What if you were brave enough to make the changes you’ve been longing to make?
What if you weren’t afraid or skeptical or slow to move?
And what if you were to become completely content, more confident, and closely connected to the people that matter to you?
Sounds good, doesn’t it?
So, how do you start the journey?
Well, you will most likely need to take some significant steps out of your comfort zone.
You may need to change your mind, change your approach, and change your lifestyle.
Is this really possible? Yes!
How can you be sure?
Science says so.
3 Key Reasons Research Says It Really is Possible to Change Your Life for Good:
Your brain can be retrained
The thoughts moving through your mind tend to deeply influence and shape your brain. Tons of information is tracked through your nervous system all the time, most of which occurs without you ever considering the legion of signals traveling through your brain. The paths created are called neural pathways. Together, they create your neural structure.
Scientists once thought that our neural pathways could only be impacted and influenced by growth and significant change early in life. We now know that new connections in the brain can be created intentionally, over time. Furthermore, our parents or childhood caregivers, though powerful influences, don’t necessarily have the final word.
This ability to literally change our minds is often referred to as brain “plasticity”. The brain can expand its neural structure to allow for increased cognitive activity and mental demand. In fact, research shows that meditation produces an increase in neural connectivity visible on a subject’s brain scans following prolonged participation.
What’s the takeaway? If you want to change your life, your brain won’t hold you back. With disciplined effort, you can retrain your brain to start making new connections between neurons and synapses, stimulating new ways of thinking about yourself and how to approach life.
In fact, psychotherapy, according to scientific analysis, seems to effectively elicit changes in the brain’s frontal and temporal cortices. Therapy helps to correct misinterpretations and unhelpful thoughts as those regions of the brain are linked to self-assessment and interpretation as well as memory processing.
You are a powerful cellular re-programmer
Do you have a bad attitude? Do sarcasm, skepticism, or other “-isms” keep you from the life you want? Why does it feel like those traits are so hard to overcome?
Some researchers believe it’s because your cells are awash in neuropeptides connected to specific emotions. Neuropeptides connect with the cell receptors in your body and affect the way you think, believe and behave.
The amazing thing is that those peptides, for better or for worse, affect and change your cell structures. When cells divide, the receptor-peptide combination is multiplied. If the cell had little exposure to positive emotion peptides, few cell receptors prone to positive will exist inside you. Peptides associated with anger, sadness, or guilt can grow exponentially if they are primary in your body.
In effect, your body may be currently programmed to stay stuck, so much so you may think that where you are mentally and emotionally is biologically impossible to alter.
Not so! According to scientists, an ever-expanding understanding of cellular biology indicates otherwise. Furthermore, while it does take time and effort to change well-established attitudes and thought patterns, it can be done effectively and long-term. Why? Researchers know that all the cells in the human body are replaced every 2 months. With help and dedication to a prolonged but productive process, you can begin breaking and replacing cells oriented toward frustration and negativity with those receptive to optimism and positivity.
You can literally take steps to reshape your cell structure and biologically overcome the negative emotions that impede your ability to make lasting changes!
Your feedback fuels your future and genetic potential
Here again, your thoughts matter. What you think has the power to switch your genes on and off, according to pioneers in the expanding field of epigenetics.
That’s not to say you can change your genes themselves, but you can change the way they operate. Many researchers indicate that you can influence genetic activity in your body. Through nutrition, exercise, stress management, and emotional regulation, you have the power to affect the legion of proteins, enzymes, and internal chemicals that govern your body.
Two of those powerful influencers, stress management and emotional regulation, are up to you and the way you direct your thoughts.
It seems worthwhile to invest some time and energy into learning how to manage your thought life for the sake of such deep and fundamental life changes to your health and well-being.
Epigenetic research is providing real hope regarding genetic makeup. We aren’t boxed in by our genes, or at least we don’t have to be. Instead, we are learning that thoughts, attitudes, and perceptions make a huge difference to our core biology and the potential for improving who we are on every level.
You really are in control of the changes you want to make. Your thoughts matter immensely as does seeking out the therapy and support that will help you think positively and productively.
Positive change starts in your head
All in all, we can effectively change our minds, and subsequently our lives, for good. It is possible to think differently, to live differently. Research clearly indicates that the brain itself can be changed or molded throughout our lives.
The “plasticity,” or flexibility and changeability in the brain, suggests that our thinking and lives can be improved long-term. In addition, our regenerating cells offer recurring opportunities for a fresh start. We have the power to influence our genetic activity with a more helpful, productive thought life.
Your therapist is a specialized helper to that end. Counseling allows you to be more introspective and curious about who you are. As a result, your unproductive habits, behaviors and inner dialogue become less automatic as healthier thought practices replace them and become the change agents you need.
Take the first step…
If you’re ready to take a step toward changing your life for the better, I would like to help. Please contact me by phone or email so that we can discuss how we might work together to achieve your therapeutic goals as quickly and effectively as possible.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Linda K. Laffey, MFT