High school can be stressful. College and early career life can be, too. Guest post from Mary Ellen Krut of Balanced Hours Body Talk Clinic!
By the time most kids get to college, they know a bit about managing homework, extracurriculars, and chores. But even the most accomplished high school graduate is handed a lot of new material when they arrive at college. A lot more unscheduled time, nobody nagging them to get things done, new experiences like sharing a room and doing one’s own laundry and a brand new social environment can throw a wrench into a kid’s ability to buckle down and to do the task at hand when they should. Suddenly, starting a task that is not highly familiar or interesting can be tough. And if this comes as a surprise to the student, it can quickly become next to impossible without extreme effort and incentive to meet their deadlines.
Executive functioning is that group of skills that allows one to pay attention, start and complete a task and strategize when and how to schedule a set of tasks. For those kids who have wrestled with executive function issues earlier in their schooling, there may be learned skills that help them make the transition in freshman year at university. For many others, this new world of having to get fired up to organize and execute tasks finds them managing quite well on some levels and very poorly on others.
The student who finds themselves with low interest on required tasks will often have a hard time firing up the energy to get things going. This is not because they are lazy. It comes from an inefficient chemical process in the brain. The brain uses electrical impulses to carry messages from one neuron to the next. These messages help us to notice things, pay attention and take action. The release of certain brain chemicals helps make those connections. Under stress, the brain does not always release enough of those chemicals. But when something comes along that is really interesting or exciting, their brain releases a larger amount which helps them get started and stay engaged with that task. You can fill in the blank for the college freshman you know who may be playing a sport or rushing a sorority as to which tasks are getting this chemical support.
Kids don’t have voluntary control of that chemical release. The cannot just tell themselves to get started on the homework task and make it happen unless it’s genuinely interesting. Or, unless they fear that something unpleasant will happen if they don’t take care of this right here and now. Sometimes it is even hard to remember there is a task. And once a failure occurs, especially if this is a new experience for the student, it makes it hard to try again. Therefore, avoiding the next task becomes a possibility. It quickly seems that it will never get any easier and so without really thinking it about it, they just avoid the task in hopes of avoiding the disappointment or failure. They can also include not wanting to share it with family at home.
A Body Talk balance session is a noninvasive, nonjudgemental and nondiagnostic way to get a student heading in the right direction during freshman year. Improvements in getting into the swing of college life should include balancing the Cortices of the Brain, the Neurotransmitters in the Frontal Lobe and possibly rebalancing out of date Belief Systems. The Body Talk approach, which is sometimes described as acupuncture without needles, purports to listen to the body, engage its ability to heal itself, and enhance communication between bodily systems. Based in dynamic systems theory, Body Talk considers emotional, physical, and environmental influences in order to address the underlying cause of conditions, and using various techniques to activate the brain, restructure the body’s energetic patterns, and promote healing from within.
Read more about Body Talk here!
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