In Learning to Self Soothe, Courtney Martin writes about learning from her infant daughter, how one self soothes. “We have a video monitor, so I have actually been able to watch my baby girl learning her own way around discomfort. She does things with her little, pudgy, perfect body that I never could have done for her or taught her to do. My nephew, too, surprised his parents with his soothing techniques. He had his hands perfectly positioned behind his head, like an old man soaking up some rays on the Coney Island board walk.”
I love what Martin writes next, “It’s been a bit of a revelation for me. We all have our ways to feel okay in the world. Some of us whistle. Some of us smoke. Some of us carry a stone in a pocket. Some of us maniacally refresh Facebook. Some of us pray. Some of us eat. Some of us walk. Some of us work. Some of us run away.”
How do you self-soothe? Is it working for you?
I think about pre-teens and teenagers when I think about self-soothing and how different the methods are from the ones used in infancy. Everything about kids between the ages of 11 and 19 are changing and it is a time in their lives when they are most cognizant of these changes. Some of these kids feel so out of control that they either give up and start using drugs, alcohol and/or sex to cope, while others study and are so driven to have straight A+’s on their report cards. Both sets of kids, the ones who give up and the ones who are above average students are trying to cope and self-soothe. What many of them have in common is fear/anxiety and/or sadness/depression.
When I am lucky enough to incorporate neurofeedback into my work with a pre-teen or teen, I am hopeful and expect that he/she will feel more confident, more relaxed and better able to cope naturally with changes in a short period of time.
The type of neurofeedback that I use is, NeurOptimal®. “NeurOptimal® is essentially a brain workout. It trains your brain to be more flexible and resilient. Without pushing it in any specific direction, the NeurOptimal® neurofeedback system interacts with your central nervous system in a way that improves neural plasticity. A mind that is more flexible adapts and responds quicker and more appropriately to changes in your environment. The more easily your brain adjusts to changes encountered in a normal busy day, the better you feel. A lack of brain fitness, on the other hand, can leave you drained and stressed at the end of the day.” NeurOptimal can help you to learn safer, more effective ways to self-soothe.
If what I wrote resonates with you or if you are a pre-teen, a teenager or a parent and are interested in learning more about what I do or more about NeurOptimal®, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to contact me.