Unlocking Whole Health
Why tame your brain? It is well documented that chronic stress is slowly but surely interfering with our body’s natural healing mechanisms – and our stress responses are directly connected to our brain’s activity.
How is it possible to tame/train our brains? The latest neuroscience reveals that the brain is a powerful and adaptable organ. It is constantly learning and creating new neural pathways through neuroplasticity – “the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life.” So it is actually possible to consciously rewire our brains.
The brain changes every moment we experience life. The part of us that is aware of having a brain is in charge of our brain.
Our brains evolved to keep us safe. The brain’s chief job is to keep us alive, so it tends to operate in a survival mode. It is constantly scanning the environment for “threats” that produce thoughts about imaginary dangers.
The brain will focus on the negative interpretation of our experiences, and we unwittingly believe and attach to the stream of negative thoughts coursing through our heads.
These fear based thoughts trigger the stress response causing our muscles to tense as our heart rate and blood pressure increase flooding our bodies with stress hormones. This fight or flight response keeps the body’s self repair system from doing its job often resulting in symptoms like IBS, back, foot and joint pain, frequent colds, headaches, etc.
Here are two simple tools to start taming your brain:
Observe your painful or self sabotaging thoughts with curiosity and without judgment:
Event: He forgot our anniversary. Thought: “He doesn’t care about me.”
- Imagine these words floating above your head and say this to yourself three times: “I notice I’m having the thought: He doesn’t care about me.” (adapted from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)
- Ask yourself this question: Is it true? Think of at least 3 statements that are as true or truer than the painful thought. 1. He put air in my tires last night. 2. He turned on my favorite music. 3. He gave me a back rub. (adapted from Martha Beck and Byron Katie)
As we notice and question the thoughts and stories created by our brains, we begin to rewire our brains reducing our stress responses and allowing our bodies to heal and flourish!
Remember – YOU hold the key!