Ep 151 Neuroplasticity
Episode Notes –
Today I’m jumping into a discussion around Neuroplasticity and how you can apply this to work and personal life. If we want new results in life we need to start thinking differently, we need to start re-wiring our brain, we need to start doing things differently. Join me as I share some personal stories and questions about how this can help you today.
In This Episode:
- Carol Dweck
- Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset
- Adult learning
Course link: www.michellebourquecoaching.com/course
You are listening to the it’s your time podcast and I’m your host certified life coach Michelle Arnold Burke, and today’s episode, I’m discussing neuro plasticity. Welcome to the it’s your time podcast, the podcast where busy professionals like you get the practical solutions and support you need to gain control of your schedule. So you can strive to be the best in your career, but without the stress and overwhelm. If you’re looking to increase your energy and decrease your stress, you are in the right place.
Hello, hello, hello, welcome back to the podcast friends. As always, it’s a pleasure to be here. And thank you for listening. I so appreciate you. And hopefully you don’t hear the pub too much. He’s snoring in the background. But today, I am going to just jump right in. Because today I want to talk to you about neuroplasticity. And as we go, I am going to share some examples so that hopefully you can find areas of where maybe we can do more to work on your neuro plasticity. We’re in it together, right friends. First off, what is neuro plasticity, you may or may not be asking. The definition is the ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or experience or following injury. So it’s our brains plasticity, the ability of the brain to modify its connections or rewire itself. And without this ability, any brain, not just the human brain would be unable to develop from infancy through to adulthood or recover from a brain injury. Basically, to put it simply, it’s a lot of the work that I do with clients, when we begin to think new thoughts in order to get new results in life. And here’s a pretty easy way to think of it. Think of the neural networks as roads, right? The beliefs that you have, I’ll use an example for me, for the longest time, and I’ve talked about it here, let’s say, my entire life, I’m still working on it. I have believed you have to work hard in order to make a lot of money. So for me that thought is like a freeway with an open easy pass. Right? It’s so easy to go to. It is so practice, but the truth is, it’s just my belief. It’s not a fact. There are a lot of people that work hard, and don’t make a lot of money. And on the flip side, there are a lot of people that may be don’t work as quote unquote, hard. But they make a buttload of money. Right? So when my coach first suggested this thought, you don’t have to always be working hard to make money. Well, now first, I thought she was just crazy, right? But to stick with our road analogy, me believing that that you can make money that I can make money right and not work quote unquote hard, was like driving down an old, unpaved with lots of rocks road, I need to practice it on purpose, in order for it to be a go to thought for me, in order to make it that superhighway with the open EZ Pass that right and why? Why do I even want to consider that new thought? Well, for me, and perhaps for you, because if we believe that it is possible, and think of what new thought that might be for you, right? So if I’m thinking it’s possible to believe that you can make a lot of money and not always be doing it the quote unquote, hard way, well, then it just opens up so many other possibilities, to live a life outside of work. And that’s what we work on here. Right? The work life integration. And I think in the past when we’re talking about neuroplasticity, right? I think in the past people thought once you get old, it’s all downhill. We can’t start new things. How often is it that we tell ourselves, we’re too old to do something new? Listen, we can teach an old dog new tricks, right? We can do the same for ourselves. And I think we must if we want to continue to evolve. But how do we do that? So some research around neuroplasticity says that things like physical exercise which increases blood flow to the brain delivering The much needed oxygen. Things like paying attention, things like learning new things, all of that they say helps to build neuroplasticity. And I am always saying movement is medicine, right exercise helps not just the body, but also the mind. And it can be fun. It can be as simple as just taking a nice walk outside, it can be anything you want it to be. Not everyone gets the privilege friends, let’s move we can. So exercise getting that oxygen to the blood. And the second thing to consider that may increase neuroplasticity is paying attention, which is the opposite of acting on automatic pilot. And listen, most folks live for making decisions on automatic pilot, right? Remember, our brain works and the motivational triad to avoid pain, seek pleasure and be as efficient as possible. So it makes sense to function on automatic pilot, it’s easy. And we don’t have to be aware of every single move we make. Right? Think about it. You can make your favorite dinner recipe or go for your routine run through the neighborhood and just space out automatic pilot. And if I’m being honest, I can also sometimes arrive to a location by driving there and wonder how did I get here. And I know I’m not the only one. But living on automatic pilot can also mean that we miss out on precious moments. Because we don’t take the time to stop and be present. We don’t take the time to stop and look around. Enjoy the journey as they say. And if I’m tying it back to that first belief that I know a lot of you share with me, you have to work hard in order to make a lot of money or you just have to work hard in order to be worthy. Well, then it makes sense, right? that a lot of times we are just working hard on automatic pilot, and we don’t enjoy the journey. This is the work. And I’ll share another example of this with you where I saw it happen in my personal life actually. We had this annual ornament party that we used to do as a family. And on this particular year, I remember I was the one to be hosting. But I did it at my parents house since I lived too far away for everyone. And I am not even kidding you. When I say the following year, we were looking at pictures from what was my host year. And I had no recollection of any of it. Totally. No idea. A little frightening. But likely what happened was a few things. I was super anxious about making sure things went well. I was probably running around like a chicken with my head cut off just trying to do the work, right? And that is all automatic pilot for me. Worry work super easy to go to? Where does this show up for you? Get aware of it. Because once you build that awareness, then you can start to make the changes, right? So where are you going through life doing the same thing over and over? And maybe wanting different results? You know how they say if you want different results, you need to do something differently. This is it. You need to change your thinking. And changing your thinking is a way to increase neuroplasticity, being present, becoming aware, engaging in mindfulness exercises, and maybe it’s a formal practice of meditation, or maybe it’s something that’s not quite so formal. It’s really what will work for you. What gets you started. And I remember when I first considered meditating, I was like, You people are crazy. I am too busy to meditate. I don’t have time to do that. PS. I also know that a bunch of you think like that now, right? That’s why I’m here to help. But I have to tell you, there is so much information around the benefits of meditating. So I thought, okay, I’ll start and I literally set my phone for two minutes, and full transparency. After about 30 seconds. I was peeking out the side of one of my eyes to see if we were almost done. But now, I have to meditate every single day. Sometimes it’s 10 minutes. Sometimes it’s 30 minutes. It really depends on the day. It Depends on my mind. It just is something that I know helps. And I highly encourage you to try it. There are a lot of apps that you can use. And you can just sit and focus on your breath for two minutes to begin. It doesn’t have to be a big production, you do not have to get out a new meditation pillow, and light your candles and have your little throne. It doesn’t have to get that crazy friends, you can literally just sit and give yourself two minutes to breathe. It’s not too much to ask. It’s building the new habit. That is the work, changing the way you think, the way your neurons fire, building the new highway in order to make the changes to get you to the new destination, the new goal. And another way you can stimulate brain neuroplasticity and adulthood is learning new things. And I have a previous podcast I can’t recall but you could search it where I talked about fixed mindset and growth mindset. Carol Dweck has a great book on this. But kids do it all the time, right? They have a sense of wonder. They know they can learn but somehow, again, as adults, we either think we can’t, or we aren’t comfortable with it. We say things like why upset the applecart. And a lot of times, we just prefer maybe to kick back, relax, do the same old, same old and listen, it might feel good. It might be comfortable. But it does not contribute to neuro flexibility. And if we just do the same old, we are depriving our brain of the nutrients of neuroplasticity.
You know that statement? We’ve always done it this way. Oh, gee, really, that statement is like nails on a chalkboard to me. So what that doesn’t mean, we don’t try new things. And as much as you hear me talk about people leaving the team or work here. The other side of that is we get new people in, right? We get new blood and we get new ideas in which is great. So think about this for you. Where can you come up with some new ideas for your life? Or I’d be curious where you are struggling with believing your new ideas. Maybe you have the ideas, you’re just not quite sure how to get there yet. That’s okay. That is not a problem. It is to be expected. Think about this, when we are bridging from one old belief to a new belief. It’s sometimes takes time. If you think about how long you’ve had your current belief, usually, usually, honestly, it comes from someone else, right? We are given beliefs as children from parents and from teachers. And then you just take the luggage with you all the way. And now here you are. Maybe you want something different. It might take a little time. Give yourself the grace to make those changes. And we just keep showing up right, we just keep paving the way and eventually it will all click and then we move to the next lane and the freeway friends and we take it from there. And listen, you know I am always here to help and we have options. If you want to get started online, this self paced course you can go to Michelle Bourque coaching comm forward slash course or if you really want to get into it, we can start doing private one on one coaching and you can simply send me an email contact at Michelle Burt coaching comm let me know you’re ready. We just hop on a quick call. There is no cost there is no obligation we just discuss what that could look like. I got you covered. Okay friends, that’s what I have for you today. Let’s circle back next week but for now, stay safe and make it a great day. Take care.
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