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 we can tune our brain, now we can put effort to understand how to harness brain’s plasticity by training our brain to make positive patterns more automatic.
Surprisingly our brains are negativity biased. For that unfortunate reasons, we tend to remember the bad stuff happened to us than the good stuff that happened in a day. And negative is superpower and thus have stronger impact than the positivity thus eating away the productivity, creativity, decision making skills. Negative impact of setbacks in your work is three times as powerful in affecting motivation than positive progress.
The good news is we can break out of that negative feedback loop and we can 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.