breaking bad habits blue strands

Ever notice your thoughts, like really sit back and quietly observe the things you say to yourself day in and day out? Are the thoughts uplifting? Self-deprecating? Are the things you saying to yourself reinforcing how powerful you are or how unworthy you feel? You have an estimated 60,000-70,000 thoughts per day, 90% of which are the exact same ones you had the day before (p. 51, Dispenza). Every time you reinforce a thought, this leads to making similar choices which leads to similar behaviors —> similar experiences and then —> same feelings. It’s a complex feedback loop that keeps you STUCK. 

The brain is made up of ~100 BILLION neurons. Neurons are these little super computers that process up to hundreds of thousands of functions PER SECOND (p. 56, Dispenza). Whaaat? So it’s been said, neurons that fire together, wire together. So every time you perform an action and then continue that action, you are literally wiring your brain to habituate that. No wonder creating change can be difficult. Your brain is physically hardwired to respond in a very specific manner. 

Here’s the thing and why I LOVE talking about this. You’re never, ever stuck. Because the brain is malleable, consistently changing your thoughts creates physical changes in the brain. When you consistently and consciously choose “new” ways of thinking, neurotransmitters are released which cross from one neuron to the next neuron. As we continue this new thought pattern, the neurons continue to fire in this new way which strengthens its ability to readily convey the signal next time. As these neurons continue to fire in unison to support your new thoughts, a protein is then created which makes its way to the center of the cell (nucleus), finds the DNA and switches on several genes. Genes create proteins which maintain the structure and function of our body. The nerve cell then makes a new protein which creates new branches between our nerve cells. So each time we repeat a thought or experience, our brain cells make stronger and MORE total connections in the brain (p. 57, Dispenza). 

As soon as you think a new thought, you change neurologically, chemically and genetically. You can actually gain thousands of new neural connections in seconds from learning or experiencing something new or thinking differently (p. 58, Dispenza). Consider this, by thought alone you activate new genes immediately!

You can physically rewire your brain to create that which you desire. Pretty powerful, right? 

But why is it so hard to create new habits? When we learn something new, our synaptic connections double, but unless the new learning experience is repeated over and over and over, the number of new connections returns to its original number in only a matter of three weeks (p. 58, Dispenza). This is why repetition is key to change! This is also why it takes on average 2 months to create a new habit. You are powerful, you are capable. Our brains have the capacity adapt and change overtime, you just need to commit to wanting that change. Once you do, you will become unstoppable!

Reference: Dr. Joe Dispenza, You Are the Placebo. 

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