Neuroplasticity in simple words is changing capacity of the brain all time. Science has proved every time you learn a new factor or skill, your brain changes chemically, structurally or functionally leading to a new learning process. The primary driver for the change in your brain is your behavior. By repeating the behavior, you can tune your brain.
The degree of neuroplasticity is extremely variable among individuals and therefore one size approach does not fit all. So, you can tune your brain and develop your personalized brain by all yourself. Brains are shaped by the world around you, by what you encounter, by what you do, by what you explain. Its best explained by The Tetris effect. When you play Tetris game the effect of it skids into real life. Even after shutting off you still feel those Tetris blocks falling in your mind’s eye. For example, when you are in grocery shopping and just played the game in recent time and due to Tetris effect, you start yourself thinking about rearranging items on grocery shelves and carts in the parking lot. That’s your mind continues to play the game, even when you’re physically not. So, when you cultivate a behavior (any time of your life) and repeat it for few times then the brain automatically captures the rhythm and make the behavior easy to adapt. So, “Tetris learning effect” in which the brain consumed less energy as mastery of the game rose, as you learn the game, it becomes more automatic.”
Once when we understand this phenomenon we can tune our brain and can further put our effort to understand how to harness brain’s plasticity by training the brain to make positive patterns more automatic.
Before analyzing the turning to positive patterns I would like to introduce the characteristic of our brains which are interestingly negativity biased. For that unfortunate characteristics, we tend to remember more the bad stuff happened to us than the good stuff that happened in a day. This biased nature of brain is such negative superpower and therefore have stronger impact and thus blindfolded towards positivity. This leads to further damage to productivity, creativity, decision making skills of an individual. To live positive life, we need to get rid of the negative impact caused negative actions and thoughts. But the setback of negative impact is not as simple as nullifying it with equal number of positive impact. Meaning, if you face one negative action in your routine you cannot nullify it with one positive action instead you have to create three positive power packed actions to suppress the negative impact. In case we fail to do it after a point an individual will feeling like the whole world is against him.
So the big question is how to break out of that negative feedback loop and rewire our brains to think positively. When we practice looking for and being more aware of positive aspects of life, we fight off the brain’s natural tendency to scan for and spot the negatives. Naturally we bring ourselves into better balance. Just like playing and getting automatic rhythm in the Tetris game.
Whenever you do specific tasks repeatedly, they take up less of your brain power over time. And that’s amazing, as this will be the basis for a huge opportunity to change our behavior for the better. We can retrain the brain to scan for the good things in life—to help us see more possibility, to feel more energy, and to succeed at higher levels. The impact of practicing and retaining a more positive thinking pattern, especially on our well being and happiness, can be even more powerful.
Patrick Roupin is an expert in innovation, design, strategy & entrepreneurship.
Ashrefunisa Shaik is an expert in organizational transformation & sustainability.