How To Rewire Your Brain For A Happy And Successful Life
Rewire your brain and transform every area of your life!
This may sound far fetched but your brain really can be rewired, not like a circuit board, but in a neurobiological way. Keep reading as I explain in easy to understand language.
What is neuroplasticity?
It was once thought that the brain was a fixed structure, but now scientists understand it to be pliable and constantly changing.
neuroplasticity is simply the brain forming new ways of doing things. You see, your brain has billions of neurons or cells that transmit information to different areas of your body. The routes they travel along are known as neural pathways.
When something changes in the body or mind the brain compensates by forming new neural pathways. For example, stroke damage may affect the use of a limb, so the brain forms new pathways to compensate. But this also applies to the mind as well.
Watch neural pathways being formed!
You can strengthen neural connections in your brain by using your non dominant hand. For example, try brushing your teeth using your left hand. You may end up poking yourself in the eye, but persevere even if it seems ridiculously impossible! Your brain will build new pathways making it easier to perform this task.
Using your non dominant hand is a great workout for the brain as you’re using both hemispheres. Using your dominant hand means you’re only using one side of your brain. You could also try writing with your non dominant hand, or any other simple daily task
Using your left hand may also boost your creativity and intuitiveness. As a stroke survivor I was lucky it affected my non dominant hand, but I’ve been pushing myself to use my left hand. My consultant told me it to keep trying to use my affected hand normally, as doing so will help rewire the brain, forming new neural pathways.
This was a real education as I’d never heard about neuroplasticity before, but became hooked on the subject. I know it really works as I’ve overcome many challenges as a one handed person. I now see myself as a one and a half handed person with the goal of becoming 2 handed again:):)
Focus on positive experiences and banish negativity!
You can overcome the pattern of negative thinking by focusing your mind on happy, positive experiences. As humans we can often find ourselves focusing on the one negative remark someone said to us, rather than the half dozen compliments from others.
Rewire your brain by spending time reveling in things that make you happy, or nice things people say about you. If your boss rewards you for your hard work and effort, bask in the emotion of it. Most people don’t spend enough time feeling good about something before reverting back to the norm. The more time you allow a happy moment to stay in your mind the greater chance it has of being transferred to long term memory. Once this has happened the brain has created a new neural pathway.
How you feel comes from within yourself. focusing on happy experiences and playing them back in your mind over and over is an effective way to emotionally rewire your brain. However, you must continue to reinforce positive thoughts otherwise these new pathways will weaken and break.
Rewire your brain for success
If you’ve always found success hard to achieve chances are you may have mental blocks holding you back. These are belief systems often formed in the early years by parents or teachers. They can be really hard to break through, making you believe you can’t do something, or guilty about things beyond your control.
Affirmations are a good way to rewire the brain, but for them to work you really have to believe them. I’ve mentioned this before in previous posts, and can’t stress this enough.
Create affirmations that feel right to you. It’s no good saying “I’m wealthy with an overflowing bank account” if you’re in debt with no self belief. Take it one step at a time with saying something like “I’m working hard to clear my debts, and will be debt free by…” Add your own date that feels comfortable to you. You also need a plan to clear debts or whatever else you want to do, as there is no magic!
Make this plan an affirmation and create short and long term goals to achieve it. Visualize yourself having achieved your goal, and really spend time focusing on the emotion of it. This is very powerful and helps form neural pathways.
Rewire your brain with meditation
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years and has so many benefits. Apart from making you feel happier it’s also been shown to reduce feelings of panic. As you begin to meditate you start to feel calmer and more in control of things. The more you practice the less you’ll feel overwhelmed or fearful. Instead you’ll be able to see things more rationally, making it easier to solve problems.
Just half an hour of daily meditation helps stimulate the formation of new synapses or connections in the brain. It actually helps grow grey matter, making you get better at feeling calm and relaxed.
If you’ve never meditated before it’s very easy, and you don’t need to spend money on expensive equipment. You can download a free guided meditation here to help get you started.
Why sleep helps the brain to rewire
During sleep your brain is very active, sorting and filing information you’ve taken in during the day. Memories are transferred from short term to long term, and neural pathways are strengthened.
Before you drift off to sleep spend a few moments focusing on a positive experience, or visualize yourself achieving something you’ve set your mind on. During sleep your subconscious will work on those thoughts, strengthening them. This is a very powerful way to rewire the brain. Sleeping also raises your vibration, which is why you often feel better about things after a good nights sleep.
Rewire your brain after an injury
the brain has multiple pathways for neurons to connect, but it doesn’t use them all. It’s only been discovered fairly recently that following an injury such as a stroke you can rewire the brain forming new neural pathways, and live life normally again.
Having suffered a stroke 3 years ago I can testify that rewiring the brain to overcome physical difficulties is very possible. The stroke affected my left hand, and though I still have physical difficulties with it I’m still able to do everything I did before. For example I used to touch type with both hands, but now I type just as fast using all the fingers on my right hand.
When you learn a new skill or rewire a part of your brain, if you stop working at it, your results will begin to diminish. It’s a bit like exercise. If you don’t do it regularly your muscles will weaken.
The more you work at changing something the stronger the connection. For example, if you learn to draw and stop practicing, the skills you’ve learned will start to fade. You may have a talent but unless it’s practiced it won’t develop and grow.
Keep your brain healthy
Keeping your brain healthy will help the process of building and strengthening neural pathways. Eating a healthy well balanced diet is essential for both your mind and body. Ensure you eat the right nutrients to improve brain function. Fish oils high in omega 3, blueberries, and pumpkin seeds are excellent choices. You can also buy brain food supplements to help boost your intake.
Keep hydrated and boost your brain’s performance!
Being dehydrated isn’t just about feeling thirsty. You need to drink about 8 glasses of water a day for maximum health. A good idea is to drink a glass of water on waking, as your body dehydrates during sleep. Drinking water while you’re working can stop drowsiness making you more alert. Your grey matter shrinks if you get dehydrated. On the other hand keeping yourself well hydrated can increase your brain’s performance by up to 14%!
The body mass of young children is as much as 75%, but by the time humans reach old age it can decline to around 55%. Drinking regularly can help reduce this, and keep the brain in good working order.
Exercise to keep your brain fit
Walking for 30 minutes a day will help deliver oxygen to the brain. You don’t need to do high intensity exercise, just walking at a moderate pace is enough. You’ll find your memory and cognitive function will improve if you walk regularly.
Boost brain power with puzzles
Just like going to the gym for a body workout, doing puzzles can give your brain a workout. Jigsaw puzzles are great for boosting memory power and use both sides of your brain. The left side analyses and problem solves, while the creative right side enjoys the process of seeing the picture emerge. You’re creating new connections between neuron cells on both sides of the brain.
Crossword puzzles are also excellent for improving brain power. It strengthens memory and protects against dementia in old age. I always used to enjoy doing crosswords in the daily newspaper, but you can download apps nowadays. There’s no evidence to suggest they stop grey matter shrinking, but they will keep your mind sharp.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article on how to rewire your brain, and that it’s inspired you to take action on some of the ideas I suggest.
Wishing you health and happiness