People are often hoping to see results quickly when they start Neurofeedback sessions. It is human nature, after all, to expect good outcomes as soon as possible. That’s why the most common question asked by people who start brain training is “How many Neurofeedback sessions will it take for me to notice positive results?”. But there is no definitive answer to this question as every brain is different and therefore it takes each brain a different number of sessions to optimize its functioning.
But there are certain key do’s and don’ts that can help you maximize the benefits of neurofeedback and impact how quickly you start noticing positive results. These do’s and don’ts aren’t any different from the precautions and recommendations given by the doctor when you are down with flu or stomach bug. Following the advice of a doctor just helps you recover faster from the flu so that you can regain your health and go back to enjoying your life.
Similarly, simple factors like self-talk, general attitude, and diet can improve or inhibit the success of brain training. It does not matter why you started neurofeedback sessions or what your goals are, follow these tips to enhance the effectiveness of neurofeedback sessions and feel the positive changes in your life as quickly as possible.
Attitude Shift and Positive Self-Talk:
The right attitude is the key to success in brain training. Your attitude and thought process during the weeks or months of your training will inhibit or enhance your progress in the neurofeedback program. So you must maintain a positive attitude toward yourself, the brain training, and your goals.
It is generally considered best to engage in positive self-talk daily. For example, you could tell yourself that you are ready to become a grounded, composed person who is ready to tackle life challenges with mental clarity. Positive self-talk will help improve your mental fitness and set you up for success during the sessions. It's okay even if you don’t believe the positive self-talk at first, as you engage in it daily and see positive results from sessions, you will come to believe it.
Meditating and Breathing Exercises:
Meditation and breathing exercises can help in reclaiming our nerves and achieving mental clarity. We recommend that you stop 2-3 times a day and focus on your breathing just for 5 minutes. This will assist you in reforming your approach to life and regaining your composure, all of which will ultimately positively impact your neurofeedback sessions.
The brain makes most of its changes during sleep. So cutting back on sleep while you take neurofeedback sessions focused on self-correction ability of the brain does not make sense. You need to provide your nervous system and brain with all the added support to help them self-regulate themself into a calm state. So sleep well and avoid staying up late. It is recommended that children take 10-12 hours of sleep meanwhile adults should be sleeping for 7-8 hours.
Limit the Screen Time:
Screen can overstimulate the brain and body which is not what you want if you are trying to optimize your brain. Think of an overstimulated brain as a brain on drugs-when the high wears off; you will feel exhausted and down.
That’s why you should limit your screen time if you want your brain training sessions to be effective. We recommend that you should not expose yourself to any kind of screen 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after a brain training session.
First of all, try to have a balanced diet because a healthy body can contribute significantly to optimized brain functioning. However, if you are eager to improve the effectiveness of neurofeedback sessions, you should avoid processed foods, sugars from “white foods” like white bread, and bad fats.
You should also try to have more of the foods that are known to be good for brain health i.e. nuts, high-quality protein, good fats, and leafy vegetables, etc. These foods provide the brain with the energy required to function so naturally having them is great while you take brain training sessions.
Try Thought Replacement Strategy:
Excessive negative and stressful thoughts can throw off the balance of brain activity. This can have a deteriorating effect on your overall health and well-being. Negative and unhealthy thoughts can also render brain training unsuccessful. So try to replace negativity with positive and encouraging thought patterns.
You could try positive self-talk and thought-replacement techniques to counter negative thoughts. In thought replacement activity, you think of positive things to counter the negative thoughts. Usually thinking of the things that make you happy helps. You can also make a list of things that you are grateful for, this activity is considered great to ward off negative emotions.
Consistency is Key
Some people give up after one or two brain training sessions. But you need to consistently and regularly take neurofeedback sessions if you really want to help your brain self-regulate its brainwave patterns. You have already decided that you need help so what’s the point of giving up?
Also, you need to take conscious efforts to develop new habits that will support your well-being and mental health. Most of us do try to integrate healthier habits and patterns into life but soon revert back to our old ways even if they make our life difficult. Don’t lose heart when you revert back, try again the next day to engage in healthier lifestyle choices that help your brain feel calm and relaxed.
Adopt a holistic approach to life, have a positive attitude, sleep well and take a balanced diet if you want your neurofeedback sessions to be successful. You need to support your brain and nervous system to help them self-regulate and optimize their working.
Moreover, neurofeedback sessions will remain ineffective if you don’t change your old habits and make a conscious effort to stay calm in stressful situations. So be consistent and make healthy choices to get the most out of brain training.