Calm a reactive mind
Follow the tailored-for-you movement, sleep, food, and supplement practices to support your pathway to calm.
What is the Reactive Mind Subtype?
Evolution has gifted our bodies with an elaborate means of surveillance, not unlike a highly sophisticated home alarm system. It is located in the lower, more primitive part of the brain, which we at NMH call the “reactive brain.”
Below the surface of awareness, we continually scan our environment for potential dangers. In tense situations this system goes on high alert and all our senses become sharpened. When we feel safe and secure, the system stands down and surveillance falls into the background.
If this area becomes overly active, however, you are always in a heightened state of alert, looking for threats everywhere. You may feel as if you can never let your guard down or relax, which quickly becomes exhausting. Or you may react so strongly to things that feel threatening (even if they really aren’t) that you experience genuine panic. In order to avoid this panicked feeling, you may begin to avoid things, developing phobias that only serve to make your world smaller.
If you experience these reactive symptoms, do not think that you are at fault for failing to control your emotions. Once it is triggered, the panic reaction is so strongly wired into the body that it will always win against your will power and attempts to force it to be quiet. Instead, you will need to learn how to turn down the intensity of your surveillance system, and remember how to distinguish what is really threatening from what isn’t. This course is filled with techniques to help you do just that.
How the Reactive Mind Subtype can flare and what it feels like
Unlike the worried mind, which is characterized by too much thinking, the reactive mind doesn’t think enough. When you experience a reactive mind, you are perceiving and reacting without thinking things through. The threat response system is unchecked by the more reasoned, higher level of the thinking brain. You get stuck in fight-or-flight mode, and must find a way to shut it down again.
The Role of the Stress Response
The stress response is the normal reaction to feeling threatened. Sensing danger, the brain activates the adrenal glands which then prepare you for action (“fight or flight”). This is not bad in and of itself. In fact, studies show that short-term stress can even be good for us.
However, if you are prone to anxiousness, the stress response acts as an accelerant, adding fuel to the fire in your mind. This is true for each of the three sub-types, but it is especially true for the reactive type. So while it is important to calm the mind, this is often not enough to get a reactive mind back in balance. You must also take measures to tame the stress response and eventually to address the sources of your stress. Otherwise, the embers of anxiousness will stay lit, ready to flame up again as soon as the conditions are right.
We offer specific tools, practices, and strategies to balance and calm a reactive mind.
See the key tools below to help you reclaim your calm.
Nourish your reactive mind
Looking to build a strong foundation? Start by giving your brain what it needs to find its balance. Discover the best way to nourish yourself, including the specific foods & supplements that calm a reactive mind.
How to calm a reactive mind
Try the simple steps below to help soothe your mind.
Supplements for a reactive mind
Targeted supplements can quickly calm a reactive mind while foundational supplements support ongoing resilience. The targeted supplements may need 30-60 days of consistent use.** After that period, you may continue using them if needed. Stick with the foundational supplements daily or seasonally, as desired.
Remember: Check with your health care practitioner before beginning any supplements.
1. Relaxed Mood (neurotransmitter support)
2. Relax Powder (magnesium)
3. Stress Support (adaptogenic herbs + nutrients)
1. Nourish (multivitamin/mineral)
2. Strengthen (omega-3)
3. Illuminate (vitamin D3)
* Consult your healthcare practitioner prior to use. Individuals taking medication should discuss potential interactions with their healthcare practitioner.
** These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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Learn foundational strategies to support your mental health and resilience.
Explore the articles below and learn our favorite foundational steps to help balance your mood.
Brain Chemistry 101
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Sleep & Resilience
Your sleep, mood, and brain function are intimately related. Scientific studies tell us that our emotional states affect sleep and that sleep affects emotions. You can create better sleep with fairly simple strategies.
The Resilient Diet
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Resilient Movement Plans
Scientific research has shown that moving our bodies more frequently has a significant positive impact on mental health and can even help you grow a bigger, healthier, and better-connected brain.
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This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice and is not a replacement for advice and treatment from a medical professional. Consult your doctor or other qualified health professional regarding specific health questions. Individuals providing content to this website take no responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. It is also essential to consult your physician or other qualified health professional before beginning any diet change, supplement, or lifestyle program.