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Neuroplasticity…. What does it mean?

By Bret Treadwell, Butterfly Global

 

We’ve all heard the stories of people who would never walk again and then did? People who live to be 100+ and have amazingly active lives or folks who have over came medical challenges without expensive medications or invasive surgeries.

Neuroplasticity (or brain plasticity) is rooted in the idea that we can continue to evolve throughout our lives and that setting the pace for our personal evolution is a choice. There is a growing body of research that is prompting scientists to believe that we have much more control over our life than we thought.

Neuroplasticity is one of the most important and developing topics in Neuroscience today!

It could very well play an important role in the evolution of our species and our ability to adapt to a rapidly changing world.

The quantity and quality of our intelligence is due to the quality and quantity of new experiences. The brain consists of nerve cells (neurons) which are interconnected by tiny branches called dendrites (Greek for little trees). Each neuron is powerhouse of information although each neuron is not very powerful by itself. It is through connection that the resources of one neuron can be capitalized on by another. Very similar to humans and human interaction. Learning and Plasticity happen through changes in the neural network. It can be the addition of new cells, removing old cells, the strength of the connections or adding or removing connections. Also similar to humans.


Until recently the belief was that major portions of the brain were unchangeable in structure after childhood. This belief is being challenged by new findings, suggesting that all areas of the brain and awareness are adaptable throughout our lives. Decades of research have now shown that substantial changes occur and that these changes can profoundly alter emotional responses, beliefs and behavioral patterns. According to the theory of neuroplasticity, thinking, feeling and behavior actually change both the way the brain looks in its physical form and how it performs on emotional levels, from top to bottom.

 


A substantial paradigm shift is now under way and many scientists are saying that neuroplasticity is one of the most extraordinary discoveries of our century.

A 2005 study found that the effects of neuroplasticity were even more potentially rapid than previously expected. Subjects who’s brains were imaged and then underwent exercises in learning new intellectual, emotional and physical skills increased a significant amount of gray matter in their brains and changes in their lives.

Creating the foundation for change in mental acuity, beliefs and behaviors (neural connections) can be increased 2-3 times through specific brain plasticity exercises, in 1–2 days. Those changes can be largely COMPLETED within a few weeks or months if the NEW PATTERNS ARE REINFORCED FREQUENTLY enough and the new sensory information is strong enough. Research shows that LEARNING HOW neuroplasticity works and POSITIVE FEEDBACK actually speed up the process of creating new connections. Other factors include improved diet and a variety of exercises.

 

 

Creating a NEW YOU!

In order to gain maximum benefit from neuroplasticity there are a few things to keep in mind.

You will want to experience more of the following:

repetition
peak emotional states
congruent sensory information
good diet
physical exercise

 

 

Your MISSION if you chose to accept it:

Write a paragraph on how neural plasticity works and why you’d want to get good at leveraging it.

Write out a list of changes you’d like to make in your life and how leveraging neural plasticity can help

Chose 2 changes to start with.

Set up a system to remind yourself to reinforce the changes (ex: an alarm or note on the fridge)
Link peak emotions to your desired outcomes and visualize it every time you are reminded to reinforce the change

Consider learning more about Autobiographical Feedback™ and the Butterfly Warrior trainings

Neuroplasticity is rooted in the idea that we can continue to evolve throughout our lives and that setting the pace for our personal evolution is a choice. There is a growing body of research that is prompting scientists to believe that we have much more control over our life than we thought.

Whether you decide to leverage this information or not… is up to you.