N is for Neuroplasticity
“Neuroplasticity research showed that the brain changes its very structure with each different activity it performs, perfecting its circuits, so it is better suited to the task at hand.” -Naveen Jain-
Simply put, Neuroplasticity is the way our brain changes.
The easiest way to explain this is an example of someone who has never run before and decides that they will run a marathon in 6 months.
Their brain is already moulded a certain way from everything they have seen and experienced in their life until they decide to run a marathon.
On day one, they may tie up a new pair of shoes and run for 5 or 10 minutes. A week later, they could be up to 30 minutes, and by the end of the first month, they can run for 45 minutes.
This daily process will slowly change their brains to look like runners’ brains. After 3 months, they may be up to an hour and a half, changing their brain and becoming a marathon runner. Finally, 6 months later, their brain looks like a marathon runner because that is what they have become.
Neuroplasticity is the real-time feedback (that we can’t see) of BECOMING something. It is not about the actual marathon day. It is about who they become in the process.
Neuroplasticity can work the opposite way too. For example, let’s say we get hurt, and the Doctor gives us a daily pill or tablet for pain.
Eventually, we build up a tolerance and need more. So the Doctor gives us 2, then 4, and then 8 pills to relieve our pain.
The fact that we have to take the pills every day reinforces our brain that we are in chronic pain. The result is that Neuroplasticity takes hold and starts to mould our brain to look like the brain of a person in chronic pain.
If we take pills three or four times a day, the interval between the time we tell ourselves we are in pain is cut in by half or every 6 hours.
Over time our brain starts to look like we are really sick. Neuroplasticity signals big trouble for us if we do this daily and become victims of our lives yearly.
If we trade in prescription drugs for vitamins, we signal to our brain that we are healthy, and our brain will start to look healthy again.
The great thing is that we can start to change today until we become marathon runners.