Changing a Habit

18 Apr


This is a continuation piece of my previous blog regarding neuroplasticity. If you haven’t read it, you can find it here:

Our brain can be PHYSICALLY rewired when we make decisions regarding any change or improvement  – or when you develop new habits (good or bad) without consciously making the decision to do so. It all happens through neuroplasticity, which is the process of developing more connections between the neurons in our brains. The longer we repeat actions and decisions, the more permanent the wiring resets in our brains.

The problem is, we don’t always make good decisions and consistently carry out good actions, and the brain can then fall back to its original wiring. Neuron health and connectivity is pliable; thus, it is also vulnerable to setbacks.

The primary flaw with rewiring the brain is two natural instincts:

  1. Our human brains evolved to identify and avoid threats.
  2. We are also predisposed to remember a single negative incident more than multiple positive experiences.

These survival mechanisms usually occur unconsciously – We are constantly experiencing “fight or flight” thoughts and reactions.

Here are two examples:

  • A co-worker is initially perceived as a threat versus a helpful partner.
  • Hard work often comes without rewards, which makes it easier to…umm…not work as hard.

Changing a diet, an exercise routine or kicking a bad habit is naturally tough to rewire because it takes constant conscious thought, effort and discipline. In three weeks, a habit can be formed due to the neuron restructuring, but it will take continued work to permanently cement that new rewiring.

It was only recently that the technology used to study the human brain has advanced enough to allow us to actually see the physical changes as they occur, so there is still much more to be learned about neuroplasticity and the neuron’s amazing abilities. An expert in the field, Dr. Michael Merzenich, shares ten core principles necessary for the rewiring to take place which you can read more about here:

Ready to change a habit? Choose to make that change and neuroplasticity will begin to work  its magic.

It’s time to grow faster~ Drew

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