By Karen McMahon www.jbddivorcesupport.com
It is relatively easy to stay positive when all is going the way we desire. However, since life is peppered with transitions, detours, struggles and crisis, we can use positivity to remain centered and encouraged in spite of our displeasing circumstances. The science of neuroplasticity explains how…
Our thoughts can literally change the structure and function of our brains. The idea was first introduced by William James in 1890, but it was soundly rejected by scientists who uniformly believed the brain is rigidly mapped out, with certain parts of the brain controlling certain functions. They were wrong.
Neuroplasticity is widely accepted by scientists who are proving that the brain is endlessly adaptable and dynamic.
The brain has the power to change its own structure, even for those with the severe neurological afflictions. People with problems like strokes, cerebral palsy, and mental illness can train other areas of their brains through repetitive mental and physical activities. It is completely life-altering.
So what does this have to do with positive thinking and with you?
It means that repetitive positive thoughts and positive activity can rewire your brain and strengthen brain areas that stimulate positive feelings. So when life is going well and we keep a positive mindset, we are creating pathways that will enable us to continue that practice when struggles and transitions hit.
Here are a few practices to practice both in easy and more challenging times:
- Help others – there is nothing more rewarding than helping others who are in greater need that you are. Consider volunteering at a food bank, walking dogs at a pound, visiting a senior citizens center or whatever speaks to your heart.
- Be grateful…truly grateful – begin and end every day thinking about one person or situation you are truly grateful for. Let them know or write a journal entry about it or talk to another person and elaborate on the reason and meaning that gratitude has for you.
- Laugh – google jokes, watch a funny YouTube video, hang out with young people who laugh so much more often than adults, wonder with a child, but make a point to laugh at least once a day…build from there!
- Celebrate yourself – track your progress, celebrate your small wins and watch how rapidly the bigger wins begin to flow in. Celebrate not just what you do but who you are and how you have grown.
In short, the difficult times will come, but by practicing these simple steps you are building positive neural pathways in your brain to sustain your through and beyond the bumpy times with ease, peace and joy. Namaste.