Part One- Our Ability to Change

As we all get into the swing of January and the New Year, for most of us there will be many thoughts going through our minds. Whether these are new year resolutions, new goals we are wanting to attain, or even old goals we never pursued- it is a time of year to reassess our lives and put into action some really positive change. Of course we don’t have to wait for the New Year to create change, but it is a great time of year to really get us all thinking about what sort of direction we would like our lives to go.

However for many of us there may be some frustrations or self-doubt that will pop-up sometimes that we can’t seem to shake off. Perhaps concerns whether we are actually capable of the change we wish to push forwards. As the years roll on, we find ourselves stuck in the same habits and maybe the same old negative thinking styles and belief systems that seem to keep us in a loop and on the road to nowhere. And any New Year’s resolutions we may have made or even started, may eventually begin to fizzle out because ultimately our thinking patterns keep us stuck this way. This can have an incredible impact on not only our mental health but also our physical health too and we may start to wonder, will it always be like this?

The good news is that we are capable of change, if that’s what we truly want. For a long time scientists thought that our brains did the majority of our development throughout our younger years and once we were older it became very static and unchangeable. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks! Yet in more recent years research within the Neuroscience field suggests our brains are very much able to adapt and we can still continue to learn, change and grow at any age. The term for this is Neuroplasticity, which simply means the brain’s ability to adapt and change. A great example of this is when you’re learning a new skill or starting a new job. When you practise and persist at something, your brain forms a new neural pathway and it all will eventually click into place.

This has excellent implications for any habits or cycles of negative thinking that we wish to change, because I am telling you now that it doesn’t have to be this way! If we tend to think in a very negative way, then that’s because we have formed dysfunctional neural pathways in our brains from continuously thinking that way over a long period of time. We have all been guilty of it at some point in our lives and it is very easy to do because it’s our brain’s way of keeping us ‘safe’. However if we’ve decided we have had enough of this way, we can decide to take a different route and literally retrain and rewire our brains to form new thinking patterns. We can learn to think more positively and form more healthy habits to be more aligned to the lives we want to live.

We have the power to take back control of our minds and bodies and implement any changes that we want because our brains are so adaptable. Therefore we can form new neural pathways, new ways of thinking and a more positive lifestyle. We don’t have to be a prisoner of other factors that may have once seemed out of our control- like our upbringing or genetics. If we make that decision to change and are really serious about it, then we can make those first positive steps forwards and accomplish some amazing things. Take a look at this video¬†for a short and simple explanation of this.

This also means that for those of us who may have a long history of something like anxiety for example, then we can learn new tools for creating a calmer mind. Whilst we can strengthen the newly developed neural pathways, the old anxiety-prone neural pathways will lessen and we can begin to feel more peaceful. It’s comforting to know that we don’t have to keep feeling this way but we do need to take some responsibility and choose to go another route.

It will take some practise and commitment, but it is worth it in the end to really pursue some long-lasting happiness and reaching those goals that you wish to achieve. Hypnotherapy is a great tool to use to start retraining your brain to think more positively and adopt some healthy ways of thinking. It can reduce stress by relaxing you and also support you in changing unhelpful thinking patterns. However there are also many other ways that can help you along this journey, so watch this space for some tips!

In short, I’m here to tell you that regardless of your age you already have what it takes inside of you to make those changes. All you need is to make that snap decision, some dedication and a little belief in yourself.