I was recently asked about how my 30-Day Rapid RewiringTM program actually works to help clients overcome fears, phobias, depression and so much more. So I’ve let my inner science geek answer the question…
You can powerfully use your brain each day to enhance your life, even as you get older.
You have to use or lose it.
Years of brain research has led us to the science of Neuroplasticity, which tells us that you can literally rewire your brain to improve many areas in your life such as your health, mental well-being, learning and even your quality of life.
So if you missed the memo and are wondering what Neuroplasticity is exactly, here’s how it’s defined:
1. The ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or experience or following injury:
This amazing research which began back in the 1800’s, tells us that the brain is able to make new connections, reorganizing itself both physically and functionally, all throughout your life (not just during childhood like it was previously believed). Your brain is constantly being molded by your environment, your behaviors, your thinking and your emotions.
With this knowledge in hand, you can learn how to have your brain work For you instead of having it work Against you.
You see we used to think that the brain of adults became “fixed” or static after reaching critical developmental periods in childhood. However, with the development of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) in the early 1990’s, we are now able to clearly see how incredibly malleable the human brain actually is.
How does this translate in your day-to-day life?
The science of Neuroplasticity shows us how incredibly resilient your brain is and has given us amazing insights into the process by which all permanent learning takes place in your brain. From mastering a different language, to playing a musical instrument, learning math formulas or how to play a sport. It also tells us that we have the power to recover from injury, stroke, birth abnormalities, overcome autism, ADD and ADHD, learning disabilities and other brain deficits, rise above depression and addictions, even reverse or diminish physical conditions and obsessive-compulsive patterns.
In his book The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science, Norman Doidge looks at the “plastic paradox.” This is the Good News/Bad News part of neuroplasticity. As I said earlier, your brain can work for your OR against you.
When you’re learning new things, your brain is plastic, malleable, taking in new ideas and information and storing in long term memory those things that create a “pleasurable” sensation. This also releases some of your brain’s “Happy Chemicals” — Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphins, which is how we strengthen those neural pathways (The better it feels the more you do it).
The more you act on a certain behavior or think a particular thought, the more engrained that neural pathway becomes – like a well-worn rut in the road. Your brain doesn’t care if that pathway is good or bad, right or wrong, healthy or unhealthy, it will keep going down that same path because it’s “familiar” (and your brain will always lean towards what is familiar). Even if that pathway is a negative habit or addiction, because to your brain, it “feels good.”
So your challenge is to become more mindful of the thoughts and behaviors that are occupying the majority of your time and energy.
Do you find yourself more consistently having negative thoughts, habits or mindsets that can pull you down the rabbit hole of depression or ill-health?
Try this exercise on for a week: Pause at different points throughout your day and just notice, are my thoughts Above or Below the Line in this moment? Above the line are positive thoughts and emotions, while below the line are negative thoughts and emotions.
What percentage of your day and week are you in a positive mindset or a negative one?
Back to the Good News – If you find yourself spending more of your time in a negative mindset, you can rewire those neural pathways for better health, well-being and happiness!
Now, while there are certain aspects of your brain capacity that tend to decline with age, here are 8 fun brain facts that you can put to good use to continually rewire your brain for growth, all of which require a bit of focused attention, determination and maintaining your overall brain health.
Fun Fact #1 | I’m in the Mood for Change. When you are engaged, alert and motivated, your brain releases a cocktail of neurochemicals necessary to enable your brain to change. When you are disengaged, unmotivated or doing something on autopilot that requires little or no effort, your brain changing, neuroplastic switches are turned “off” instead of “on.”
So when you want to rapidly rewire a new belief or good habit into place, Focus is Key. When you’re intensely focused on something and the more alert you are, the better the potential outcome can be, thus creating greater brain change.
Fun Fact #2 | Practice, Practice, Practice. Your brain likes repetition. The more you think a thought or repeat an action, it strengthens the connections between the neurons that are engaged together in the process. The more you include all of your faculties (your senses, body movement and cognitive patterns) it allows that particular behavior to be performed with greater capacity and reliability over time.
Fun Fact #3 | Mental Mastery. When you use all of your senses as you either visualize an action or physically do an action, the more powerfully coordinated your nerve cell teams become, enabling a stronger, more reliable production of that behavior in the future.
As you mentally rehearse an action or positive thought, your brain is changed in the same ways and involving the same processes that control changes achieved through interactions in the external world. If pro athletes like Tiger Woods can visualize their way to the perfect putt and undeniable success, so can you.
Fun Fact #4 | Choose To Create Change. When you brain first records a change, a new way of doing, thinking or behaving, it then determines whether that change is interesting or unique enough or if the outcome is important enough to make it permanent.
Thus, the more exciting, interesting and all-encompassing you consciously choose to make your sensory stimuli for a new learned behavior or habit, the more memorable those actions or behaviors will be, enabling you to create long lasting positive changes.
Fun Fact #5 | Only The Strong Survive. Every time you repeat a learned action, it enables your brain to stabilize and strengthen those existing neural connections (synaptic plasticity) to enhance your mastery of that skill (good or bad). Or establishes entirely new neurons and connections (structural plasticity). It also weakens other neuron connections that weren’t used at that precise moment in time. Thus, erasing some of the interfering or irrelevant activity in your brain.
Remember to strengthen the good habits, thoughts and behaviors you want, and not reinforce the bad ones that no longer serve your growth.
Fun Fact #6 | Words & Pictures. Did you know that your mind makes a mental blueprint for success (or failure) based on the words you use and the thoughts you think and see in your mind? So, as you’re noticing how much energy you’re spending each day above or below the line of emotions, you now know to stay focused on the words and pictures that inspire you and keep you in a positive state of mind each day.
Fun Fact #7 | While You Sleep. As you learn things throughout the day, your brain is building those new neural pathways. While you sleep, your brain consolidates and reorganizes memories of what you learned that day. It has also been shown that listening to targeted words and music while you sleep helps further strengthen those previously learned behaviors, embedding them at a subconscious level, clearly benefiting memory and creative problem solving with improved cognitive functioning upon waking.
Fun Fact #8 | It Goes Both Ways. Neuroplasticity tells us that you can just as easily rewire your brain with positive changes as you can with negative changes. By going on “autopilot” to your life, you can inadvertently and unconsciously create negative changes in your brain that can impair your memory, mental and physical abilities.
To keep your body, mind and spirit malleable, consciously choose to learn new things and expand your mind in good ways as you get older. Just like your muscles, your brain subscribes to the “Use It Or Lose It” principle.
Focus on what you want to learn and the positive changes you choose to make, repeating them in your mind’s eye daily while taking steps in the direction of those goals each day!
If you’re curious to see how you can apply these neuroplasticity principles in my 30-day Rapid RewiringTM Process to create positive change, have a look at this animation which explains RTT.
It breaks down how we access your subconscious mind to bring about conscious change by combining the power of Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) with my coaching expertise to help you create long-lasting, positive transformation.
If you’re having trouble staying focused and on track with the positive transformations you want to create in your career or life, let’s chat!
Book your complimentary Discovery Session so you can tell me more about the challenges you’d like to overcome to create a happier, healthier life.
To Your Success!
Love & Light,