The human brain is an incredible thing. Billions upon billions of connections are made within it, creating pathways that determine how we react to life. In fact, it has been estimated that the number of neural connections in each brain exceeds the number of atoms in the universe!
Neuroplasticity is the phenomenon whereby connections die off and new ones are made. It is neuroplasticity that allows us to make lasting change so that we deal with life in a much more positive manner.
Easy eh? Let’s get to it…
Except it isn’t so easy. The control centre of our brain, the part that decides how we respond to situations, is known as the amygdala and it is biased towards maintaining the status quo. It tends to encourage repeated behaviour patterns, which explains why we get caught up in unhelpful habits. Creating new pathways in the brain takes a lot of energy – it can be likened to hacking your way through the jungle as opposed to walking a well-worn path. There is a strong evolutionary drive to conserve energy, as our ancestors didn’t know when their next meal might arrive.
But that doesn’t mean change can’t happen. The human brain has evolved beyond being a simple survival machine. We now have the capacity to think and to imagine, and we can decide that we want our lives to be better. Given a little determination, we can use the power of neuroplasticity to rewire our brains and move to a more optimistic, positive mindset. And once we’ve hacked through the jungle, that path becomes easier to follow.
We can start today, by taking one small step in the direction we want to go. And once that first step is taken, the next step can reveal itself.
Make today Day One.