Change Your Brain — Developing New Ways of Thinking to Change Your Life

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Luckily, human brains aren’t set in stone and can be molded and changed. Scientists have discovered the magic of how the human brain can re-shape, learn, and unlearn in ways that quite literally rewire our perception and view of the world we live in. 

Based on a person’s experiences, past traumas, relational qualities, and core beliefs, everyone has a different lens through which they see reality. Perceptions affect thoughts, which in turn influence behaviors and sculpt philosophies and values. Understanding this reality can help you to reclaim the driver’s seat of your life by infusing your neurochemistry and inner narratives with conscious intentionality and choice to alter your thoughts.

Your thoughts are incredibly powerful. They have the ability to work for or against you depending on where you aim them. When you start thinking differently, it affects your belief systems and your subconscious mind. When belief systems change, processes that previously operated in accordance with those systems will no longer be in sync. This leaves your brain and body available for updates. 

Just like your smartphone, you need to be updated frequently to keep your perception and beliefs in alignment with your personal integrity and authenticity. You are, after all, living organic material — not static and unchanging. When you introduce new perspectives into your mind and inner system, incredible healing becomes accessible for trauma, mental illness, and physical disease. Your perception of the world we live in can be altered perceptibly, rippling outward through divergent thinking.

Therapists call the stories people tell themselves “narratives.” These are the whirlwind of worries, opinions, fantasies, truths, and untruths that swim through the waters of every human mind. Buddhist psychology refers to the human mind as the “monkey mind” because of the malleable, unpredictable, and often untrustworthy quality of the narratives people tell themselves — like a monkey swinging from branch to branch within your head. Though cute and entertaining, the fallible human mind is oftentimes more volatile and impulsive than dependable. 

We tend to identify with the mind as the upstairs control center that we consider to be “Self”. This line of thinking, however, happens to be quite limiting. The human mind, brain, and consciousness are three separate yet inter-connected mechanisms that work together to construct each person’s narratives, perceptions, and cognitive structure.

Your Brain – Most think of it as the gooey, wrinkly organ that lives in your skull. Your brain is the control tower for your nervous system and is in a constant electrical storm of firing neurons and flowing blood.

Your Mind – A construct of the egoic sense of “I” or “me” that results from the rapid firing of neurons and the development of thought and memory.

Your Consciousness – The most complex intelligence that a human being can conceptualize, consciousness is an interconnection between everything that exists within our known world and beyond ourselves.

As you consider the layers of your brain, mind, and consciousness that create your experience of life, call to mind a few narratives that often consume you. Perhaps it’s, “People can’t be trusted. They always disappoint me.” Or “We live in an indifferent universe.” Remember, though, narratives are not always within the binary of good or bad. They are simply information about the perceptive lens that guides your life. The thoughts you think most often become automatic cognitive patterns that develop your reality in real time beneath your conscious awareness. 

If you notice that your dominant narratives bring positivity into your life and work in your favor, great! Keep on keepin’ on. If, however, you notice negativity being perpetuated within your system in response to the thoughts continually circling around your skull, it’s time for an update and upgrade. 

If you don’t know where to begin, simply start by observing the thoughts that you’re thinking. Open a note on your phone and document how often you think certain thoughts, and what ripple effect those thoughts have on your emotional, physical, energetic, and mental systems. Maybe certain thoughts result in a wave of fatigue through the body. Other thoughts might ignite excitement, fear, or compassion. When you identify a thought as perpetuating toxicity within you, experiment with challenging it. Is it real? Is it true? In the grand scheme of things, how much does it really matter?

An additional tool for changing your thoughts is to simply cease the thought in action. Push freeze-frame on your mental process when you notice a negative thinking pattern, and visualize the thought itself stopping. Then consider what thought you’d like to replace the undesirable one with, and swap them out. 

Remember that you think more thoughts in a single day than you could begin to count. They all certainly can’t be true, and most of them aren’t. You only need to observe your thinking more closely to notice which narratives drive your life. Then discern consciously whether that power is being fairly assigned. You’re in the driver’s seat of your reality. The sooner you recognize and hone-in on this superpower that is available to you, the sooner your life pivots toward thriving.

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Written By Kate King

Kate King is a licensed professional counselor, board-certified art therapist, radiant life coach, published author, professional artist, and creative entrepreneur. She expertly teaches a unique transformational healing strategy that integrates science, psychology, creativity, and spirituality. Her new book is The Radiant Life Project: Awaken Your Purpose, Heal Your Past, and Transform Your Future (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Nov. 1, 2023). Learn more at theradiantlifeproject.com.

The post Change Your Brain — Developing New Ways of Thinking to Change Your Life appeared first on Wellbeing Magazine.

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