We can change. When we focus on it.
“What we now know about the brain is that we can literally change our reality.”
Our brains are extremely complex, and yet this concept is really quite simple. With awareness, tools and alternatives to previously negative thoughts or emotions, we can change the course of our lives forever. Simply put, our brains are adaptable and can often fit into any shape or experience that we give it. Which means that when we think better, we actually feel better. This doesn’t mean we should just ignore what’s actually happening in our lives and tell ourselves happy thoughts. It does mean that we can get better at responding instead of reacting to life and what happens.
Your brain at work
I’ve often heard that where we place our attention determines much of our reality. It’s something people say and yet what does it actually mean?
“Well how is that exactly?“
Good question. Years ago as an adult, I was diagnosed with predominantly inattentive attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder, or ADHD. Much of my life I thought I just wasn’t that smart, which was far from the truth. It turns out that my strong propensity to daydream was actually the neurochemistry in my brain firing in various directions at the same time. Staying focused on any one thing was a challenge and caused lots of issues at school, at home, in my relationships, and in my work. Once I started to understand how my brain worked and what helped and what didn’t, I was able to focus on improving how I learned and processed information. I’ve been there and I now I teach people how to “hack your brain.” Understanding how our brains work and how they can work better often leads us addressing the “same old problems” with some new ways of problem solving.
Your brain at rest
Our brains function best when we’re relaxed. Well-renowned brain researcher Dr. Dan Siegel at UCLA has found that when we’re relaxed and “regulated,” our brains function at their highest capacity. Stress, fear, anxiety, depression, or triggers of any kind can disrupt this capacity and often have negative impacts on our health, overall well-being, and relationships. Our brains have adapted extremely effectively to respond to threats or perceived threats through the fight-or-flight response. When triggered into these states (driving in traffic, a scolding email, an argument with our partner), our brains take a sort of vacation and become “dis-regulated.” Returning to a stage of calm regulation can take time, but once calm again we have more capacity to solve our problems and challenges.
Your brain can change
There is hope for all of us. Our brains continue to adapt and change with our thoughts, emotions, and experiences. Which means that we can literally change our reality. It takes time and effort, and most of all focus, but it is possible and exponentially rewarding.
If you’re interested, you can read more about Dr. Dan Siegel and his research at: https://www.drdansiegel.com/