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Get a Grip on Your Brain: The Science of Self-Regulation
Hey there, brain explorers! May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and it’s the perfect time to talk about one of the coolest superpowers our brains possess – self-regulation! Think about it: the ability to chill out when you’re freaking out or find your focus when your brain feels like a squirrel chasing its tail. That’s self-regulation in action!

Self-Regulation: More Than Just Willpower
Okay, so self-regulation isn’t exactly telekinesis (making things move with your mind), but hear me out. It’s all the ways our brains and bodies work together to manage our energy levels, behavior, and emotions for more ease throughout our day. Think of it like a control panel for your inner world. Here’s the thing: it’s not about willpower. There’s a whole “symphony” of brain regions and body systems involved. Of “note,” here are just a couple of nervous system highlights that affect self-regulation. For example:

  • Prefrontal Cortex & Frontal Lobe: This is your brain’s CEO, responsible for controlling impulses, making good decisions, and focusing your attention (all included in executive functioning).
  • Amygdala: This is a part of your brain’s little alarm system. It goes off when it senses (or interprets) something as being stressful or scary.
  • Autonomic Nervous System: This controls “automatic” stuff like your heart rate, breathing, and digestion. It’s got two modes: “fight-flight-freeze”(designed for keeping us safe) and “rest-and-digest” (when you’re chilling).

When Self-Regulation Goes Haywire
When our internal control panel gets wonky, all sorts of tricky stuff can happen. We might get super revved up, have trouble concentrating, dip into sluggishness, or feel like we’re about to jump out of our skin. Sound familiar? This is where the Alert Program® can be a lifesaver!

Alert Program® Self-Regulation Boot Camp
Think of the Alert Program® as a super fun, science-backed training program for your self-regulation skills. We teach you to recognize your body’s signals and give you a whole toolbox of strategies to help yourself and/or others with:

  • Calming: Think deep breathing, fidgets (yes, they can be helpful!), or curling up in your favorite blanket. 
  • Revving Up: Sometimes you need some energy! Pump-you-up music, jumping jacks, or basically anything to get you up and groovin’.
  • Finding Your Focus: You’ll find new tips that sharpen your attention and simple ways to set your nervous system up for success at work, at home, or anywhere. 

Where’s the Science?
The Alert Program® isn’t just about fun and games (though those are important!). It’s rooted neuroscience, occupational therapy, and sensory integration principles, using a whole-body approach to get your brain and body working in sync. The result? You’re better able to handle stress, focus when you need to, and basically rock at just being you.

Level Up Your Self-Regulation
Ready to give yourself a brain boost? Here’s how to find out more:

Think of this as an investment in your most amazing self. Because a regulated nervous system is a balanced nervous system, and a balanced nervous system, can conquer the world (or at least that tricky homework assignment or work project). 🧠💪