How to Rewire your Brain
Neurons that fire together wire together
Your behaviour and how you think and feel has a lot to do with how your brain is wired. However, if you would like to change that – for example to change a habit or set yourself a specific goal or to change how happy you feel – the good news is that you can rewire your brain for lasting positive change.
It may be possible to achieve this by
yourself or otherwise with professional help.
This is achieved by practising techniques such as changing your thinking, doing meditation and using visualisation techniques. It depends, to an extent, on what your goal is. If, for example you are setting yourself a goal such as changing a specific behaviour, it is important to first of all think and believe that your goal is achievable, and plan out what needs to happen for those changes to occur. You can use visualisation to mentally rehearse engaging in this changed behaviour, and it is important to engage positive emotion in this visualisation. And it is also important to repeat this technique frequently, on a daily basis would be fine. These techniques all strengthen neural networks and then the neuroplasticity of the brain allows the new behaviour to become possible, helping to create lasting positive change.
Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to reorganize itself both physically and functionally, and contrary to what was formerly thought, plasticity happens throughout your entire life.
What happens is that your behaviour is encoded in your brain, in that neural pathways are created – for example, as a child you learn how to tie your shoe laces, and then this habit becomes more and more deeply encoded, the older you become. It is somewhat like a path through a forest, the pathway becoming more deeply entrenched with recurrent use.
The same applies to your habits and behaviour. So, although it does require some discipline and work to change a habit or behaviour, or how happy you feel, it certainly is possible, especially with the help of a skilled therapist to help you get on track.
Visualisation and guided imagery can be extremely effective because when you are practising visualisation, your brain doesn’t distinguish the visualisation from reality; and also using hypnosis can enhance the effectiveness of the visualisation technique. So, new neural pathways start to become encoded in your brain. In effect, you rewire your brain. This has been proven by extensive research in the field of Neuroscience. The same applies to using techniques such as reframing which is a way of changing how you think and therefore looking at something from a different perspective; and meditation which can help you to change how you feel, and to think more clearly and positively.
Rewiring your brain can help you change unwanted habits and behaviours, achieve new goals and targets; and is an important element of a holistic approach to achieving better emotional health and well-being.
For best effect, enlist the help of a therapist skilled in the therapeutic use of hypnosis, cognitive techniques and visualisation techniques.
For professional help, contact Mary at Solution Focused Therapy Dublin and she will be happy to help you.
Mary Spierin MA, ADHP, Couns Psych Dip, SRN, RPN, SCM
Psychotherapist & Hypnotherapist at Solution Focused Therapy Dublin