I am on a quest to understand my heart and I am enjoying how things unfold for me as a result of this. Through my work I know that by conscious steps we all have the capacity to develop new ways of doing and being hence we can grow and become more efficient, impactful leaders, managers, more loving parents or more compassionate friend or colleague.
Through coaching, which is one of the ways we grow, I am increasingly convinced that the heart and the mind never work completely separately. They work in harmony to help us achieve a life we crave for and enjoy not only the results but the journey itself!
This week I collected 5 things you need to know about your brain.
- The brain has an innate capacity to change called neuroplasticity.
Until recently the belief was that our brain stops changing at the age of 21. New research has shown that no matter what age we are by working with our brain we can identify our negative, destructive, limiting thinking patterns and consciously change them. It is fabulous news for some of us who has battled with negative thinking, self-limiting beliefs and fear or anger.
- If it fires, it wires– this has become the buzz slogan for us working with neuroscience. What this means is a simple process- each time you think or do something, neurons fire in your brain and a million or so of them create a neural pathway. The more we think or do a particular activity or feel a certain emotion, the more connections are built up in our brain; hence we get into a routine of doing and thinking. (Some of my clients call it “the trenches” or “the grooves” that keep them in the negative).
- We have well-developed neural pathways and when we want a change, we need to build new pathways to evoke deep, real change in our perceptions and behavior. Without consciously looking at where we are stuck, we will not be able to tickle our brain neurons for new connections. Each part of our brain holds certain emotions and I will write about the two hemispheres of the brain next week, so please stay around.
- The more often it fires, the more myelination occurs i.e. the more connections are built up. (if you are more visual, you may imagine it as an electric wire covered with the outside insulation, where the thoughts form the wire and the practice of thinking new thoughts form the insulation around it securing the wires). The more consciously you choose new thoughts, the more connections you build up and creating new habits and patterns of thinking. This is why positive thinking on its own does not really work because words we simply utter are not enough to change the way we feel about what we think! We need to shift our thoughts in our brain consciously so we help it build up new associations and connections. This looks hard at first but it is learnable skill and it can be mastered until becomes second nature. I have done this, still doing it and I have seen many people succeeding!
- Neuroplasticity is a 6-syllable word for Hope. This is my absolute favorite learning about the brain. It does not matter when we start, we can help ourselves and others grow as human beings by using our brain’s capacity. I use this with my kids to help them learn more effectively, my clients to help them tackle a difficult situation at work or at home. I use it with my friends to support them through a challenging issue. The great thing about this is the sheer amazement it brings by showing how incredibly powerful the brain is!
If you want to try a little sample of how it works in practice, get in touch with me on 07983 066 426 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org