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Heidi Hardy Hypnotherapist North Devon

HPD DHP SFBT Sup (Hyp) MAfSFH 01598 752799 / 077121 82787

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Neuroplasticity - The Brain is Adaptable, like Plastic ...

Posted on October 28, 2014 at 9:50 AM

Not so long ago many scientists believed that the brain did not change after childhood; that it was hardwired and fixed by the time we became adults. But recent advances, in only the last decade, now tell us that this is simply not true. The brain can and does change throughout our lives. It is adaptable, like plastic.

Every time we think in a certain way, practise a particular task or experience a specific emotion we strengthen our brain’s pathway for this process. But if we think about something differently, learn a new task or choose a different emotion we create a new pathway, and if we keep repeating this new way of thinking, doing or feeling it becomes second nature. The old pathway gets used less and less, and weakens; we re-wire our brains by forming new connections and weakening old ones.

It’s a bit like this …

Imagine a well-worn path through a large field. And let’s say this path takes you to marshland and that’s not where you want to go anymore; you want to go to a berry bush in a corner of the field. The only problem is there is no path to the berry bush, and the grass in the field is four feet high and hard to walk through.

Obviously, the thing you need to do is to make a new path. It may be a little difficult and will certainly be a lot harder than going down the well-worn path. But if you want to get to the berry bush that’s what you need to do.

Imagine you have walked to the berry bush a couple of times creating a rough but visible pathway. Then you begin down the original path again and you come to a fork where you see the well-worn path that leads to the marshland and the less trodden path that leads to berry bush. What happens when you choose the berry bush path every time you come to the fork? It becomes easier and easier to walk down. And what happens to the other path? It grows over and becomes more and more difficult to walk down. A new routine is forming and at some point it will become effortless, automatic.

Categories: Neuroplasicity

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