I think that neuroplasticity is a concept that if we all knew how to utilise, we would all be the creators of our own reality. We would be empowered with the knowledge of how our brain works and would use this to shape our thinking and create high performing brains.
Your brain is a tool, and if used correctly it can serve you well. But a lot of us don’t realise that more often than not, our brain is using us.
We’re all a little crazy
We all have in internal voice in our heads. The only difference between you and someone you might classify as ‘crazy’ is their voice is out loud, but most of us keep our internal chatter to ourselves. That’s the only difference. This insane little voice has become the norm for most of us, and we don’t realise how much power we give it and how it uses and controls us.
We narrate everything. We walk into a room and without being aware of it, our little voice begins to label what we see. “This roof is high, it’s cold in this room, my Nan has a painting like that, this reminds me of the time I went to visit my uncle…” and so it goes on.
This little voice has a negative bias, meaning as humans we are naturally wired to look at the negative side of things before the positive. This is an instinct ingrained in us that has kept us alive for many years, because yes, it can be helpful to think of the negative to make future positive decisions. But sometimes we have to catch ourselves, because of this natural habit, we can dwell on the negative more than what is helpful or useful.
How does it feel to think about the negative things or what has gone ‘wrong’ for us?
How does it feel to think about what is positive or what is going well for us?
A picture paints a thousand words, but there’s a lot more to it than just feeling good..
Our thinking and what we focus on affects the functioning of our brain. Think of our brains as being ‘plastic’. Our human brain is continually changing in response to what we think and believe in. We can shape our brain by choosing what we pay attention to, this is called neuroplasticity. The thoughts we chose to pay attention to shape our brain by making ‘neural connections’, these get stronger in the areas we practice and use most often. The good news is, we get to choose what thoughts we pay attention to and therefore be the architect of our own brains. Also an extra bonus, studies show that there is no age limit to making these new connection in our brains. So, we can teach an old dog new tricks!
How our brain works
The image on the left is a picture on a neuron, which is a nerve cell in our brains that form these neural connections. Without stimulation neurons are a lot smaller than when they do not have stimulation. The image on the right shows just how strong we can make our neurons and form new pathways and connections in our brains. You can see how strong we can make the pathways that we want to have, like focusing on our positive thoughts and feelings, and by paying less attention to our negative ones to build a powerful, useful and high performing brain.
What would happen to our brain if every time we noticed a negative thought we replaced it with a positive one?
By doing this we can hard wire our brains to be happier, be more engaged and enjoy what we are doing and be more successful and satisfied.
Be empowered. Shape your own reality. Construct an amazing brain and use it as a tool to succeed. Recognise when your thinking has a mind of it’s own (pardon the pun) and sit back and observe your thoughts; where did they go? Were they helpful? Am I paying attention to them too much? What thoughts can I replace them with to begin to construct my perfect brain?
What pathways would you like to start creating in your brain today?
What pathways do you think you have now that you would like to start changing?
What is a wonderful thought that you can use to begin constructing your high performing brain?