THE MIND AND BODY CONNECTION
Part 2 - Neuroplasticity
Whatever you do, think, feel or pay attention to, changes the structure of your brain. This is the basis of Neuroplasticity.
And as it’s from the brain that all emotions and bodily functions spring from, Neuroplasticity is a key factor in the Mind and Body connection.
Neuroplasticity is the 'muscle building' part of the brain; the things we do often we become stronger and better at, it creates a pattern, a neural pathway in our brain. That is the physical basis of why making a thought, feeling or action over and over again increases its power. Over time, it becomes automatic; a part of us a pattern. We literally become what we think, feel and do.
Our brain is constantly shaped by our experience. With every repetition of a thought, act or emotion, we reinforce a neural pathway - and with each new thought, we begin to create a new way of being. These small changes, frequently enough repeated lead to changes in how our brain works.
According to recent research, we only need 21 to 30 days to consciously repeat a specific thought, action or emotion for the brain to create a new neural pathway, a new pattern. Do note that you only create a new pattern after 21/30 days. If you want longlasting change you have to at least repeat the desired pattern for at least 90-days.
Neuroplasticity is at work throughout life. Connections within the brain are constantly becoming stronger or weaker, depending on what is being used. Younger people change easily as their brains are very plastic. As we age change doesn't come as easily. The brain loses some of its plasticity and we become more fixed in how we think, learn, and perceive.
Since the brain is pivotal to all we think and do, by harnessing neuroplasticity we can improve everything we do, feel and think. By using our mind-body connection in a positive way, we can keep stress levels lower by becoming aware of what we think and feel. In other words, the better we are able to cope by staying calm and reducing psychological stress, we will in-turn reduce physical stress, along with the chance of developing a disease.
One of my recent personal examples of neuroplasticity in action is this; I created a sleeping habit of believing I always need a good bed to sleep (because of my lower back), privacy and I only fall asleep after reading a good book or watching a no brain series. So for me, no camping and a lousy bed always affected my sleep and my lower back.
Now the moment I decided to go to a training in India this year. Knowing I had to sleep in a dormitory with “crappy” beds, I started my 21 day training in (my luxury bed). Every day I went to bed, programming myself by thinking I could do this. Cold turkey, no book, no TV series, lie down and sleep. And really after 21 days I easily fell asleep.
Arriving in India, seeing the dormitory, to me was a shock. It was to me the filthiest beds and matrasses I’ve ever seen in my life and no privacy at all. So this was my real test. And guess what? Ok, after the first night adjusting to the environment, I really slept well for 16 days. I was there. And even my lower back was doing fine.
I hope you now feel inspired and motivated enough to create any desired pattern you want in your life. Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re absolutely right. So what do you believe? And what do you create?
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