Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to adapt and change.
“Neuro” refers to the nerve cells, or neurons, and “plastic” refers to the modifiable nature of our brain and nervous system.
Neuroplasticity is the reason coaches coach.
Because they see that with repeated exposure, practice, and attention, their clients learn and change.
So do their brains.
Here’s the good news: You can “teach an old dog new tricks,”
The brain is plastic at all ages, so we can continue to learn and create changes in our brains and nervous systems throughout our lives.
How understanding your brain makes change easier
As soon as we think about making a big change, our brains resist.
Because brains are designed to expend the leas amount of energy and operate with maximum efficiency, when you repeat certain thoughts, feelings and behaviors, your brain memorizes the pattern.
This is how habits are formed.
Although we are hard-wired for consistency and to resist change, change is possible.
But it requires effort. This is where you will have to do some heavy lifting.
The same-old, same old: your brain on auto-pilot
Your brain will always want to follow the familiar patterns, prefer to do things the way you’ve always done them.
What do you think, feel and do every day, on auto-pilot?
What are your “default” modes?
Notice the patterns where the strongest emotions emerge. Although these will be the more difficult patterns to change, you get to decide which patterns to keep and which to work on changing.
When neuroplasticity goes awry
Negative thought patterns, destructive behaviors and addictions are all products of neuroplasticity.
What we feed our brain affects the thoughts and behaviors we produce. We are what we repeatedly practice.
That’s why controlling a bad habit – biting your nails, smoking, or self-doubt – can be so difficult.
Negative plasticity establishes unpleasant and unproductive behaviors and thought patterns.
But, what we have learned can be unlearned.
Bad habits can be replaced with healthy ones thanks to neuroplasticity.
The key is to decide AHEAD OF TIME exactly what you will do.
Then rinse and repeat.
Keep repeating the pattern until it grooves strong, new neural pathways.
Slowly but surely your new thinking and modes of behavior will become more efficient and easier to access.
This is how you reprogram your brain to use preferred, intentional thoughts, feelings and actions.
Redirection is your friend
You will need to tell your brain what to think and do again and again.
Don’t bet discouraged.
Haven’t you heard the old adage, “Old habits die hard”?
What old habits do you want to change? Habits of thought? Feeling? Behavior?
Let’s take a closer look and plan an effective strategy to change them.
Click here to get started today.