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Brain Retraining: A Neuroplastic Approach

Brain retraining is becoming a popular topic among life coaches, wellness experts, and even business leaders. The practice or method is based on neuroplasticity, a proven concept in which the brain possesses the ability to change itself, creating positive shifts in the brain and body. By combining mental exercises and body-mind practices over weeks to months, brain retraining helps your brain work in a healthier, more balanced way. When your brain operates like this, you're using your whole brain effectively, your emotional center is calm, and you're not just reacting automatically.

The idea is to move from a state of constant defense to one where your brain is focused on growth and health. This shift helps improve both your mental and physical well-being. Your brain starts to promote healing and safety, helping your body's natural healing processes to begin. Over time, this can lead to significant changes, making you feel like a new person.

Creating New Neural Pathways

One key principle in neuroscience is "neurons that fire together, wire together." Brain retraining is all about connecting neural pathways linked to fear or defense to pathways associated with love, safety, or contentment. Our brains constantly make these connections, labeling things as good or bad, happy, or sad. However, problems arise when our emotional brain, the limbic system, becomes overly active and disrupts our body's internal workings.

This 'cross-wiring' might happen when a negative emotional association is made. For example, if you ate a certain type of food during a stressful time, you might begin to associate that food with those bad experiences. This can even make the thought of that particular food trigger a stress response in your body. Anything can become a trigger if it's linked to a strong emotional reaction. This cross-wiring, if emotionally charged, can eventually lead to limbic system conditions such as anxiety, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and POTS, among others.

Several Western and even alternative methods of “healing” limbic system conditions may resolve or alleviate the symptoms, but as they focus on treating the symptoms, they are not solving the root problem in the brain. These issues stem from an overactive, misfiring limbic system that is repetitively on high alert. So, we may find that as we treat the symptoms directly rather than address the limbic system, we may experience a recurrence of symptoms if we become emotionally triggered in the future.

The Challenge of Change

While the overactive, misfiring limbic system keeps us on constant high alert, it also subtly shapes our identity. Over time, we start to identify with our heightened state of vigilance, viewing it as a necessary part of who we are. Our identity, greatly influenced by the long-term patterns of our limbic system, clings to what's familiar, viewing change as a potential threat.

As we brain retrain, it is important to understand our brain’s resistance to new thoughts, experiences, and behaviors, even when it's for our own good. That's why consistent effort is needed in brain retraining. You need to work against your brain's natural tendency to resist change.

Embracing the Journey

When learning to retrain our brains, we learn to create our own happiness, despite the physical symptoms. We learn that we are already “whole” and ready to take on the world, rather than wait for the perfect moment when we are healed. Healing occurs as we transform, recognizing that your true Self is that perfect diamond that shines brightly in the world.


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