Embrace the B.S.- Gift Yourself with a Lasting Change

… If the cynical in you rolls eyes and the desperate in you gets mad because you’re eager for change or even try –

I’d like to explain: IT’S ALL B.S.

Are you confused?

It might be because of your automatic interpretation of what B.S. is.

In this case: B.S. (Brain Science).

Let’s start from the beginning: Is change even possible?

B.S. (Brain Science) shows that we were all gifted with Brain Plasticity. Brain Plasticity is the ability of the brain to rewire and restructure connections in any age, at any given moment. It includes:

  • Adjustment in response to difficult situations
  • Compensation for emotional /mental hurt
  • Compensation for physical injury
  • Adaptation to novel experiences
  • Adaptation to any other changes in the environment
  • Adjustment of information regarding our negative or positive self-beliefs. 

In the documentary “What the Bleep do we know?” Joe Dispenza captures the idea behind Brain Plasticity: “Neurons that fire together wire together and neurons that fire out of sync- fail to link”.

That means that if we eat while watching T.V. daily it becomes a habit and more likely that every time we sit to watch we automatically feel hungry or crave food. Why? Our neuro cells are already engaged in a long-term relationship that produces a certain chemical response.

B.S. (Brain Science) means that:

If we repeatedly complain about our spouse, ex, kids, parents, mother-in-law, job, or life- it becomes a habit.

If we repeatedly identify ourselves as not-good-enough, not important, worthless, powerless, helpless, or hopeless- it becomes a habit.

If we repeatedly experience ourselves unsafe, lonely, angry, out-of-control, rejected, or any other feeling- it becomes a habit.

Got it. How can I make it stop?

B.S. (Brain Science) means that on the same token, if we interrupt those engagements, we won’t produce the same chemical response anymore and therefore break the habit and re-train our brain.

Moreover, B.S. shows that with creating new healthy habits we can wire and establish positive neural relationships in our brain. In addition, the mild stress that comes with stepping out of our comfort zone while learning- enhances cognitions, strengthens the protection against neural degenerate diseases such as Parkinson and Alzheimer, improves intelligence, and helps mitigate future adaptation.

Some ways to strengthen those desired connections are:

  1. Daily affirmations with an example for each affirmation (i.e.: I am smart. Example: I have the ability to analyze situations).
  2. Counting your blessings daily– writing at least five things you’re grateful for (i.e.: I am grateful for my intuition, for my son, and for the beautiful weather).
  3. Reminding yourself of success stories from your past. How did you feel? What was the message? What did YOU do to make it successful? (i.e.: I graduated college. Felt proud, accomplished, happy, satisfied, and content. I gave myself the messages that I am capable, I am an adult, and I’m successful. What I did to make it successful- worked hard, made the right choices, overcame obstacles, believed in myself, asked for help…)

Easy to say, hard to do

B.S. (Brain Science) acknowledges that the brain does not want to change. There might be resistance and challenges. It is uncomfortable. Specific well-informed partners, a sponsor, individual therapy and group therapy can be helpful for keeping us accountable.

Can therapy really help?

You may have heard about the Fibonacci sequence that describes an amazing variety of natural, mathematical, scientific, and artistic phenomena. The Fibonacci sequence is a pattern found in:

  • The golden ratio, highlighted in classical theories of beauty and proportion
  • Spirals
  • Self-similar curves.

Fibonacci sequence are found in petals, cones, seeds, tree branches, pineapples, broccoli, cauliflower, and other fruits and vegetables, faces, spiral galaxies, shells, hurricanes, animals’ bodies, animals’ fight patterns, DNA molecules, and so much more.

Each number (Fibonacci number) is the sum of the two preceding numbers, starting from 0 and 1. The series begins as follows: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, etc. (0+1= 1, 1+1=2, 1+2=3, 2+3=5, 3+5=8 5+8=13 etc.) and so on forever.

If this simple astonishing pattern is truly a built-in numbering system in every aspect of the cosmos, that is good news. How wonderful it is that therapy sessions have the potential to grow the healing stronger and faster as time passes. All we need is to initiate, take the first step from 0 to 1, and stick with it. With baby steps we keep the momentum and by making it a ritual, we are likely to be surprised.

A couple points to keep in mind:

  • Make the practice fun.
  • Attach a lower desired behavior to a higher desired behavior. For example: if you hate to exercise but love listening to books, allow yourself to listen to books ONLY while exercising.
  • Trust B.S. (Brain Science)

Lasting change takes awareness, decision, stimuli, effort, time, and practice. Yet, it is POSSIBLE and almost INEVITABLE if we TRUST the PROCESS. After all, even you realize at this moment that B.S. has changed its nature to Brain Science, vs. whatever came to mind when you began reading this article.

Article by Hadas Ron Zarki, MA, LAC

References:

1. Cascio, C. N., O’donnell, M. B., Tinney, F. J., Lieberman, M. D., Taylor, S. E., Strecher, V. J., & Falk, E. B. (2015). Self-affirmation activates brain systems associated with self-related processing and reward and is reinforced by future orientation. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 11(4), 621-629.

2. Emmons, R.A., and McCullough, M.E. (2004). The Psychology of Gratitude. Oxford University Press.

3. Based on David Cooperrider and colleagues appreciative inquiry approach to change. See https://www.davidcooperrider.com/ai-process/.  

* TED Talk- How brain plasticity can change your life with Michael Merzenich