Photo courtesy of StockSnap.io taken by Michal Kulesza (CCO License)
Page 172 of the book Rewire: Changing Your Brain to Break Bad Habits, Overcome Addictions, Conquer Self-Destructive Behavior written by psychotherapist Richard O’Connor says that whatever we pay attention to determines how our brain grows.
This post concludes the series “Rewire Your Brain”. What a journey.
I originally started this series to help me overcome some pressing personal issues.
A lot of what I have written and researched has given me hope. What I can say is that it is tremendously <insert profanity here> difficult to practice this.
With time and practice I believe that it can be very helpful in creating a healthier brain overall.
A summary of the series includes:
We looked at why we need to explore the idea of rewiring the brain. In my opinion I want to be able to get out of depression easier and cope better with anger, stress and anxiety. I want to let go of unhealthy behaviors. The idea is to make me healthier so that I can be more productive, approachable and calmer.
I want to get out of the victim role where there is blame and disadvantage and into the creator role where I use my circumstances to my advantage to control my present destiny.
I was captivated by an article titled “5 Ways to Rewire Your Brain for Meaningful Life Changes”. It’s about activating neuro pathways to create new neural networks in the brain.
My article is a summary of the original for documentation purposes and adaptation of my understanding of the content as best I can.
Activate Neuro Pathways
We looked at how we can activate five neuro pathways in order to create new neural networks in the brain. This technique helps us rewire the brain to change our behavior.
We learned how to “Distract. Relax. Cope.” We identify negative coping mechanisms and avoid self-destructive behaviors so that you break the negative reinforcing loop.
Through Radical Acceptance, Distraction Plans and Relaxation Plans we are one step closer to properly coping.
Childhood Survival Rules
We look at how we can identify childhood survival rules, analyze them and decide if they are beneficial today. Changing them is an interesting way of rewiring your brain as we change old behaviors as these rules no longer apply to the current day.
The Satir Change Process Model
We looked at how the model can help transform unhealthy behaviors to more positive behaviors by working through the different stages of how we cope with change.
These stages show how a change can impact us and how we can get to a point where we can thrive.
We looked at how the chemicals of the brain can change. Changes can be short-term (chemical), medium term (structural) and long term (functional) and the effects can be introduced in many ways to make these changes.
I specifically focused on Debbie Hampton’s research and knowledge on this topic as it is exceptionally broad and offers a variety of techniques to rewire one’s brain.
We looked at how our actions create reinforcing loops through our behavior. In this post I wanted to focus on unhealthy loops and what habits we can implement in order to improve our quality of life and help break these loops.
I also summarized some of the habits successful people incorporate in their lives.
I do hope this series has provided some value in your life as it has in mine.