Anxiety is not the only emotion that can adversely affect the brain. Depression is closely related to anxiety and is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders; it is also 2.5 times more common in women than men. Depression can destroy relationships because living with a depressed partner can be frustrating, tumultuous, and, at times, even generate feelings of hopelessness. Depression often results from (and conceals) suppressed anger, with rage coming out at inappropriate times over minor incidents. Depression is also a billion-dollar industry for the medical profession and the pharmaceutical industry. As one expert said, ‘. . . Peddling hope
inside-a-pill is like a license to print money.’
The emotions of sadness, depression, worry, anxiety, fear, anger, and rage are all related. What we see on the surface are ‘acceptable’ emotions, but what lies beneath these socially acceptable emotions is anger, rage, and ultimately, fear. These common negative emotions block the production of alpha brain waves, which are linked to happiness, joy, a sense of trust and oneness, and a feeling of wellbeing.
Negative emotions, but holding on to resentment, anger, desire for revenge, blame, etc., almost always undermines or destroys relationships and can adversely affect health by increasing blood pressure and raising blood levels of stress chemicals like cortisol adrenaline. People who deny or repress their feelings are more likely to get cancer than those who allow themselves to feel their emotions, according to clinical psychologist Lydia Temoshok and science writer Henry Dreher, author of The Type C Connection. In fact, suppression of feelings is the only scientifically proven predictor, besides genetics, of who gets cancer. During neurofeedback training to enhance alpha and theta brain waves, people can uncover and deal with suppressed emotions while in a positive brain state, allowing them to reduce or release the negative ‘charge’ around the events that caused them. This process is further explored in Chapter 6: Zen and the Art of Smart Thinking.
Good news for brain waves:
The good news is that we know brain wave neurofeedback training can increase alpha waves and reduce anxiety and depression. So, if you want to feel less stress and anxiety, improve your immune system, be more creative, learn more and remember more, then you should learn to increase the number of your alpha brain waves.