We all have one – a brain, but how we use it can be very different. But is it possible to actually rewire our brain? Scientists certainly think so and indeed, Norman Doidge a Canadian born psychiatrist believes that “thought changes structure….I saw people rewire their brains with their thoughts, to cure previously incurable obsessions and trauma.”
Rewiring the brain is achievable through neuroplasticity but what is it and how do we harness it to improve our lives?
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to adapt and change. Every thought and emotion we have ever experienced and yet to experience, is recorded by the brain and neural pathways are reinforced. If we have the same thought over and over our brain automatically starts to work in a particular way. Therefore, if we are negative beings constantly moaning, complaining and whingeing, we become moaners, complainers and whingers. Basically, we have taught our brain to become what we think and do.
Our brains develop in childhood as a normal part of our development, but if we experience trauma our sympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive and we become hypervigilant and anxious. We become stressed. This becomes our new normal state which we learn to live with. Physiologically we suffer and illness creeps in – IBS, migraines, adrenal fatigue, ME, insomnia, back pain, rheumatoid arthritis to name a few. Our immune system is depleted and depression can take hold if these things are left unchecked.
Fortunately, “you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.” As brain development and function is influenced by all that we do, we can unlearn our harmful and negative behaviours, beliefs and habits. We can re-programme ourselves to become less stressed – neuroplasticity!
That’s great news!
Of course, it’s far easier to stay the way you are – most change involves work so you’ve got to want to make those changes. Hopefully though, most of the changes are achievable – exercising, reading a great book, watching a fabulous film, socialising with others, taking a holiday, learning a new skill and having dreams, goals and aspirations.
I know I always end up mentioning this but WATER is vital for a healthy brain as it’s made up of over 70% water. So, if you want to benefit from the new, positive, smiley, happy YOU, then drink up to 2 litres of water a day. It’ll keep those brain cells in tip top condition and firing on all cylinders. Don’t worry, coffee (in moderation) is also good for you too 🙂
Finally, as a reflexologist I aim to use my understanding of anatomy and physiology to influence and rebalance any areas of your body which are out of kilter. It goes without saying that your brain is worked every time you come and see me as it underpins every one of your bodily functions. So, good luck with your neuroplasticity programme and I look forward to hearing about the changes you have implemented soon.