Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to change; it allows the brain natural rewire with new information. What most are unaware of is that everyone can influence the way the brain rewires. Rewiring your brain to be more positive requires conscious effort, patience, and commitment. But how can you do that?
To notice positive results in your way of experiencing life, commit for at least one month to the following exercises daily as changes won’t be immediate. You will need to put some effort and be patient until these become good habits.
Our brains renew themselves throughout life
to an extent previously thought not possible.
Our brain tends to focus on negativity rather than positivity, which is evident in how we’re drawn more to negative news than positive ones. From an evolutionary perspective, this is because the brain developed a high sensitivity to potential threats to ensure survival. Therefore, the negativity bias remains naturally present and introducing positivity in our lives has to be done intentionally.
How Do we Introduce More Positivity in Our Lives?
The first step is to observe how we talk to ourselves. If the inner voice criticises any decision or reminds us how incapable we are, take action and avoid letting your thoughts wander down that path. There’s no need to fight negative thinking. Just pay attention and introduce positive statements every time you notice your inner voice be harsh on you. Then, your negative thinking will fade away. Begin to change the internal voice by speaking positive self-talk often. For example, think of what a good friend would tell you if you were feeling down.
Where attention goes, neural firing flows,
and neural connection grows.”
Daniel J. Siegel
I give myself permission to change my mind.
Attempting to do this took courage, and I’m proud of myself for trying.
I love and accept myself just as I am.
Fear is only a feeling; it cannot hold me back.
I forgive myself for past mistakes.
Even if the outcome wasn’t like I had hoped for, I learned something new about myself.
I deserve happiness.
My qualities, traits, and talents make me unique.
I still have a long way to go, but I’m proud of how far I have come.
I am capable and strong, and I will overcome this.
I trust myself.
I will give it my best to make this work.
I can learn from my past and grow as a person.
I’m allowed to become the best version of myself.
Self-compassion is related to positive self-talk but goes deeper than words. Compassionate people are sensitive and open to others’ challenges, connect with their pain, and offer their presence to soothe their suffering. Self-compassion is about directing that same compassion and love toward yourself. Like compassion, self-compassion is non-judgmental and unconditional. Therefore, whether one suffers because of poor choices or external factors, it does not matter. As there are no conditions for compassion, everyone deserves compassion for their pain and caring support to overcome their challenges.
Being human is not about being any one particular way;
it is about being as life creates you
with your own particular strengths and weaknesses,
gifts and challenges, quirks and oddities.
Self-compassion is based on three aspects:
Mindfulness: Awareness of what is.
Common-humanity: Knowing we are not alone.
Self-kindness: providing unconditional self-comfort.
Self-compassion has a significant positive influence on:
Curiosity and exploration
Before you start, understanding how gratitude changes your mindset can work as a motivator. The brain regions associated with gratitude belong to the network used when we experience pleasure. These also connect to parts of the brain controlling emotional regulation and are associated with stress relief and thus pain reduction. So feeling grateful and paying attention to the good in our lives creates a more relaxed body state. Also, gratitude permanently increases happiness, and that's not surprising considering the boost of emotions like joy and a sense of positive well-being. Moreover, gratitude appears to improve a deep sense of meaning, worth and purpose in life.
It increases positivity as you naturally become more positive by focusing on the good things in your life.
It improves self-esteem as it helps you to notice your accomplishments.
It improves your mood as showing gratitude makes you aware of the goodness in your life.
It reduces stress as intentionally looking for things to be grateful for enhances positivity, and less stress also means a better immune system.
It helps to gain a different perspective on things we give for granted but are not for many.
Gratitude turns what we have into enough and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity
it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
Therefore, practising gratitude also offers potential benefits for relationships. You can begin your gratitude practice with meditation, journaling, or simply paying attention to the little things in life bringing you joy. When practised regularly, gratitude has shown positive long-term effects on mental health and well-being.
There is no doubt that the belief that the brain cannot change or develop further after a certain point in life is false. Connections within your brain are constantly changing, and they’re becoming either stronger or weaker. Your brain tends to not change as you become older because your brain is resistant; it’s because your mindset becomes resistant. Unless you do something about it.
The conscious effort you put into this will help shape positively your mood and how you see the world. As incredible as it may sound, decreasing negativity is not as complicated as some may believe; it simply requires daily commitment. Opening yourself up to introduce positive changes is the best way to increase neuroplasticity in your brain.
If you commit to integrating the practices described in this and the following article as habits, after some time, you will notice improvements in terms of reduced anxiety and stress and an increased positivity toward life.
If you believe you can change,
if you make it a habit
the change becomes real.
Nurturing your brain will benefit physical and mental health; read the following article for more suggestions.
If trying self-help is not enough, a professional can offer support, guidance, and solutions that can help you get back to feeling your best.
Feel free to contact me with any further questions.