Did you know that just 50 years ago a discovery was made about the brain that forever changed the way we think? Before the 1960’s scientists believed that after early adulthood the brain was essentially immutable.
In essence, you cannot teach an old brain new tricks.
Luckily for us, recent research from world-renowned neuroscientist Richie Davidson conclusively proves that new experiences and information can actually create new neural pathways in the brain, or mind grooves as Danielle LaPorte likes to call them.
Which means in fact you can teach your old brain new tricks! Whooo Hooooo!!
I have personally experienced the truth of this research many times. From overcoming repetitive fear-based thought patterns after a trauma to learning to cook and meditate. I have intentionally created new neural pathways and so can you.
Changing the way you think can change the way you live your life. Your thoughts create your reality, therefore when you change your thoughts, reality shifts. Most of you have situations, aspects of yourself and your life that you wish were different. Yet many of you also feel lost, stuck and frustrated because try as you might, you just can’t seem to make lasting change, that is… until now.
Below are five limiting belief busting tips and tricks that have helped me interrupt negative habitual thought patterns, release limiting beliefs and lay down some new ‘mind grooves.’
Write it Out
Buddhists often refer to the mind as monkey mind, as thoughts can shift from one to the next just as quickly as monkeys jump from branch to branch. Writing out your thoughts is a helpful way to ‘catch’ your thoughts and uncover what it is you are actually thinking. You may be surprised (and a little appalled) by the fearful and limiting thought patterns you weren’t even aware that you are repeating! Consider trying a morning, Mind Dump, where you write without editing just to clear space for intentional thoughts. (Kind of like morning pages, from Julia Cameron’s, The Artist’s Way.)
Author, speaker and Hay House founder Louise Hay is a huge proponent of loving self talk. She suggests that every morning when you wake up you lovingly look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself how wonderful you are and how much you love yourself.
Many of you may feel resistance towards doing mirror work, but it can be very powerful and very healing. So try it out, and if it feels uncomfortable…keep trying. (Hey, if it’s good enough for Louise, it’s good enough for us, I say 😉
You are your own worst critic. Chances are if anyone spoke to you the way you speak to yourself at times, they’d be out the door. Though for a variety of reasons, you have created punitive and perfectionist thought patterns. These thoughts do not make you perfect or even better-they just make you feel like crap. So please try forgiving yourself instead of chastising yourself. The more quickly you can practice self compassion and forgiveness, the less harmful thought patterns you will employ.
We all know that physical exercise releases ‘feel good’ chemicals in your brain. According to neuroscientist, Richie Davidson, so does learning something new but that’s not all. Davidson’ research shows that spending as little as 30 minutes a day, training your mind to do something different can result in measurable changes to your brain. this means more brain health, flexibility, and the ability to adapt better as you age. So whether it’s Words with Friends or learning French get committed to spending 30 minutes a day in your own brain gym and truly keep yourself healthy body and mind.
Sitting still and getting quiet slows the heart, the body and the mind. It puts you at peace and helps you separate yourself from your thoughts. Meditation is a proactive way to build more awareness, decrease mind chatter and amp up mental strength.
Interesting fact: Recently on Big Brother, contestant and my close friend/coaching client Frankie Grande, lead his housemates in a Meditation Transformation inspired meditation. Three months of living together in one house, competing for the $500,000 prize with no contact with the outside world, can be very stressful. Though Frankie was able to calm the house and create such a sense of ease that they requested he lead them in another meditation the following day. Go Frankie! Reality TV turning the world onto meditation? Yes indeed, as Bob Dylan might say, “The Times They Are A-Changin!”
Creating new mind grooves isn’t about just thinking differently, it’s about feeling differently. And the truth of the matter is that when you feel good, you do good. In general people who feel good act more kindly towards one another, have more energy and make more empowered choices. So it’s time to put your stake in the ground and use your awareness to transform negative habitual thoughts and behavior from, I can’t to I will! New mind grooves are just a thought away.
Now I want to hear from you! From the list above what is one tip you will commit practicing in order to create new mind grooves? Also, please share your favorite limiting belief busting tip. You can post your comment down below and also make sure to connect with me on FaceBook. I love hearing from you.
Let’s make this week all about positive thoughts and new ‘feel good’ mind grooves. As always, take care of you.
Love Love Love
*image courtesy of Ars Electronica