When it comes to our physical self, we understand the importance of doing things to keep our bodies healthy like exercising. But when we feel our mental health start to decline most people struggle to find ways to try and bring it back to a healthier state.  

Brain training is one of the most effective forms of therapy for improving an individual’s mental health, specifically when it comes to depression. Learn what it is, how it works, and why it’s so effective.

What Is Brain Training for Depression?

People are consistently resetting neural connections in their central nervous system and brain through their behaviours. With repetition of a certain thought or behaviour, these neural connections are strengthened and more easily activated. If this repetition occurs the behaviour can become an automatic and unconscious response, meaning that you activate this behaviour without intending to. 

Where it can become harmful is if this behaviour is something negative, like an unhealthy coping strategy that damages your mental health. Once these behaviours are established they influence the way we perceive the world, our relationship with it and our sense of self. 

Brain training for depression is using Hypnotherapy and Neurofeedback to retrain the brain and central nervous system by changing the neural connections of these problematic behaviours.

How Does It Work?

Neurofeedback

Nerofeedback is a form of therapy that uses a system such as NeurOptimal, to detect instability in your brain signals and provide feedback to correct that instability. During a Neurofeedback session two sensors will be placed on your ears and two on your head. From here, you will relax while either listening to music or watching a video.

The sensors will monitor your brain signals in order to detect instability. An example of instability is the neural connections that reinforce the problematic behaviour. NeurOptimal is designed to detect any instability at its earliest preconscious origins and alert the central nervous system (CNS) through pausing the music or video. The pause interrupts the dynamic driving the problematic behaviour before it gains momentum, and trains the CNS to change these neural connections of the problematic behaviour in order to maintain stability.

Hypnotherapy 

A hypnotherapy session begins with extreme relaxation. Once relaxation is achieved, the mind begins to separate into two states, the conscious and unconscious mind. The unconscious mind will then begin to takeover and dissociation will occur. Dissociation is when you begin to feel the hypnotizing mind surface, it is where you become less aware of your surroundings and feel like you’re in a day dream.

While the mind is still in a state of dissociation the conscious mind is quiet and therefore there is access to the subconscious neural connections that cause the problematic behaviour. With access to this part of the mind, positive verbal suggestions for a variety of needs provided by the therapist can be given to replace any negative programming like problematic behaviour. 

Smiling after learning how to deal with depression

Why Is It so Effective As a Depression Treatment?

During the process of neurofeedback the CNS becomes stabilized. When this occurs, people begin to feel deeply relaxed, their sleep improves, there’s a decrease in their reactivity, and they generally feel more settled. Other notable improvements include energy increases and mood stability. In terms of hypnotherapy, it is extremely effective in balancing one’s mind with their emotions. This balance makes significant improvements in habit control, behavioural changes, and performance enhancement.

The results of these improvements in an individual with depressions life works to diminish their symptoms, such as feeling unmotivated and tired. It also provides these individuals with a very valuable sense of hope.

Learn More

Want to continue learning about therapies for depression? Read our in depth blog post on hypnotherapy that covers everything from the basics of what it is to unconscious programming. If you also want to learn about a form of therapy not covered in this blog post, learn about Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapy.

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