Neuroplasticity 102 - Making your brain stronger and smarter. One workout at a time.
The whole brain, when functioning correctly, is able to coordinate 20 billion bits of information every second.
1. Your brain - your world.
The world you see is a 3-dimensional projection of your brain.
We move through space, either left or right, forward or backward, up or down. Everything around us, from the houses we live into the objects we use in everyday life, has three dimensions: height, length, and width.
2. Conditioning the brain for better experiences.
Synaptic pruning is a lifelong process.
Synaptic pruning removes unnecessary neuronal structures from the brain; as the human brain develops, the need to understand more complex structures becomes much more pertinent, and simpler associations formed in childhood are thought to be replaced by complex structures.
"Use it or Lose it"
"Neurons that fire together, wire together."
Synaptic pruning is the brain's way of removing connections in the brain that are no longer needed.
During synaptic pruning, the brain eliminates extra synapses.
Synaptic pruning is influenced by environmental factors.
The synaptic connections that are kept, aid in survival and mastery of your environment.
3. Neural Darwinism
When a herd of bison is hunted, the slowest bison at the back of the herd is the most likely to die. This process of "thinning the herd" leaves the herd itself faster and more efficient.
You are only as strong as your weakest connection. Cutting off the weakest, most unused connections leaves the whole brain more efficient.
4. Energy conservation
The adult human brain consumes about 25% of all calories even though it comprises only about 2% of total body weight.
Synaptic pruning helps conserve energy.
5. Neuroplasticity - It’s never too late to change
You have the ability to change your brain.
Your brain is constantly processing an insane amount of data but you're only aware of a small fraction of it.
You have the ability to rewire your brain to process incoming data in new ways.
You can completely destroy bad neural connections and strengthen empowering ones.
You have the ability to destroy old outdated programs and install more empowering ones.
You have a vote in what thoughts you choose to think and what emotions you give attention to.
A simple change in your beliefs can have a profound impact on how your brain processes data.
Your emotions and beliefs are constantly writing the blueprint of your neural circuitry through daily routines and rituals.
There are no known limits on how much you can affect the way your brain is wired.
Challenge your current beliefs and replace any limiting concepts with empowering ones that support your growth.
6. Do you want your brain tree to grow wild or to be well-kept and healthy?
Pruning is pruning, there are tremendous benefits whether you're referring to pruning a tree or synaptic pruning.
Dead branches hinder the growth of the healthy components of a tree.
Disease, fungi, and other types of decay spread to otherwise healthy branches of unpruned trees.
Without pruning the branches the tree itself is deprived of much-needed sunlight and circulation of air.
Fruit production on fruit trees is inhibited by rotted limbs and diseases of unpruned trees.
Dead branches and overgrowth can easily fall off during a heavy storm.
Dead branches can hang over a house or in the backyard where children play.
Dead branches can grow over power lines.
Pruning complements the aesthetics of the environment by allowing you to see the surroundings better.
7. Neurons that wire together - fire together
Imagine what neural connections you will change if you spend your day in a state of gratitude instead of a fit of anger.
Limit the time spent endorsing negative thoughts and maximize positive thoughts.
Challenge your beliefs. Replace any limiting beliefs with new values that support your growth.
Free yourself from your past actions and perceptions.
8. Mind your business.
Here's what you need to know to work with your brain instead of against it.
1. Your brain is always working on your behalf and doing exactly what it thinks you want it to do. It's doing what it thinks is in your best interest. Your brain loves very specific language.
"I've chosen to write this idea list", "I love writing ideal lists because it anchors the principles in my mind more deeply" "I choose this" "I want it"
This is far superior to positive thinking. Think of it as dancing or collaborating with your brain.
2. Your mind is hardwired to move you towards pleasure and away from pain.
Link pleasure to doing the things that are hard.
Link pain to doing the things that you don't want.
3. The way you feel about anything boils down to two things: What you say when you talk to yourself and the images in your head.
Your brain doesn't care what you tell it is good/bad, right/wrong, helpful/unhelpful it only responds to the words you say and images that you produce inside of your head.
4. Your mind loves familiarity.
You have to make the familiar, unfamiliar if you want to change.
If you're used to throwing a fit when you don't get your way (familiar) then you must start remaining calm when things don't go your way (unfamiliar). Practice. Practice.
You have to make the unfamiliar, familiar for the brain to change.
9. 10 reps
If you can do it once, you might be able to do it ten times.
And if you do it ten times, it will become a skill and a practice. You’ll do it more naturally and more often.
Sending a note, changing your mind, throwing a ball, offering a kind word, doing leg presses.
Doing ten reps is a great place to begin.