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Neuroplasticity, you’re Firing and Wiring System

The more I work with the mind the more it amazes me!  I’ve experienced seeing fabulous changes in clients in sessions that just blow your mind away!  As a therapist, seeing these responses and changes in sessions, for me, is the reassurance that the mind certainly can create powerful change.  Sometimes in the simplest of ways. 

Neuroplasticity in Hypnosis

Having experienced both sides of the coin, the receiving end and the guiding of Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis sessions, you start to click onto various aspects of this powerful part of us, our mind.  It truly is a powerful tool, and one that plays many tricks on us in the cleverest of ways.  It can in fact be quite stubborn!  If we know these tricks in which it can play on us, surely, we can use this consciously to work with.  That’s what we do in hypnosis. 

One part that really fascinates me is something called ‘neuroplasticity’.  We have had a bit of a focus on that this week, so let’s have just a brief look and learn a little of how our brain wires.  I’m no scientist, but just having a simple understanding can guide us into a world of new directions, new thought processes and new responses.

What is neuroplasticity?

In a nutshell it’s the brains incredible ability to change itself.  It is the brain’s ability to create change and respond to new information within its neural networks and pathways.  We all have this function working within our minds, it just does it!  Neuroplasticity is also known as neural plasticity, or brain plasticity.  

We all go through life, and we change as time passes.  We all have different needs at certain times of our life, especially when we are learning something new. We experience different situations, and we learn from them.  Our brain can change as we grow, and it reorganizes our functions, thoughts, and responses for us if it differs from how we were previously functioning in an old habit or way in our life before. It can even help people who suffer from a brain injury. 

Brain injury

Neuroplasticity is often spoken about and associated with brain injury.  It allows the nerve cells to introduce a new way to deal with the situation at hand.  It compensates for what’s lost and adjusts itself so that the person can respond to new situations and changes that have taken place in their life and their environment.  The body adjusts, and it adjusts very quickly.  Neuronal firing happens between the neutrons in our brain via electrical impulses and neurotransmitters. Just like in times of change we adjust, so can the responses for someone experiencing a brain injury.

Music and Neuroplasticity

Being a music teacher for the most part of my life, I’ve seen neuroplasticity in action.  It always makes me smile.  Let’s use this as an example.  It can also be applied to any new situation we experience.  

First Learning

Think about when someone first decides to learn piano or a keyboard instrument, in fact it could be any musical instrument.  Initially, we get the person to be aware of the shape of the keyboard the layout of the ebony and ivory on the piano keys as I call it.  At first, they don’t know which note is what, they haven’t got a clue! They don’t know about keys, sharps or flats, Middle C etc, but after a few lessons they start to become aware of the information that they can process from reading the simple dots on the page to transferring it onto the keyboard.  

Dexterity Functions

Think about if you try to use your five fingers on a piano.  Most people press a key with their forefinger they don’t apply all five fingers.  So, when you ask them to play five notes from thumb through to little finger controlling each note individually it can become quite a task.  Their brain isn’t used to processing the information quickly and easily at first.  The fourth finger and little finger get in a muddle usually and almost don’t work properly.  After a few weeks practice the fingers start to work individually for themselves.  You know which finger to place on which note and you press it.  It starts to become automatic; you don’t have to think about it.  

Something New

What you have created in this instance is the firing and wiring of learning something new.  Your brain has made new connections within it to allow you to create that function physically, and the process of mentally reading the music and transferring the information.  Now normally you would think nothing more of this and just get on with learning the instrument, but this is neuroplasticity in action!  It’s the same as typing on your computer keyboard, or the mini keyboards on our phones. Think how quickly someone can type a text message, their finger, or fingers, depending on whether they use one hand or two flies round the letters.  How is your brain processing that information? It has had to create new neural pathways to do just that, and it did it easily for you, with practise.  Just like practise is required to learn the piano. 

Everyday Life Growth

So, you see we use neuroplasticity every day of our lives, we are constantly experiencing growth within our brain, and our brain just turns up to do the job.  Anything that we no longer require it disconnects it.  It no longer fires and wires it together. Think of the old saying ‘If you don’t use it, you lose it!’ it’s very true.  I suppose another way we could look at this is the age-old wisdom.  Growth is of course inevitable, for all of us, and we gain that wisdom as we go. 

Could we direct this?

Yes, of course we can.  What if we chose to use it specifically? To direct it deliberately in a certain way? In a way that could benefit us.  What could we change?  knowing more about it and having just a brief simple understanding that this neuroplasticity exists within us in as mentioned above could change the way we respond. We could use it to direct our life in the direction we are choosing, rather than getting drawn into situations that could take us down the wrong route of negative thinking, actions, and responses. Direct a learning of how you want it to be. How do we do that?….

Becoming Aware

…By becoming aware. It’s good to STOP for a moment and think about what’s going through your mind, your thoughts and responses, no matter what task is at hand.  What could you be allowing to sink down into your subconscious mind today? Down that rabbit hole?  What is firing and wiring in your brain? 

Are you happy with what you are making connection with? Do those thoughts feel good to you? Are you creating something you want or don’t want? What new habit is being created by you right now? without even realising it. Our subconscious loves habit it’s good at it! We learn things naturally from our experience but have a think about what you could deliberately direct to let go of the old and bring in the new. Just how you want it.  It’s how our mind processes new information and it can change and run a new program, so direct it! Make it fun!

Get off your autopilot!

Rather than just going through your day on autopilot, make a conscious decision to check in occasionally. You can change it 😊 You can run new programs, just like updating your Apps on your phone or devices.

Simple but very powerful stuff! Enjoy your creating and learning. Enjoy updating your own person APP! Remember to Practice! Practice! Practice!

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