What does it really mean to change your thinking? So many times you see memes which say change your thinking; change your life. If only there was a genie in a bottle who could say poof and all your bad thoughts and habits disappeared. Well, it is not that easy, but new studies in neuroscience are certainly making a case for the ability to reframe our thoughts and feelings to make new neural pathways that support positive change.
Old science paradigms use to say we are pre-wired and we really cannot change certain aspects about ourselves. Remember the old adage “can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Neuroscience is suggesting with some interventions we can, and how very exciting it is for all of us who are wanting to give up bad habits.
I am going to break this down because maybe you do not have a science background and science can be somewhat technical. We all have background noise going off in our head. We have developed patterns of behavior and a lot of times they are developed in childhood. In the science world, they are called neural pathways and we have run them for so long they are well-defined in our being. Some neural pathways serve us well. Ever had that feeling when you are driving down the highway and you lose track of where you are? These neural pathways are on auto pilot and you do not have to pay attention for these pathways to work. Neuroscience tells us if these open tabs (pathways) do not serve us well they can be altered and new tabs can be created.
If these well conditioned neural pathways are getting in the way of achieving your goals, maybe you want to detour those pesky critters? This week try and take two minutes a day and just observe your thoughts. Find yourself a comfortable place, take a couple of deep breaths and just observe. What comes to mind? Do not try to get rid of your thoughts, just let them be. For an even more structured setting, download the Headspace app and give it a try.
Tune in next week and I will discuss a little more on how to change those pesky neural pathways getting in the way of being your personal best. Till then…Namaste!