Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to learn new things and change itself with each new experience. When you learn to speak a new language or play a new instrument, you do this by using your brain’s neuroplasticity. You can use the same function to teach your brain to be happy and resilient, but it takes a little time, determination, attention, repeated ‘work’, and…fun!
If you try to change your brain (and your mind) half-heartedly, your neuroplasticity won’t switch on. As a matter of fact, the brain organises information into ‘positive’, ‘negative’ and ‘neutral’, so if your brain classifies an activity as ‘neutral’, because you are unmotivated, undetermined, distracted or you do not put any effort into the activity, brain change won’t happen. The more you practice an activity with motivation, determination and positivity, the quicker the brain will make new neural connections and change itself.
Think of your neural pathways as highways that your brain uses to organise the information it receives. In order to save energy, the brain creates these highways to automate certain processes like, for example, riding a bike, walking, driving a car – this is commonly referred to as ‘automatic pilot’. It does the same thing with your thoughts and emotions; say you had repeated experiences as a child that made you come to the conclusion that you were not good enough. Every time you re-encounter such a situation, your brain will automatically use the ‘I am not good enough highway’, instead of letting you re-evaluate the situation as an adult allowing you to come to a better conclusion. Obviously, repeatedly thinking that you are not good enough won’t foster a positive attitude towards yourself and will probably prevent you from developing your full potential to live a happy and meaningful life.
In order to change such automatic and maladaptive mental and emotional patterns, we can use the brain’s neuroplasticity to build new, more positive highways! All we need is mindfulness, so that we can notice when our brain has used a highway that is detrimental to our wellbeing and then choose to consciously think more realistic or positive thoughts, foster more positive emotions, or create more positive experiences that will, over time, create a new, improved highway in our brain.
All the resources presented on this website have been scientifically validated and are put together to help you change your brain for the better! Happy rewiring!