Updated: Sep 22, 2019
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Sharing the science of neuroplasticity & hypnotherapy
From birth until now, your brain has been changing. The traditional view of the brain was that each part was associated with a particular set of functions, i.e. each region of the brain was isolated. It was also thought that the brain stagnates and stops growing at a certain point in time (between 21 and 25 years old).
Not so fast! The concept of neuroplasticity has recently told us that this is not true!
What is neuroplasticity?
Our brains are constantly being shaped by experience. Most of us have very different behaviours and thoughts today than we did 20 years ago. This shift is neuroplasticity in action; changes in brain structure and organisation as we experience, learn, and adapt.
With every repetition of a thought or emotion, we reinforce a neural pathway - and with each new thought, we begin to create a new way of being. These small changes, frequently enough repeated, lead to changes in how our brains work.
Neuroplasticity is the 'muscle building' part of the brain; the things we do often we become stronger at, and what we don’t use fades away. That is the physical basis of why making a thought or action over and over again increases its power. Over time, it becomes automatic; a part of us. We literally become what we think and do.
The modern view of the brain since is that neuroplasticity is at work throughout life.
Connections within the brain are constantly becoming stronger or weaker, depending on what is being used. Younger people change easily; their brains are very plastic. As we age change doesn't come as easily; the brain loses some of its plasticity and we become more fixed in how we think, learn, and perceive.
Since the brain is pivotal to all we think and do, by harnessing neuroplasticity we can improve everything we do and think.
Why neuroplasticity is the key to our future
Since we now know that we can change the functions of our brains, this has huge psychological implications for how we should perceive ourselves and our human bodies. Traditional thought had told us that our brains can’t change – that we are predisposed to be the same person we always have been indefinitely. Only to be proven wrong. The motivational speakers, coaches and third-grade school teachers that had told you “practice makes perfect” were right… Well, not exactly.
Practice does not necessarily make perfect, but it does make permanent.
And this can mean a lot when you’re telling your brain to change. Whether it be for depressing thoughts about life, anxiety, focus in school, or just healthier mindsets, neuroplasticity shows us comfort in that we actually are in charge of our bodies, and not just victims of our genetic makeup. Instead, we can do and be anyone and anything we want to be, just with the correct practice and enough determination.
How does hypnotherapy affect the brain?
How does Hypnotherapy support Neuroplasticity & help the brain to grow?
The definition of neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to re-wire itself and hypnotherapy is a powerful tool, that can be used to strengthen neural-connections or create new neural pathways. The brain is constantly changing and creating new pathways as a reaction to thoughts, emotions and experiences.
Our brains contain about one billion neurons. Every time you learn a new skill, have a new experience, think a new thought, you change your brain. If you keep thinking the same thoughts and repeat the same behaviour, you keep firing the same neural patterns. You create an automatic behaviour and responses to everything that happens in your life. If the behaviours are positive, you’ll see positive changes in your life.
If you are struggling with unwanted habits or emotions, you can learn how to change them and hypnotherapy can help!
What can hypnotherapy do for you? what can hypnotherapy help with?
The brain doesn’t make a distinction between imagined and real. Do you remember watching a movie and knowing well, what you see on the screen is not real, but still being able to experience a range of different emotions? Did you ever have a great dream or a nightmare? Did you ever hear about placebo and nocebo effect?
As you can see, you use your mind every day, every minute to heal you or to harm you. And at the same time, you change your brain.
Your thinking reflects in your body.
Your body reacts to your thoughts.
Do your thoughts make you feel relaxed or stressed?
Do you feel optimistic or negative?
Hypnotherapy helps you access your subconscious mind and focus on what you want to create.
You will learn how to relax and experience in YOUR mind your vision. You will re-wire your brain and learn how to behave and think differently. By repeating the new thoughts and behaviours, you will create new neural pathways. You will literally change your brain as the brain will delete the neural connections, that are no longer needed. If you want to experience in your life happiness, confidence, calmness, creativity or resilience you have to think the thoughts, that reflect those qualities.
Hypnotherapy is a great way to create changes in your life, but YOU need to be committed and work towards the goal. YOUR life is the creation of YOUR mind.
3 tricks to grow your brain
The brain is your most important muscle, so why don’t you treat it like you treat the rest of your body?
Your brain is your best muscle
The brain is the most interesting organ that can also act as a muscle in the body.
Firstly, with neuroplasticity proving that the brain is malleable and has the ability to strengthen itself, you might think twice about being more careful of what you think as well as how you think.
Secondly, with the application of Hebbian Theory (neurons that fire together wire together), it’s clear that the brain only grows as much as you challenge it to. So, no matter your age or your walk in life, it’s never too late to start working out your brain.
1. Get out of the normal routine – Swap poor habits for good ones
A routine is a habit. A habit is a series of brain processes that treat every action as if the brain was on autopilot. Avoid getting caught in routine as much as possible, because the brain will eventually begin to forget the processes that don’t encompass the habits of your everyday routine.
Neuroplasticity has a way of changing the brain to optimize efficiency – and that could unfortunately mean sacrificing valuable mental habits to master your poor behaviors. Habits can be beneficial – but if they reinforce unwanted behaviors then the brain will be destined to continue this negative trajectory in the long run. If you stay outside of your routine, you’ll be better suited to expand your mind into new areas of interest.
i.e. While watching videos on YouTube may stimulate your brain (marginally), reading a new book or thinking creatively may target neglected circuits of your brain that you want to grow again.
2. Never stop learning
Set goals for topics that you want to become a master of. Not only will it benefit you for life, but becoming an expert on a topic is a true way to create your passion. Make your brain better at processing and utilizing information by learning everyday on a topic relevant to what you do or want to do.
You can prevent unwanted brain diseases and neurodegeneration while strengthening your brain by exposing your mind to new information. You have the power to become the person you’ve always wanted to be by learning to control your thoughts and expand your mind, bit by bit, little by little, and soon find that your brain is reshaping itself – as if it were a muscle.
i.e. Doing the same job every day can minimize the neglected parts of your brain that you want to focus on – and learning more will make you better at learning. Period.
3. Treat your brain right – Watch what you eat, exercise and SLEEP!
Eat and give your brain the food and rest it deserves. Nourishing your brain takes time, so don’t feel like you should overload it. Allow for your brain to relax after a long day of work. Get into the habit of exercising, as exercise has been shown to promote the growth of new neurons in the brain. Also, the food you consume plays a huge role in how your brain functions – as brain fog, stress, and headaches can be direct products of what you eat.
i.e. Instead of watching YouTube videos until 12am, go to sleep. And stop drinking diet coke – it’s not healthy for you.
To know that we can change and that we don’t have to be stuck in our negative thinking patterns, addictions and habits, or in a life of ever-decreasing circles, gives us a tremendous power and hope for the future.
Remember YOU have the power to change the way your brain is wired, through the amazing concept of neuroplasticity. Nothing is permanent and a new way of being is ALWAYS possible.
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Call Hannah at Master your Mind on 0432 445 320