Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Retraining the brain

Did you know that your brain transmits messages along preferred pathways? Those pathways are determined by past behavior. That's why it's so very hard to make diet and lifestyle changes by doing things like going Vegan or quitting smoking. Habitual brain patterns die hard! But that's not all.

When you are accustomed to a certain way of life or tradition, it's extremely difficult to get your brain to think outside of that pathway too. In fact, some people never do change their traditional ways for exactly that reason. It has become natural for their brain to think and act in a certain way.

Now, I have nothing against some traditions. But some can be a serious impediment to getting healthy or learning new things that might be of help to us all. That's when we have to take control of our brain waves and get them firing down different pathways.

But how in the world do we do that? Well, one way is to take the focus off all the things our new lifestyle will force us to give up and turn it to the benefits that will come from it. In the case of going vegan, we might also focus on all the new, yummy food we'll be trying for the first time.

Future vegans should also focus on the renewed energy and good health that is our goal. Why? Because that will get our neurons firing toward that goal, leading us down those new passageways. Because the more we use those pathways, the easier it becomes to travel them.

Retraining the brain is rough going. There will be days where your brain will slip back into autopilot. But if you keep at it, pretty soon those new pathways will become the habitual ones, thus replacing old bad habits with new good ones.

1 comment:

  1. When I gave up meat cold turkey I made it look a lot easier than it was. I kept wanting burgers and chicken - not so much pork though - shrimp and other meats. I just had to force myself to realize I was doing a service to both myself and countless other living beings. Now I hardly want to smell it. Although I wanted some shrimp that was cooked the other night. But now I can resist the urges. Rewiring the brain takes time but it can be done.