Well into this century science believed our brains were hardwired and fixed, and that we could not generate new brain cells. Fortunately, for the betterment of mankind, science changed its tune. It is now widely accepted, and empirically proven, that our brains are elastic and regenerative. Each of us has the ability to generate new brain cells through lifestyle and nutrition – a process called neurogenesis. The amazing revelations haven’t stopped there. Now we also know that we can rewire our neural mindscape through the same means, AND at will!
No longer are we destined to express a genetic predisposition to depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses. No longer are we victims of negative stress cycles perpetuated by external situations. Destiny, like our mind, is malleable. WE are the drivers. WE are the story-tellers, and this life is OUR story.
This theory is exciting, inspiring, and life-changing; but HOW do we take control? This is my mission, to help myself and others understand how. Without the practical application of such magic, what good does it do us? The focus of my career is to help others sculpt their lives — to remap their own mindscape and shift reality to one in which mastery comes from inside, rather than outside.
Before I give you some practical tips on how to do this, it’s important for you to first realize that during states of stress and fear, you disable your ability to learn and map anything new because you disengage your prefrontal cortex (PFC). The PFC is a critical piece in our ability to sculpt our neural pathways. Unfortunately, many of us function in low levels of stress most of the time. Getting our stress under control is extremely important, as it’s both a precursor and a result of remapping or sculpting. We cheat ourselves of all potential transformation when we ignore our stress.
Here are ten practical tips to help mitigate stress, and map a new mindscape.
- Incorporate brain-teaser or problem-solving activities into your daily life. These engage your PFC in a way that increases your dopamine—a neurotransmitter critical in learning and encoding what you’ve learned. This is how we grow new neural pathways.
- Exercise regularly. This stimulates critical growth hormones in the brain that specifically minimize and repair stress damage.
- Don’t exhaust your brain’s energy on route tasks, such as those you can do without much active thought, if you are gearing up to have to do higher-level tasks, such as making a big decision, creating a project, or organizing an event. You need your PFC for this, and it is an energy hog.
- Reframe or reappraise situations often, so that negative situations become positive, or at least palatable. This, too, stimulates the PFC in a way that encourages new neural growth.
- Use vivid mental imagery, meditation, or visualizations imbued with emotional associations to tell yourself stories of the way you’d like your situation to be. Associating a positive emotion with a visual engages the PFC and encodes the neural path more deeply.
- Add brain-foods and supplements to your diet such as strong antioxidants and lots of healthy fats.
- Meditate, practice mindfulness, or pray daily. This encourages an alpha-brainwave state, which is commonly associated with a relaxed awareness, and is the foundational state proceeding moments of insight.
- Reduce or eliminate refined sugars and carbohydrates so that your brain converts from using glucose as its inefficient fuel to using fats as its highly efficient fuel.
- Use your non-dominant hand to do things like brushing your teeth, turning on the faucet, or cutting your food. Switch up your routines by putting your opposite sock on first, turning the opposite way in the shower, or buttoning your shirt from top to bottom. As you switch your patterns your brain takes pause and stimulates your PFC to create new neural pathways to encode the new information.
- Choose a new topic of interest or hobby and begin learning about it. Your PFC will be engaged and delighted – precisely the factors involved in creating new neural pathways.
As I continue teaching various levels of my Neurosculpting® programs, I am always amazed at how quickly individuals begin to shift their mindsets and lives. It is our human responsibility to sculpt our lives, to no longer perceive ourselves as victims, and to write our own victorious stories. It is our right to health, peace and well-being. And it is our right to learn how to do this in practical and easy ways.
As you incorporate some of these tips into your day-to-day life, feel free to send me your feedback. www.neurosculptinginstitute.com or email me at Lisa@neurosculptinginstitute.com. You can learn more about how our stories shape our lives in my book New Beliefs, New Brain available wherever books are sold!
Lisa Wimberger is the founder of the Neurosculpting® Institute. She holds a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Stonybrook, NY and a Foundations Certification in NeuroLeadership. She is the author of NEW BELIEFS, NEW BRAIN: Free Yourself from Stress and Fear. Lisa is a neuroplastician running a private healing and psychic practice teaching clients who suffer from stress disorders. Lisa began her meditation practice at age 12. Hit by lightning at age 15, and clinically dead on multiple occasions, Lisa uses her traumatic experience as a vehicle for transformation.
Lisa studied Ascension training for four years with Ishaya monks. She completed four years of psychic awareness training, applying the tools of the Berkeley Psychic Institute. Lisa is the Founder of the Trance Personnel Consulting Group and Ripple Effect, LLC. She has created and facilitated leadership trainings for executive teams in Fortune 500 companies, the Colorado Department of Health Care and worked individually with international management. She has created and facilitated Emotional Survival programs for Colorado Law Enforcement Agencies and peer counsel groups. Lisa writes for the Elephant Journal, CopsAlive and partners with the Law Enforcement Survival Institute. Additionally, Lisa’s services are sought on a national level by individuals in law enforcement looking to find a new way to navigate through their stress patterns. Lisa is a public speaker, and has addressed audiences ranging from corporate leaders to FBI and Secret Service. Lisa is a member of the National Center for Crisis Management and ILEETA (International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association). Her mission to share practical and powerful stress management techniques to those in need caused Lisa to develop her Neurosculpting® programs combining neuroscience principles with mindfulness and energetic modalities.