The 1990s were the start of what scientists call the “neuroplasticity revolution.” We have discovered that our brains are plastic, or extremely malleable. This means, even as old dogs, we can learn new tricks. We have the ability to rise above bad habits that sabotage our higher intentions by learning how to focus our minds differently.
Haven’t we been told all our lives that we only use ten percent of our brains? We do lose brain mass as we age, but until we die we have access to billions of possible neural connections. This is good news for everyone, but especially for parents who commonly express frustration at not being able to stop what comes out of their mouths even when they know it won’t have the desired effect they were looking for with their children.
With the new brain-scanning technology, neuroscientists and psychologists have discovered that by teaching people how to focus on the present moment, with some kind of mindfulness-based practice, we can learn to access higher levels of thinking that will over-ride unconscious, habitual reactions.
So, not only can we learn new tricks, we can start using the part of the brain that leads to more compassion, insight, empathy and the ability to regulate fear. Stay tuned for tips on HOW to learn these new tricks.
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