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  • Writer's pictureJulian DeWees

Flexibility of the Mind: Neuroplasticity



Flexibility is something that is talked about regularly in life. Yet, it is a struggle to truly adapt flexibility into our lives on a day-to-day basis. Why is this? Much of this resistance to flexibility is due to our programming that took place during our developmental years from in utero to around 7 years old. During those crucial years, we are imprinted with societal norms and parental rules that are beneficial as well as detrimental to our growth and openness to change. Flexibility is taught. Like anything, flexibility can be learned at any age. This is all made possible with neuroplasticity. The innate flexibility of the human mind.


“Neuroplasticity is the brain's ability to change and adapt due to experience. It is an umbrella term referring to the brain's ability to change, reorganize, or grow neural networks. This can involve functional changes due to brain damage or structural changes due to learning.” (Kendra Cherry, Verywell mind, November 8, 2022)


There was an archaic time when people thought that you were just born with the brain you had and that was it. No change! You will always think and be the way you are because it is who you are, it is what is expected of you! That idea has long been tossed out the window. Humans are extremely adaptable and the reason behind this is our mind. When you experience something new your brain creates neural pathways that link a memory to that event so that in the future you may at will or subconsciously recall the information from that time and apply it to your current life. Adaptation.


What about the old neural patterns that are set in place, but are outdated and no longer serve you or may even be hindering you? These are hardwired pathways that are thick and habitual in nature, but these too can change. Just because you have done something or thought a certain way for over 30 years does not mean that you cannot change. It may be harder, but you can do it. You can quit smoking, you can become more open-minded, you can forgive, you can learn new skills, you can learn to write cursive, and you can have fun doing it too!


How do you do this though? With practice!


Find an old habit or thought pattern that no longer serves you then become hyper-aware of instances when this habit or thought pattern begins creeping in. In that instance of awareness shift your focus to a behavior or thought that invigorates you or pulls you closer toward your ideal/potential self and then once you make the shift give yourself a high five, smile, take a nice deep breath, or even say out loud, “I did a great job there!” This is no different than training a dog! It is conditioning yourself to crave the good habit over the bad habit, the empowering thought over the disempowering one. You are rewarded with a flood of feel-good emotions. You then begin to crave the new habit and the new thought pattern. I am not saying it will be easy, but with practice, and the principle of constancy you will slowly or rapidly transform into a version of yourself that you can use to manifest your wildest of dreams and influence the world.


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Well, I hope you enjoyed this small synaptic bridge of a post :) What I want you to have learned from this post is that you can be flexible. You can develop new skills; you can change old habits and thoughts that no longer serve you. If you put in the time to notice your habits and thoughts, you can shift your actions and thinking with conditioning toward a new level of you. A you that can do and be anything imagined.


Reward yourself with kindness!


Till next time!


This is Julian with Noonday Star Coaching



References:


Cherry, K. (2022, November 8). How brain neurons change over time from life experience. Verywell Mind. https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-brain-plasticity-2794886#:~:text=Neuroplasticity%20is%20the%20brain%27s%20ability,structural%20changes%20due%20to%20learning.


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