There is a lot of information out there about the brain and neuro-plasticity. We are told about foods to eat to promote maximum efficiency in our focus. We are told to exercise, both for the brain and the body.
But what about our thoughts? The 70-85,000 thoughts we think every day?
There is a significant amount of new evidence that our thoughts effect our bodies on the cellular level; in the mind-body connection. Yoga addresses this in many ways, as we learn to become mindful and in the present moment. Meditation is very helpful too, in learning how to quiet the mind.
But what about the rest of the day; off the mat, when my mind goes off on it’s own? Where I might have repeating thoughts of doubt, of unworthiness, of insecurity, of repeatedly remembering how things did not work out? Am I looking for trouble?
Of course, we are all wired for this - to be on the alert for danger (just in case there's a saber-toothed tiger around the corner). We need to be prepared for fight or flight.
The problem in all of this is that we as human beings tend to repeat our traumas, simply by thinking about them.
“The real difference between animals and ourselves is that although we both experience stress, humans re-experience and ‘pre-experience’ traumatic situations.” - Dr Joe Dispenza
The brain doesn't know the difference between an experience that is thought about in the brain, and the real tiger. So our body chemically responds to the tiger, via chemical release (often in the form of cortisol), even though the tiger is only in our head. Then if we obsess about something negative like this, our body responds with the same chemicals that keep us thinking about the trauma. Its a repeating loop that keeps us in a rut. We can't separate our brain from our body, or vice versa. The body cannot heal, grow or restore itself when constantly under stress.
This brings me to believe that my negative thoughts, are just as bad for my brain/body as eating junk food for my body/brain. If I wouldn’t eat junk food, why would I allow myself to think junk thoughts?
It's time to change the pattern.
There is a metaphor here - when you are skiing through trees, don't look at the trees, look between them, where you want to go. If you look at the trees, you'll hit them. It's time to stop focusing on obstacles, and to focus on where we want to go.
I use meditation to focus on what I want, and practice holding on to this positive state-of-being when off the cushion, during my day. Science tells us we can use meditation to rewire our brains and create new patterns. I'm here to tell you, we can. It works.
Change your brain by 'Thinking greater than you feel, feel greater than your environment'. - Dr Joe Dispenza.