotage progress.
All of that being said, if you have been retraining for some time now, then it may be worth looking into what else can be supportive on your recovery journey. The end goal remains the same - to rewire the brain and calm the nervous system. There are many different modalities that can assist in this process.
Basically anything that is in alignment with catching and stopping automatic negative thoughts, elevating emotional states, regulating the nervous system, cultivating the curious observer or mindful awareness is beneficial. Again, we want to be mindful of not trying to do too many different things at once because that can be counter productive. Less is often more. Pick the ones that feel the most useful, beneficial, or enjoyable to you.
Some people benefit from guided meditations such as those found on Insight Timer (the free app) or YouTube. Guided relaxations or Yoga Nidra can be very useful for enhancing the relaxation response. Other meditations help us cultivate present moment awareness & self compassion, as well as hone our focus and enhance our curious observer. Joe Dispenza's meditations are great for helping us to visualize and feel the future we want to create, and aligning our energy to that vibration.
Binaural beats can be helping in activating particular brain wave states (such as a calm meditative state, or sleep). There are a number of different binaural beat tracks on Insight timer.
Rick Hanson has a lot of great resources to offer to assist us in taking in the good and enhancing positive neuroplasticity, including a positive neuroplasticty training (along with books and his Just One Minute tools).
There are a number of different tools that are designed to support the vagus nerve and autonomic nervous system, including the Safe & Sound Protocol which I have talked about before. The other tools mentioned above also help to regulate the nervous system. Movement modalities such as gentle yoga, tai chi, or Nia Technique can be helpful.
There are certainly a number of options, but the key is to look at what could help further your progress,enhance your retraining, or bring in more elevated emotion, rather than simply adding more.
If you have a question, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Candy Widdifield is Registered Clinical Counsellor, Wellness Coach, and Registered Reiki Master Teacher in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. She works with people all over the world, helping them to optimize their wellbeing and thrive in their lives. Her modalities include coaching, therapy, Reiki and the Safe & Sound Protocol. More information about Candy can be found at www.candywiddifield.com