The brain is an incredible organ. It is constantly regenerating and renewing itself while absorbing the information being thrown at it. However, not every piece of information it absorbs is positive or even correct.
For example, if you fall down in public and feel embarrassed, the thought “I’m an idiot” pops into your head. Your brain will absorb it and form a neural pathway. This pathway is the connection through which neurons send their signals from one part of the brain to another.
And as more things cause embarrassment for you, the stronger that pathway becomes to the point that it affects how you live your life.
What if you utilize how your brain works naturally to promote productivity, happiness, a sense of self-worth, and success in your workplace? The results will amaze you.
What Am I Talking About?
What I am really referring to is something called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a therapy used by mental health professionals all over the world. CBT is an evidenced-based therapy that assumes changing harmful thinking can lead to an ultimate change in behavior. Even further, more recent versions of CBT focus on changing a person’s relationship to harmful thinking. It rewires the brain and those aforementioned neural pathways to initiate a change in behavior.
This kind of practice can also be described as ‘mindfulness’. It involves focusing on the present moment and acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings while noticing one’s relationship to those feelings. It is much easier to change one’s relationship to feelings and circumstances when they are acknowledged.
Does This Even Work?
The Harvard Gazette recently published an article outlining a study done on the effectiveness of using the above techniques to change one’s brain with respect to depression. I believe this to be interchangeable with anxiety, stress, or even a lack of productivity in one’s life.
Dr. Gaelle Desbordes, an instructor in radiology at Harvard Medical school and a neuroscientist, began practicing mindfulness and experienced great benefits. As a scientist, she wondered how it could benefit others and how the process could be documented.
What is amazing about her study, outlined in this article, is that she could visually see a difference in scans of patients’ brains before and after they practiced mindfulness and the change seemed to be there to stay.
What Does This Mean For You?
Even if you are not struggling with something as serious as depression or PTSD, utilizing a tool or practice like mindfulness or CBT could really make a difference to your success as a person. It’s possible that you have some thought patterns cycling on a daily basis that are hindering your success in work or your productivity on a project.
I truly believe that taking inventory of your daily thought patterns can tremendously help you. You can begin by pinpointing something in which you have a physical hiccup.
Do you struggle with deadlines and procrastinate until the last second? Do you eat healthy all day and binge on all the unhealthy foods right before bed?
Whatever your goals or scenarios are, write them all out as they pop into your head.
For example, if you struggle with procrastination, your thoughts surrounding this issue may be one or a few of the following:
- I feel overwhelmed.
- I want to do a perfect job so I fear to start the project.
- I’m not good enough.
- I dislike my work and do not want to begin the project.
You probably have a lot more thoughts or reasons for feeling such way. So, sit with yourself for a few minutes and really think about them before writing them out. Choose one that you deem is harmful to your productivity and write down why it shouldn’t be that way.
Now, you know how to rewire your brain for success.
The next time you are procrastinating, revisit what you’ve written and it’ll create the positive changes you want in your brain. It will file this new information and override the old, ultimately changing your behavior.
I hope you find this information helpful in your quest for a more productive, happy, and successful life.