Tag Archive for neurogistics

Going Back to School with Food Sensitivities: Is Your Child Prepared?

Food sensitives can make going back to school challenging for parents, teachers and kiddos. Many parents take precautions if their child has been told by a pediatrician or health practitioner to stay away from particular foods. However, if a child doesn’t have anaphylaxis or break out in hives, it can be hard for many parents and school administrators to consider food damaging to your child’s health. You  need precautions in place to make sure your child is safe and healthy during the school year.

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Tips for Back to School Success: Start This Year Off Right

It’s that time of year again, back to school and back to schedules, homework and often stress. Before the first bell rings, there are some very important things to be in place to insure a successful transition back to class. Preparing for these things in advance can contribute to a positive and productive school experience for most children. » Read more..

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Blame Your “Hangry” Mood on Blood Sugar and Brain Chemistry

Don't let blood sugar roller coasters take over your mood. These tips will help you feel happy not hangry.

By Emily Roberts MA, LPC

study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that being hungry can cause extreme mood swings and less impulse control in many people.  The study found that spouses are more likely to have arguments and marital dissatisfaction when they are feeling hangry—a term for the angry feeling that comes on when someone is feeling hungry. » Read more..

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The Health Benefits of Reading to Children

Various studies have shown that reading books together develops a stronger bond between parents and their children. However, apart from strengthening your relationship with your child, reading has many advantages in helping to children develop, especially those who are in school. Whether you’re reading printed books or electronic ones, take note that the most important variable is the fact that they are learning along with you. This enhances attachment, bonding and brain development. In this post, we want to enlighten parents and guardians on the other health benefits of reading to and with children. » Read more..

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Gluten-Free Valentine’s Day Sweets

Do you or someone you love have a food allergy? Valentine’s sweets are everywhere right now, but before indulging make sure you check out the ingredients to avoid a potential gluten or dairy disaster. Even if you read the ingredients, gluten could be hiding in those heart shaped boxes.  Here is what you need to know about gluten-free candy this year.  » Read more..

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Health Tips to Help You Achieve Your New Years Resolutions

Now that you’ve set your new year’s resolutions don’t you want to make sure you achieve them? Health goals can be hard to achieve without some internal help, which means a healthy mind and body. We have more evidence than ever before in history that a healthy mind can come from natural treatments. This means that there are more evidence-based studies and scientific communities that promote holistic and natural treatments for healing the mind and body. This year while you are still in the honeymoon period of your New Year’s Resolutions, it would be a great time to adopt these health tips that will heal you from the inside out. » Read more..

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New Research on Depression: Scientists Discover a “Dimmer Switch”

By Emily Roberts MA, LPC

UC San Diego researchers have discovered that ratios of neurotransmitters may be more important than the brain chemicals themselves when treating depression. Two neurotransmitters, Glutamate and GABA which have very different roles are important in depression and how our brains react to bad news. » Read more..

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Happiness Handbooks: 4 Books To Help You Finally Feel Happy

Self-help, happiness, and fixing negative thinking patterns is a big business these days. Chances are you have spent time in the self-help aisle of your bookstore; researched a perfect pill for your symptoms; or a professional who will help you finally achieve that blissful life you’ve been seeking. The problem is that many of your thoughts and behaviors have been hardwired in your brain for years, so it takes both a biological and environmental change in order to get the happy results you desire. » Read more..

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End of School Stress: How to Help Your Student

As the end of school approaches, stress and strong emotions emerge for many children and teens. In fact, burnout, brain fog, and frustration are common. But how can parents help their child finish strong and start the summer with ease? Testing your child’s neurotransmitter levels is one of the most effective ways to help them feel confident and in control.  » Read more..

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Willpower: Why You Can’t Resist The Donut

willpower

By Emily Roberts MA, LPC

Do you ever wonder why it’s so hard to have self-control at a morning meeting, when the plate of delicious donuts are practically asking you to eat them? Isn’t it interesting that after the 20th time you have told your child “don’t touch that” they seem to forget and do it anyway?  Saying “no” to the sweet treat or controlling the impulse isn’t just about self-control, it’s more than willpower. You can learn right from wrong, but your brain can be much more powerful than logic.

Think of willpower like a muscle, if it’s not developed fully it can be weak; it can get exhausted by overuse, but just like our other muscles, we can repair it.

“It is as if self-control is a limited resource that ‘runs out’ if it is used too much,” said Chandra Sripada, the lead researcher in a study published last week in The Journal of Psychological Science.

Therefore all the effort in the word can’t keep little Timmy’s hands from reaching to touch the object of his affection or that sweet treat from hitting your lips. Researchers found that increasing levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine can help to reduce urges and increase self-control.

The study, published April 22 in The Journal Psychological Science, indicates that when one has the right balance of these two neurotransmitters it can help prevent the depletion of self-control.  If you overuse the “muscle” the chemicals in your brain are too tired to say no.  Medications or supplementation may be the missing link by giving a boost to specific brain circuits that are often depleted after attempting to maintain self-control for long periods of time.

What is even more interesting and notable is that ones mood plays a vital role in impulsivity and aggression.

Research published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) found that loss of self-control is also due to nutrition. When blood-glucose levels dropped, subjects were more likely to act on an urge.

“Self-control requires energy, and that energy is provided in part by glucose,” wrote lead study author Brad Bushman, a professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University.

“Glucose is made from nutritious intake that becomes converted into neurotransmitters that provide energy for brain processes. Low glucose levels can undermine self-control because people have insufficient energy to overcome challenges and unwanted impulses,” wrote Bushman and his colleagues.

willpower

Wish you or your child could resist the urge to act on their impulses? As you can see it’s more than knowing right from wrong, it also takes a bit of a brain workout to build up that muscle.

  • Test the brain.  A simple urine analysis can show which levels are off, and results will suggest what supplementation will help increase self-control Neurotransmitters.
  •  What you eat effects willpower. What you feed your body affects how much energy the prefrontal cortex has to work with, where many of our impulsive decisions are made.  If you are not absorbing nutrients from the food in your gut, your brain is going to be cloudy.  Making sure that your blood sugar stays balanced, requires eating right and often, this means every 3-4 hours. For more self-control, stick to the foods that you know fuel your brain. Click Here for some great backpack snacks that boot brain power!
  • Talk with your health care practitioner about medications or supplementation that may be impacting your willpower. Notice what is difficult for you to resist, or what you wind up regretting later on in the day.  These actions are examples of what a boost of self-control could help you resist.
  • Repetition.  Although you may not get it on the first try, continuing to say no or practicing a new behavior, instead of the problematic one, can help rewire the brain.  That is, if you have enough power to run the system.

At the end of the day it takes gas and mechanics to keep a car running, the same is true for your brain.  Everyone needs help behaviorally and neurologically to make changes stick.

 

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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant.  Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.

 

 

 

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