Neuroscientists have been making some revolutionary discoveries in the area of brain science recently. In an area called brain plasticity (yes, your brain can be plastic, meaning it can be shaped or formed), it’s being proven that we can literally change our brains with experience and training. So, how do you want your brain to work?
“The more you focus on something – whether that’s math or auto racing or football or God – the more that becomes your reality, the more it becomes written into the neural connections of your brain,” says neuroscientist Andrew Newberg from the University of Pennsylvania. He’s been scanning the brains of people who pray and meditate regularly, and finds measurable differences in the part of the brain that helps us form our sense of self.
When my attitude is not exactly positive, an older, wiser friend says to me, "Keep feeding the bad dogs, and they’ll keep coming back." Our brains seem to follow that rule. We create pathways with our thoughts and beliefs in the same way brush is worn down in the woods to create a path if people keep walking on it.
So modern science seems to be confirming ancient spiritual laws. Your focus will draw your mind’s energy to a certain direction. It’s just like the practice and discipline of working out at the gym, where utilizing a set of muscles will create reality in our physical being. The key words here are “practice” and “discipline.”
Meditation is a tool that’s been used for thousands of years. Spiritual practitioners experience a sense of oneness with the universe, and now Newberg’s brain scans show exactly how this registers in the brain. You can use guided meditation which “works out” that part of your mind that needs some enhancing, like beliefs about yourself and your capabilities.
Continue to learn new things. The networks of neurons that make up your brain are always changing whether you want them to or not! So take control of this, and create new connections. Use your affirmations. You may feel that they are ineffective or worn-out, but if you stop doing those crunches when they get boring, you know what happens to your tummy! “Act as if” is also an interesting trick. Some people think you can behave your way into a different attitude and outlook.
Conventional wisdom used to say you were stuck with your personality once you got older. Science is now backing up the claims of people who have found that spiritual realities prove that our beliefs can limit us or free us depending on how we exercise our minds.