Written by: Jenny Smith
The brain has been the centre of much mystery for decades in the world of science, particularly neuroscience. There is now however a huge amount of money invested each year to research deeper and deeper into our grey matter. All sorts of weird and wonderful findings are emerging that are turning what was previously assumed to be true about brain development, literally on its head!
For many years it has been assumed that beyond a certain age, it is impossible to heal damage caused to a brain through the experiences of early trauma. It is now known irrecoverably, the brain can be restructured to heal itself throughout a lifetime.
Neuroplasticity is the name given to our innate ability to restructure our grey matter through our thoughts, words and actions. The more conscious we become in our responses to situations and conversations, the more our inner emotional states heal. In turn, as our emotions are the molecules that convert experience into brain wiring, our brains are restructured to reflect the changing nature of our reactions to our experiences.
Help With Emotional Issues
This is exciting news for areas that have previously been thought to cause psychological patterning in people, such as addiction, post traumatic stress and obsessive-compulsive behaviours. Most emotional issues are to do with rigid patterns of thinking. These issues come from our bodies fear response, when stress triggers it into fight, flight or freeze. Now there is unquestionable evidence that it is possible to take steps to rewire a brain to think and feel in a different way to reduce stress levels and increase the overall harmony in the body.
The main steps to be taken are to firstly recognise that the automatic patterning in your mind are simply learned strategies, helping you survive at a certain point in your life. Secondly, to recognise that your behaviour is something separate to whom you are as a person. Thirdly, it is possible for you to choose how you want your life to be, with regard to your relationship, to your thoughts and your feelings. Fourthly, commit to taking the necessary steps to live out in this way.
The last stage is the most challenging; it will involve changing the behaviour by refusing to be misled by old patterns.
It can be very useful to work closely with a therapist who is trained specifically in this area. If you have experienced one of the more serious conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, it is necessary to be supported, taking the initial steps to changing the way you think and feel. As with everything to do with psychological change, it is important to go slowly and enlist any necessary support at any stage.