459126236_a2c769ac03_z

We all have much more power to shape our reality than most realize due to the brain’s amazing morphing power, known as neuroplasticity.  Neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to change its physical structure and function through thought, emotion, and activity, is a scientific truth of the last decade.  It used to be believed that the adult brain was pretty much fixed or hard wired. Not so. I like to say that neuroplasticity the super power we all have.

Your brain has the ability to change from the day you’re born until the day you die, and neuroplasticity is happening every minute of every day whether you’re aware of it or not. It’s a choice and privilege to use neuroplasticity consciously for our good rather than unconsciously letting it work against us.

Neuroplasticity was the key to my recovering from depression and a brain injury resulting from a suicide attempt and finding happiness. You too can put neuroplasticity to use for you and change your life for the better. Promise.

The brain is like Play-Doh minus the funky smell because it’s changeable, malleable, and adaptable throughout a person’s life. The changes in the brain occur in response to actions we commit, our senses and perceptions, and even our thinking and imagining.  Basically, everthing you do and think every day gets etched into your brain.

Neuroplasticity is a case of thought changing matter which, while remarkable, is no big deal for our brains. You can just think about your hand raising and it does which is both extraordinary and very ordinary at the same time. Neuroplasticity has substantial implications for every aspect of human nature and culture including medicine, psychiatry, psychology, relationships, education, and more.

Amazing Neuroplasticity At Work

Neuroplasticity has allowed people who have had strokes and brain trauma to recover amazing functionality. Because of neroplasticity, congenitally blind people’s brains have figured out new ways to see. Children with cerebral palsy learn to move more gracefully and children with autism make cognitive strides which were thought not possible because of the ability of their brain to change. Experience-based neuroplasticity  has also been harnessed to ease chronic pain. The examples go on and on.

Because nothing in your brain is hard wired, you can utilize neuroplasticity to replace entrenched, unhealthy behaviors and patterns in your own life with better ones. A person has to make the effort to consistently practice the new habit and over time, their brain will respond by making permanent changes to reinforce the new behavior.

Want to quit smoking?  Interrupt the pattern habitually, and your brain will become your ally in the effort. Your brain can be put to work for you if you want drop 10 pounds, end a drug addiction, or stop biting your fingernails. Visualizing can be of help when encouraging neuroplastic change to help end a bad habit because your brain also responds to your thoughts. Alter your behavior regularly, and your brain will support you by make physical changes encouraging the new pattern.

Personally, I quit smoking when, after the brain injury, I couldn’t light up in the hospital for two weeks. However, the biggest changes I’ve made are in my thought processes.  After years of mental health counseling and taking an antidepressant, I still tried to commit suicide. Without pills or professional help in the years after the suicide attempt/brain injury, I have literally rewired my brain to think more positively and mindfully to rest in calm and joy.

The bottom line is that we have grossly underestimated what the brain can do and the huge role it plays in shaping our lives and realities. Put your brain to work for you. You have a magic wand in your head. Use it!

 

image credit:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/usagent/459126236/in/photostream/

 

"Get your best brain and life info..."
Delivered to your inbox. Your email address will never be shared.

Related Posts

61 Comments

  1. What’s truly astonishing is how little we really know about the brain. The discovery of neuroplasticity, that our thoughts can change the structure and function of our brains, even into old age, is the most important breakthrough in our understanding of the brain in four hundred years.

    I too am undergoing mind training and slowly learning new patterns of thinking ie. new ways to strip away the masks and suffering and reveal the real me beneath it all.

    This is now my code for conscious living:
    Face reality head on.
    Use your brain.
    Change your thoughts.
    Live your life honorably.
    Learn how to accept what is. Learn
    how make changes where you can.
    Use all opportunities negative or positive to become a better person — a healthier, happier and more compassionate person.

  2. Wondering if you’ve read the book, “The Brain that Changes Itself” by Norman Doidge? Very much in agreement and on-topic with your article … and absolutely fascinating, to boot!

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      Oh, yes! Norman Doidge is my hero and his book, The Brain That Changes Itself, was literally my manual to recover from a brain injury.

      I read it early after the injury and it gave me so much hope. I devised my own therapies to utilize and encourage neuroplasticity. It worked!

  3. hi there. The article sounds awesome, but there are no further links or advice where to go from this to tools on how to create your own change?
    Please help, I would love to be able to follow up on this and set up possibilities to create my own change

    • Debbie Hampton Reply

      Kim, thanks for your request. Good point! I wrote this blog, 3 years post brain injury, when things like links were beyond me. However, they can certainly be added now and further help and provide info. I will add some to the blog. Thank you for the suggestion. 🙂

  4. Pingback: As good as it gets? | The Best Brain Possible

  5. Pingback: Deeper than down in the dumps | The Best Brain Possible

  6. Pingback: Quick Tips For A Better Brain | The Best Brain Possible

  7. Pingback: Seeing Thunder and Hearing Lightening | The Best Brain Possible

  8. Pingback: Friends With Brain Benefits | The Best Brain Possible

  9. Pingback: 10 Ways To Stay Positive In A Negative World | The Best Brain Possible

  10. Pingback: Is The Wine Glass Half Full Or Half Empty? | The Best Brain Possible

  11. Pingback: The Gap Between Knowing And Doing | The Best Brain Possible

  12. Pingback: From Here to There | The Best Brain Possible

  13. Pingback: The Magic Wand in Your Head | The Best Brain Possible

  14. Pingback: Into The Fire | The Best Brain Possible

  15. Pingback: Older and Better! | The Best Brain Possible

  16. Pingback: You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby | The Best Brain Possible

  17. Pingback: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly | The Best Brain Possible

  18. Pingback: Turn It Around | The Best Brain Possible

  19. Pingback: A Mood Ring for the Mind | The Best Brain Possible

  20. Pingback: Learning To Live Again | The Best Brain Possible

  21. Pingback: When My World Was Warped | The Best Brain Possible

  22. Pingback: Your Brain Online | The Best Brain Possible

  23. Pingback: A Little Means A Lot | The Best Brain Possible

  24. Pingback: Culture Shock Really Is Brain Shock | The Best Brain Possible

  25. Pingback: The Ultimate Do-It-Yourself Project | The Best Brain Possible

  26. Pingback: Your Brain’s Future: The Good And Bad News | The Best Brain Possible

  27. Pingback: The Key To Success Is All In Your Head

  28. Pingback: Is The Wine Glass Half Full Or Half Empty? - The best brain possible

  29. Pingback: Pulling Weeds and Planting Flowers - The best brain possible

  30. Pingback: From Here to There - The best brain possible

  31. Pingback: You've Come A Long Way, Baby - The best brain possible

  32. Pingback: A Little Means A Lot - The best brain possible

  33. Pingback: Turn It Around - The best brain possible

  34. Pingback: Building A Better Brain - The best brain possible

  35. Pingback: Brain Bend - The best brain possible

  36. Pingback: Quick Tips For A Better Brain - The best brain possible

  37. Pingback: What's The Difference Between Feelings And Emotions? - The best brain possible

  38. Pingback: Happiness Is A Skill - The best brain possible

  39. Pingback: Pain Is In Your Brain (and can end there) - The best brain possible

  40. Pingback: The Key To Success Is All In Your Head - The best brain possible

  41. Pingback: How Your Brain Creates Your Reality - The best brain possible

  42. Pingback: When My World Was Warped - The best brain possible

  43. Pingback: How Talking Tames Depression - The best brain possible

  44. Pingback: The Gap Between Knowing And Doing - The best brain possible

  45. Pingback: 8 Things Hitting Rock Bottom Taught Me - The best brain possible

  46. Pingback: How To Free The Genius In Your Brain - The best brain possible

  47. Pingback: Want To Know The Answer To The Brain Training Debate? - The best brain possible

  48. Pingback: Your Weakness Is The Key To Your Strength - The best brain possible

  49. Pingback: The Kind Of Fighting That Can Improve Your Life - The Tom Hitchens Community

  50. Pingback: The 10 Fundamentals Of Rewiring Your Brain - The best brain possible

  51. Pingback: Are Your Habits Messing Up Your Memory? - The best brain possible

  52. Pingback: How Exercise Helps Your Brain - The best brain possible

  53. Pingback: 8 Things You Need To Know About Preventing Parkinson's - The best brain possible

  54. Pingback: Your Brain Online - The best brain possible

  55. Pingback: The Quickest Way To Change How You Feel Is To Change How You Think - The Best Brain Possible

  56. Pingback: Five Ways To Grow New Brain Cells - The Best Brain Possible

  57. Pingback: Neuroplasticity: Your Life Shapes Your Brain - The Best Brain Possible

  58. Pingback: Are You Unknowingly Contributing To Your Brain's Decline? - The Best Brain Possible

Write A Comment

182 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Pin
+1