Neuroplasticity
Did you know that a simple thought is a few micromilliwatts of energy flowing through your brain?  Yes, a simple thought may seem like an innocuous event; however, this thought can impact your emotional well-being.

Did you know that if we make a conscious effort to change a thought/attitude, our old way of thinking begins to fade, and fresh circuits are created?  Yes, we can change our brain structure.

Did you know that positive thinking does work?  Yes, Norman Doidge MD, in his book The Brain that Changes Itself (2007) states that if we use repetition to reinforce new thoughts, the brain has the capacity to form fresh neural pathways.

The science of neuroplasticity is defined as “the capacity of nerve cells in the brain to modify their activity in response to stimulation”. The idea of the brain being malleable was introduced by William James in 1890, but it was rejected by many scientists who believed that specific parts of the brain controlled certain functions.  Furthermore, these scientists believed that should a specific part be damaged, the function associated with that part was changed forever. However, this belief has been challenged by findings revealing that the brain is endlessly adaptable and dynamic.

Both physical experiences and thoughts can cause neuroplasticity.  If we think the same thought repetitively, we get neuroplasticity in the area within the brain where that thought is processed.

Try these ideas:

  • Force yourself to stop thinking about reasons why you can’t do something.
  • Every time negative thought creeps in, retrain your brain to think a positive thought.
  • Smile. Often!
  • Surround yourself with positive people.
  • Change the wording of your thoughts from negative to positive (eg “difficult” becomes “possible”).
  • Be at cause in your life.
  • List five things that you are grateful for, right now.

As Zig Ziglar said – You cannot tailor-make the situations in life, but you can tailor-make your attitudes to fit those situations!

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