Have you ever noticed a voice in your head? The one that says: “I’m not good enough” “Nothing ever works out for me” “No one loves me” “My body sucks” “People cannot be trusted” “Bad things always happen to me” etc, etc, etc.
Congratulations! If you’ve noticed The Voice, you are actually ahead of the game!
The Voice in your head was not there when you were born. It developed over years of being immersed in messages from well-meaning (and often misguided) parents, relatives, teachers, religious institutions, media and other influences in our formative years.
That Voice is not you. It is not who you are.
When you think a thought over and over, it creates a pattern of thought. Overtime you might even believe those thoughts to be who you are. Often those thoughts create unwanted emotional states.
When you become aware of old habituated patters, you become the observer of your thoughts, feelings and behaviors. You are no longer the old self. The unconscious becomes conscious and change can begin to take place.
Just like a child watching clouds in the sky knows that s/he is not the clouds, you become aware that you are not your thoughts.
You are the witness of your thoughts.
The hardest thing about change is not making the same choices we made the day before, according to Dr. Joe Dizpenza, New York Times bestselling author, neuroscience and quantum physics researcher, chiropractor and lecturer. The biological model of change, he says, requires unlearning and relearning.
“If you always do
what you’ve always done,
you’ll always get
what you’ve always got.”*
*Quote variously attributed to Albert Einstein, Henry Ford and Anthony Robbins
The good news is that we can actually rewire our brain. Our magnificent brain is always changing… for the rest of our lives, even after brain injury.
This is due to the brain’s neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the brain’s amazing capacity to change and adapt. We can create those changes by deciding where we put our attention and intention. This is called Self-Directed Neuroplasticity.
You can use your conscious mind to actively rewire your brain.
“What flows thru the mind, sculpts the brain.”
-Neuropsychologist Dr Rick Hanson
Every time we have a thought, neurons (nerve cells) fire and connect with other neurons thru connections called synapses creating a neural pathway. These pathways are like a superhighway. When we have the same thought over and over again, the pathways become more solid.
It’s Not You, It’s Your Brain!
As soon as you start to feel the anxiety or disruptive thoughts that are taking you down the same road, you can put up a roadblock to direct the brain into taking a detour.
Since “neurons that fire together wire together” when we interrupt a thought pattern, we allow those neurons to make friends with different neurons and create a new pathway.
Interrupting thoughts, feelings and behaviors in a way that accesses the parasympathetic nervous system (the relaxation response) creates a roadblock to help the brain rewire and create new patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
REWIRE YOUR BRAIN IN TWO EASY STEPS
STEP ONE: Create a Roadblock that Interrupts the Pattern
Practice a few of these techniques until you find the ones that work best for you.
- Create a Kinesthetic Anchor: think of something that makes you feel peaceful and safe, immerse yourself in the feeling of peace and safety, and letting go; grab one wrist with the opposite hand, take a deep breath in, exhale slowly, and say Peace. Repeat as needed. You can hold your anchor in a discrete way if you are in a meeting or with someone challenging…
- Tapping Meridians – This is a short form of EFT. Gently tap on the points shown in the illustration while saying “I release and let this go” – deep breath in, deep breath out – grab wrist (kinesthetic anchor on #1) and say Peace. My clients are finding this simple technique highly effective.
- Using Your Breath to Hack Your Nervous System for Peace & Health – this is my favorite breathing practice. I use it to put myself back to sleep when my mind is busy and many other times throughout the day. I teach it to all my clients with excellent results. Read more and watch a short video HERE
- HeartMath Heart Center Breathing – create a state of coherence in about 60 seconds by releasing stress and stopping draining emotions such as frustration, irritation, anxiety and anger. When you are in a coherent state, your thoughts and emotions are balanced and you experience ease and inner harmony. The Quick Coherence® Technique for Adults The Quick Coherence Technique® for Ages 12-18 Children: Ages 2-6
- Use a Code Word Like “Stop” or “Change”. This usually makes me smile, which brings me to the next roadblock…
- Laugh! – Laughter releases neurotransmitters (chemical substances) that stimulate our brains and nervous system to make positive changes in our bodies and minds.
Step One works on its own, but if you want to take it a step further do Step Two.
STEP TWO: Mental Rehearsal to Program What You Want Instead
After you settle your system using one of the practices on Step One, ask yourself:
How Do I Want to Feel Instead?
Who do I want to be in this moment? in this situation?
Talk yourself into that state: What is it like when I feel ____?
It Works When You Work It!
I use these techniques on a daily basis as I practice rewiring my brain for Inner Peace, Joy and Health. The practice of Self-Directed Neuroplasticity is changing my life and the lives of my clients. One of my clients recently exclaimed “Wow, this is tooo easy!!! I feel great!” after using the tapping and kinesthetic anchor just once to remove the charge of a disturbing thought.
Change requires intention, determination, practice and access to effective tools. If you would like support on your journey to peace, joy and wholeness, please contact me for a free consultation to explore how we may work together.
YOU CAN USE YOUR MIND
TO CHANGE YOUR BRAIN
TO CHANGE YOUR MIND
To benefit yourself and other beings.
~Neuropsychologist Dr Rick Hanson