Is it possible to Change one's brain?
Updated: Mar 13
YES! It is.
Our brain's functioning is shaped by our habits. Have you ever gotten home and realized you forgot to make a stop on your way? In the absence of conscious instruction to do something different, our brain operates on rote memory, reverting to the status quo. Until you actively change the storyline, your brain operates on autopilot. There is just one problem...
Have you ever heard of fear reactions? According to Paul Gilbert, a British psychologist, our brain has three regulatory systems: (1) threat, (2) soothing, and (3) drive. When the brain experiences a change, whether positive or negative, it goes into protective mode, activating the fear responses of fight, flight, freeze, and fawn and doing what it believes is best at the time.
We can either stay with our initial fear response or investigate it and change it if it no longer serves us. We can use our soothing regulation system and set ourselves up for a better outcome by being kind to ourselves, remembering that our feelings are valid, and then trying to figure out what these feelings are trying to tell us.
As we practice the art of compassion, our thoughts and behaviors change, and our feelings begin to shift toward a more positive and empowered state.
In my next blog post, I will discuss how this change might impact your identity.