Actual physical rewiring
What that means in our lives
The happiest people on earth
One of the causes
Rewiring specific parts
A supporting article: Treat your brain as a muscle
ACTUAL PHYSICAL REWIRING
A vital concept to know. For with the understanding that you can actually rewire the brain physically, you can create much happiness and eliminate much stress and unhappiness.
The plasticity of the brain surprised scientists when they documented it. They thought it couldn’t be changed much past young adulthood. (The term often used for this is "neuroplasticity of the brain.")
They found, however, that any one particular use of the brain, if repeated for a while (3 months or longer was better), would actually cause brain circuits (neuronal pathways) to be created. And if that particular use caused another use (like an old habit, for instance) not to be done for awhile, the old pathway began to get weaker and weaker and then wither away!
WHAT THAT MEANS IN OUR LIVES
So we can change ways of thinking, habits, attitudes, attention span, and a number of other traits and abilities, just through repeated systematic use.
THE HAPPIEST PEOPLE ON EARTH
Since the point of life is to be happier, it made sense to find out who the happiest people on earth were. According to Richard Davidson, a top brain researcher, they are the Tibetan monks.
And in the studies, they found that the left prefrontal cortex was the center for happiness (and the right prefrontal cortex is the center for sadness and some stress).
Of course, both sides are needed. But it is desirable to have a better left to right ratio, especially since in today’s world we do not need to “overwarn” ourselves in order to avoid being eaten.
The better the left-right ratio, the better the immune system functioning also.
ONE OF THE CAUSES
One of the causes apparently of a better ratio is training in mindfulness (like meditation), where an eight week training lasts for months after – experiencing less anxiety and fewer symptoms of stress (both physically and mentally). And, guess what the Tibetan monks were great at doing – yes, meditation. So, if they are the happiest people on earth, it would seem that…
It has been put forth in the past that 50% of one’s happiness level is determined by inheritance, which sets a physical set point around which happiness varies somewhat but which is limiting. Now, tying the above information together with this, that (so-called) set point can be raised significantly.
So, if you want to be happy for the rest of your life, reprogram the brain (re-wire it) for happiness.
You’ll not only be happier, but healthier, more alive and curious, better able to think, and you’ll not get stuck on negative emotions and thoughts. See the discussion on mindfulness and what it is, as most people are vague and/or totally wrong about what it is and ignorant of its actual effects. There are a number of practices that we want to adopt to have our brain rewire itself, so that we can have self-discipline actually be easy, have a stronger will power without efforting, be healthier, and many, many more benefits. See the Practices section of the site.
REWIRING SPECIFIC PARTS
All beliefs and habits are simply wired neuronal pathways in the brain.
To change either, we simply need to repeat a sufficient number of times what our new belief is to be or repeat a "doing" of some sort, so that a new habit is wired in.
It's not difficult, unless one considers repeating something for a great benefit to be "difficult" - it isn't difficult, it is simple and relatively effortless.
We simply need to decide what to better put in our brains, as we do in the Changing Beliefs section and in the Habits section (the latter being, believe it or not, part of the Power In Life section), and then do the installation (repeat, rewiring) process. The following is extracted from Option Institute newsletter: Bears Barry Neil Kaufman:
TREAT YOUR BRAIN AS A MUSCLE:
"Really? When I wrote "Son-Rise" and "To Love Is To Be Happy With," we were already talking and teaching about redesigning our brains with our beliefs. The notion of "neuroplasticity" was belittled by scientists then (not now). Our neurons are changeable and modifiable. Even damaged brains can reorganize. Exercise your brain with nourishing/loving beliefs and it will change!!!"
More on Brain Muscle: That's a metaphor.
However, as you "feed" and exercise your brain with optimistic thoughts, joyful beliefs, expressions of gratitude - dendrites (part of our neurons) will respond, even grow and alter the cerebral architecture with new circuits and connections to support those perspectives.
Imagine, our brains are so user-friendly that they will reinforce as a physical reality what we are doing attitudinally.
So, be impatient and annoyed . . . and (I'm smiling), you'll get better at impatience and annoyance.
However, and this is so cool, do more ease with yourself and embrace of others and you'll build cellular architectural to help you get better at doing that.
Wow, thank you brain.
Now we get to choose how to manage our neuroplasticity.
Obviously, we need to decide what to rewire into our brains in terms of thinking and in terms of behavior. What we rewire in this case is the "habits" (grooved in wiring down which a specific set of chemicals, electricity, emotions, and responses travel easily and most naturally). Habits are "automatic" behaviors that are virtually effortless to do, as they slide along a well-grooved figurative rut very easily, not requiring much thought. (The lower brain is capable of following ruts, so we need not use up our higher brain functions and can use them for things that benefit us more! We are simply "programming" the ruts if we actively repeat (as in dog training) what we want to groove in - but it takes a number of repeats in order to physically begin to form new neuronal pathwas that are deep enough to access and to also physically allow the brain to scavenge and reuse the neurons that support the old rut - which it does after it sees that a pathway is not in use.
We can do physical "regrooving", such as in practicing our tennis swing or even our breathing (which does affect our thinking!), but the primary thing we need to do is to defuse the time bomb and toxins of thoughts that generate the harmful chemicals that further harm our lives.
Do the following, but do it to completion (to "good enough", at least), so that you have very healthy neuronal patterns running your life for you, with occasional help from the higher brain when needed.