Neuroplasticity: Training Your Brain
Often times I find myself at war with my own mind. The constant battle between wanting to accomplish certain things, and the easy hard to fight feeling of not being “able” to. Why am I in my own way? The phrase Me vs Me is so true. My biggest competition isn’t someone who’s in better shape, more successful, or has a stronger mindset than me. I am my biggest competition, and I am the only one who can overcome this obstacle. I consider myself a pretty self -motivated person, but obviously I have a lot of work to do on staying consistent. So how does one change their way of thinking to accomplish personal goals, self-growth, or even working towards being the best version of oneself. If you’re not a naturally motivated, adventurous person, etc., is it even possible to become like that? Or is it something that you are naturally born with? Today we will discover what it actually takes to literally change your brain and how you think.
You know that saying you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, well thankfully we can learn new things, even as we get older. And yes, this includes changing our mindset as well as our habits. So, what is the key to this magical happening? You can thank Neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the brains ability to form and reorganize synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or experience. With every repetition of a thought or emotion, we reinforce a neural pathway, and with each new thought a new pathway is formed. If a thought or emotion is repeated enough it can lead to changing how our brain works. Basically, that old saying use it or lose it also applies to the brain. There you have it, you no longer have any valid excuse for not being able to learn something new or change an old way of thinking. The brain is powerful and malleable, all we have to do is learn how to use it correctly.
HOW TO CHANGE YOUR MINDSET
1. Morning Mentality-When you wake up, that is your chance to set the mood for the day you are going to have. Before your feet even touch the ground and before you reach for your phone, mentally prepare yourself for the type of day you want to have. Visualize all the positive things that are going to happen, how you are going to accomplish your goals, how nothing is going to ruin your day.
2. Try Not To Judge-Every day we are constantly analyzing and judging every little thing that happens to us or around us. When we allow things to just be and stop wasting time judging or analyzing we allow ourselves to hold space and just observe and move forward. Practicing this allows us to be in the moment and then move forward without getting stuck in a certain mindset or thought.
3. React Vs Respond– Whether we like it or not, we are going to run into circumstances that may affect us directly or indirectly. When this happens, we have the option to react or respond. When you respond to a situation you think about it, use reason to find a solution, and then take the appropriate measures. When you react, you skip the reasoning stage and do what comes naturally in the moment which can cause more problems and frustration. This is the difference between a happy positive person, and a frustrated negative person.
4. Appreciate What You Have– Being grateful for what you have can go a long way. When you live in a state of expectation and being dissatisfied that can lead to negative thinking.
5. Routine & Consistency– Having a routing can help out immensely with accomplishing goals whether they be physical, mental, or spiritual. Consistency is also key, doing something even if you don’t feel like it will help you reach your overall goal since there will be days you feel super motivated and other day you don’t. keeping on track with routine and consistency will help you reach your goal.
Changing your mentality and overall your brain chemistry is no easy feat. Why do you think so many people quit when it comes to changing bad habits, self- growth, or even reaching a simple goal? Thankfully it can be done due to neuroplasticity, and with enough effort and consistency we can become that motivated go getter who makes things happen in their life instead of waiting for things to magically change.
Photo by Lionello DelPiccolo on Unsplash