How Does My Brain Work to Affect My Performance?
We all use our brains all day everyday, but most of us have no idea how it works! The term “black box” is used to describe what it is like when you use an electrical system, but you don’t know how it functions to perform its job. I wish more people would simply ask me “How does my brain work?” because, although it is a simple question, it’s answer is bountifully rewarding.
When it comes to your brain, knowing how it works can really make a difference. When you know how it works you have more control, and can make it perform better for you. Different speed brainwaves functioning in different areas of the brain are what causes behavioral and thought patterns such as grogginess or focus.
How Does My Brain Work in Different Areas?
Below is an image of the 10-20 System. This is the method that brain professionals use to discuss the different areas of the brain. Each of the different areas on this map of the brain has a different job. For example, area F3 is responsible for attention and focus. It is the area impacted when someone struggles with ADHD. Areas T3 and T4 control processing of sound and are impacted in Auditory Processing Disorders.When you have a qEEG Brain Map performed. The doctors at Leigh Brain & Spine are basically getting a picture of each of these areas of your brain to see how they are performing.
How Does My Brain Work with Different Speeds?
Brain activity is measured in five basic speeds: extra slow, slow, medium, fast, and extra fast speeds. These different speeds all have names and different functions.
- Delta – Extra Slow Speed – Sleep
- Theta – Slow Speed – Grogginess and Tiredness
- Alpha – Medium Speed – Relaxation
- Low Beta – Fast Speed – Alert, Calm-Focus
- High Beta – Extra Fast Speed – Stress, Fight or Flight
These functions are like gears in your brain that shift to speed up and slow down your mind and body. You need these shifts to happen so that you can get into the states that you desire and that are healthy for your body, called Circadian Rhythms.
A brain working well is calm-focused and processing information seamlessly.
If your brain is using speed properly it should be able to shift in and out of these speeds with relative ease. For example, when you are trying to relax your brain should be able to shift into medium speed (Alpha) while you relax. If your brain is not functioning at its best, it might not be able to seamlessly do this, causing you to be constantly restless. On the other hand, when you are trying to focus, you should be able to shift into Low-Beta. When your brain can shift its functioning speed with ease, it is called neurological regulation. This means your brain is using speed properly and thus your mind and body work well too.
A brain that is not working properly can wreak havoc on functioning.
There is an optimal brain pattern, the one which makes your mind and body function well. Then there are many irregular brain patterns that cause a variety of different diagnoses, symptoms, and challenges for people. The most talked about brain patterns right now are that of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), anxiety, concussions, and depression. Each of these disorders have been shown by science to be caused or made worse by an irregular brain pattern of brain activity. Let’s explore the patterns briefly.
How Does My Brain Work to Cause ADHD?
– This brain pattern is one of too much slow brain activity. Too much use of Delta and Theta slows the brain down and makes it difficult to focus, attend, plan, organize and stay on top of your life. In this way the brain is basically “falling asleep” while it should be wide awake. This brain pattern affects the frontal lobe for most people with ADHD but can impact the entire brain, which will make symptoms worse and encompass more skills and abilities.
Many doctors prescribe medications to speed up the brain for a time when a person is suspected to have ADHD. This way the person can use faster brain activity to process information faster and better when at school or work. Unfortunately, science shows that medications do not change brain patterns, they just make the symptoms a bit better for a while.
How Does My Brain Work to Cause Anxiety?
This brain pattern is one of too much fast brain activity, Beta, and High Beta. In this way the person’s brain is stuck in overdrive, fast gear. This pattern creates and perpetuates constant thinking, (rumination), and a feeling of always being on re-alert (hypervigilance).
Essentially ADHD is too much slow brain activity, and anxiety is too much fast brain activity. Unfortunately, both can happen simultaneously and often do. The key to feeling well is keeping brain speeds in the middle, using medium-fast speed, for calm-focus.
If you struggle with ADHD or anxiety, then you may want to have your qEEG Brain Map performed to find out how each area of your brain is using speed and if any area(s) can be made to work better so you perform better.