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How to Tap Into Neuroplasticity in Your Daily Life

We all know the feeling of being stuck in a rut, far from reaching our full potential and feeling held back by repetitive, anxiety-filled thoughts. 

It might be difficult to see how making small changes like exercising, meditating or positive thinking could make a difference. This is because our current state of mind feels so fixed

It should come as great news then, that the scientific consensus today is that the structure of the brain is plastic. It can shiftrewire and adapt constantly. This phenomenon is otherwise known as neuroplasticity.  

Shake up the brain with neuroplasticity!

We now know that within our brain, neural pathways are constantly shifting and changing routes with new experiences. This means that our sense of selfhappiness and the way we think are constantly changing.  

This also explains why we can never reach the elusive ‘end point’ where we are happy and contented, living our ‘best life’ under perfect conditions. Instead, our brain is constantly changing and adapting as we move through life. 

How Does Neuroplasticity Work?  

The benefits of modern behavioural therapy and wellness trends such as mindfulnessmanifestation and positive thinking can all be understood by looking closely at neuroplasticity.  

By ‘working’ certain parts of our brain – returning to particular thought processes again and again – these parts of our brain develop just as a muscle would.  To be more specific, the neural pathways that make these thought processes grow physically stronger through use. This makes these thoughts easier to access next time we think of something related.

The more we encourage neuroplasticity in our brain, the more plastic our brain becomes. If the conditions of our life and our experience remains the same, so do our neural pathways and our thoughts. By giving our brain new experiences we can: 

  • Develop new neural connections 
  • Actually grow gray matter 
  • Guide our thoughts in a direction of our choosing – to be more positive, creative, proactive or efficient.  

Using Neuroplasticity in Your Daily Life   

There are two key aspects to tapping into neuroplasticity: shaking up the brain’s experience and conscious mental reframing.  

Conscious mental reframing allows you to shift your perspective on life and works best alongside shaking up your brain’s experiences. This puts your brain in a more plastic and flexible state of mind.  

Our brain physically changes with new experiences! 

Shaking up the Brain  

The first step to taking advantage of your natural neuroplasticity is shaking up the brain with changing sensory input. All of the following are great ways to introduce something new to the brain, calling on little-used neural pathways and forming brand new connections.  

  1. Try Something New  

Trying new things throughout your life is the most helpful change you can make to boost neuroplasticity. The more you can immerse yourself in different environments and new experiences, the better for you and your brain. 

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! It’s actually incredibly healthy for your brain and is a key source of learning. It doesn’t need to be way out of your comfort zone to be effective. Trying something new could as small as taking a different route home from work or listening to a new genre of music.  

  1. Form  a New Habit  

Adding a brand-new habit to your schedule is a great way of disrupting your brain’s daily experience and strengthening new neural pathways.  

This can bring a new perspective to other activities in your day as different parts of your brain wake up and neural pathways start firing. But don’t worry! If your newly formed habit doesn’t stick, feel free to drop it and instead categorise it under ‘trying something new’.   

  1. Learn a New Skill  

Learning something new, such as a language or an instrument, has been successfully shown to boost neuroplasticity. It increases the density of gray matter in the brain and creates abundant new neural pathways in the process. This leaves your brain in a better position to learn even more skills, take on additional fresh information and understand new ways to perceive the world.  

Learning something new lights up new neural pathways! 

Read Now: Practicing Mindfulness in Nature: Sticking to the Present Moment 

Choosing the Brain’s Direction   

Next comes the second part of tapping into neuroplasticity: nourishing helpful neural pathways. By implementing structured, active positive thinking, you can make your brain more joyful, dynamic, productive and creative.  

The methods you could use to form more joyful neural pathways are endless, but some simple ones include:  

  • Practicing gratitude 
  • Reframing frustrating situations 
  • Finding and repeating positive affirmations you really believe.

Enhancing Neuroplasticity  

Our minds are constantly changing thanks to neuroplasticity. However, sometimes we need to be the ones to push for this change.

You’re already one step closer to unleashing your brain’s potential. If you’d like to take advantage of neuroplasticity and experience the positive impact it can have, it could be worth speaking to a professional about what tools are available to enhance your life.  

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For more professional advice about lifestyle changes, contact us at Ceed to speak to one of our life coaches.  

Neuroplasticity: Better Your Brain with Positive Thinking

When we think about how the brain develops, it may seem like common sense that development stops after childhood. We all grow up with the understanding that at around eighteen, our personality traits are set in stone, our learning ability slows down and we become ‘us’ for good. 

Traditional forms of therapy are built on this view, often characterising us as doomed to repeat patterns throughout our lives. But over the past thirty years, neuroplasticity has informed modern behavioural therapy and come to transform how we understand the brain.  

Get a fresh outlook with neuroplasticity!

The most popular form of modern therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), focuses on changing patterns of thought and behaviour through repetition – by tapping into neuroplasticity.

When we understand how neuroplasticity works, we can see that positive thinking isn’t just a buzzword. Our happiness, outlook and sense of self can change dramatically through how we choose to use our brains.  

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What is Neuroplasticity? 

Something has plasticity when it can be bent, shaped and altered. Neuroplasticity describes the changeable nature of our brains. 

The building blocks of our brains are neurons, which connect to form neural pathways. These pathways pass information around the brain, constantly firing in different combinations. A pathway grows stronger when we use it more and weaker when we use it less, much like a muscle can grow stronger or waste away.

When we feel hopeful, neurons responsible for hope fire together and bond, creating a stronger pathway. So, the more we feel hopeful, the stronger that pathway grows and the more our brain will take that well-exercised route.  

Positive mental habits can guide us through life!

Positive Thinking – Not Just a Buzzword 

Positive thinking has a bad reputation with many as just a surface-level fix for problems. However, neuroplasticity and an understanding of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) show us that positive thinking has the right idea

Thanks to neuroplasticity, we know that the brain can make dramatic changes at any point in our lifetime if we change our environment and what we input enough.

Thinking positive thoughts alone is unlikely to create lasting change, especially if you’re coming from a rut, or a place of feeling stuck. Instead, creating a structure to exercise your brain in this way can produce visible effects and help you to persevere.  

Read Now: How to Uncover Inspiration

3 Ways to Think Positive

When done right, positive thinking can call on little-used neural pathways and form brand new connections, drastically changing our experience of life.  

Here are three ways to use positive thinking and neuroplasticity. 

1. Daily Gratitude  

Taking time daily to cultivate gratitude is an effective and short-term way to see a meaningful shift in mindset. Daily gratitude involves spending time listing aloud or preferably writing down the things you are grateful for.  

You should ideally do this once a day, either morning or night.  It can include big, sweeping statements about your life, or very small things like the pen you’re writing with. Begin each sentence with “I am grateful for”, for example: 

  • I am grateful for the dinner I ate this evening.
  • I am grateful for the sun coming out on my way home today.
  • I am grateful for the people in my life.
Expressing gratitude trains the brain to look for the good in life.

Spending time focusing on gratitude practices framing life in a positive light. It’s less about creating a well-written list that will stand the test of time, and more about spending time actively looking for the good around us.  

In time, expressing gratitude for life daily rewires the brain to place its focus on what makes us happy, rather than what’s not enough in our lives.  

2. Reframing Difficult Situations  

When faced with a problem, the best thing to do is to work out how to tackle it. Instead of jumping to negative dead-end conclusions, try to break down the problem at hand and perceive it in a manageable way. By doing so, the brain learns to creatively find answers and solutions.   

A great way of making difficult situations more manageable is to try interpreting them in a different way. For example, instead of becoming frustrated when your route home is delayed, you could choose to focus instead on how you have more time to listen to that new podcast you’ve been meaning to tune into. Or perhaps you could take a different route home and experience something new.  

The more we can adopt an optimistic approach to our everyday problems, the better. With practice, you’ll find that your brain is less likely to go down negative pathways in the future. 

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3. Repeating Positive Affirmations  

A positive affirmation is a phrase you can say to yourself to remind yourself of your value and ability. Positive affirmations move your thinking along a neural pathway connected to a positive feeling such as hope, self-belief or love, and strengthen these pathways

They are both useful to repeat when you find yourself agreeing with negative thoughts about yourself, and when you are feeling confident and optimistic, in order to reinforce this outlook

In order for an affirmation to work, the brain has to really believe it, and this means tailoring affirmations to apply to your experience rather than something generic. Here are some tips to find personal affirmations that your brain truly believes:   

Boost your mindset with positive affirmations!
  • List a few of your good qualities – “I am…”  
  • Identify a problem you are facing, what qualities are needed to tackle it, and affirm that you have those qualities – “I can…”  
  • Think about something you’d like to achieve – “I will…”  

Read Now: How to Improve Your Productivity with Neuroplasticity

To Sum Up… 

Neuroplasticity brings the wonderful knowledge that far more is possible than we thought. The science of neuroplasticity shows us an optimistic view of human nature with a real sense of opportunity.  

By creating a structure around yourself that supports thinking and acting in joyful, positive ways, you can build a dynamic and happy brain able to take on any challenge. 

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Need help building new habits and making a change in your lifestyle? Feel free to reach out and contact us at Ceed today! 

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