This month, we are going to talk about how to rewire the brain! While this may sound like a tall order, I am going to provide you with a simple framework that has the ability to dramatically change your life.
When we are born, very few of the billions of neurons in our brain are connected (wired) together. As neurons are connected together pathways are created that carry information through the brain. These pathways are created through the interactions we have as very young children with our caregivers. Some of these pathways become default ways that we think and view the world. Unfortunately, these connections are not always positive. In order to overcome some of these negative patterns, we need to learn how to rewire the brain or change our natural thought processes. ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT TRUTHS I WANT TO CONVEY IS THAT THE WAY THAT OUR BRAINS GET WIRED IS SUBJECTIVE. There are lots of different ways that they CAN get wired and the way that they do depends on the interactions that happen during the first 5 years of life. When our brains are getting wired, we don’t get to choose how most of those interactions go. However, the really great news is that THE BRAIN IS AN ORGAN AND IT CAN BE REWIRED AT ANY POINT IN LIFE!
Our Core Beliefs are the fundamental beliefs we hold; these shape our perspective of self and are often influenced by our attachment styles. If I have a secure attachment style, I will hold to the belief that people like me, appreciate me, and want me in their lives. On the other end of the spectrum, those with avoidant attachment may believe that they need to protect themselves because they believe that people and relationships can’t be counted on.
Rewiring the brain starts with our Core Beliefs! When taking steps to think in more healthy ways, it is most helpful to start by changing our core beliefs. Positive affirmations are an effective way to overcome cognitive distortions and will rewire the brain over time.
Core beliefs lead to conditional assumptions — they are the ‘if/since…………..then…………’ statements of our lives! If *this* core belief is true, *then* this must also be true.
When our core beliefs reflect a distorted sense of self, our conditional assumptions will follow suit. Since I am so unattractive, I will never be in a relationship that lasts. If I didn’t look like this, I would be so much happier.
Automatic thoughts are born out of our conditional assumptions. The average adult experiences 60,000 automatic thoughts each day! This is the soundtrack to our lives that plays in our heads all day long. I’m stupid. I’m ugly. I’m unwanted. I’ll never make anything of myself. Or, on the other hand, I am smart. People are attracted to me. Things work out in my life.
It is because these thoughts are automatic that rewiring the brain at this stage of our cognitive cycle is so much more of a challenge. Whatever you think about, you empower (neurons that fire together wire together). Through the use of positive affirmations focused on our core beliefs, we begin to master ourselves. If the belief that I am worthless is the belief that I was given as a child, I can absolutely rewire that core belief to something more healthy. For example, I can change it to, I am a good person who can make a difference in the world! Doing this 2 to 3 times a day can rewire the brain over time, but it needs to be rooted in our core beliefs.
Since conditional assumptions and automatic thoughts flow out of our core beliefs, as you take control of your core beliefs, you will win more and more battles each day as your conditional assumptions and automatic thoughts naturally change too.
What is TMS?
Later this month we will be discussing our Cognitive Cycle and how rewiring the brain will change the way we interact with those around us and process information.
Live Classes begin on July 29th, 2021! They take place on Thursdays from 7:00-8:30. Click here for more information!
TMS Education Night will be on Thursday, August 19th. Mark your calendars — more information to come!