I recently came across an article in Discover Magazine that caught my interest. You can find it here. The article describes a successful treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that has, at its very core, an emphasis on teaching mindfulness skills to its participants. Those mindfulness skills are leveraged to change the way these people think, adjusting their habitual thought patterns in such a way that guides them towards real symptom management – real and sustainable relief.
Not only do the authors describe the process beautifully, but they also do a great job clearly communicating some of the neurology supporting the idea that mindfulness practice can be used to literally rewire the brain. He calls this ability “Self-directed neuroplasticity”.
I love this description of the process, one which I often use with my clients. Our brains literally wire themselves to support whatever thought processes we pay attention to and revisit. That’s one of the reasons it is so hard to change our ways of thinking. It’s not just a matter of will power. It’s all about how we choose to wire our brains. When we are trying to develop new ways of thinking, it takes practice.
But the other side of the coin is that we have the power to change those thought patterns. And if we practice them enough, those NEW thought patterns become habitual ways of thinking.
You are, in fact, crafting the riverbed of your stream of consciousness.
Any way you slice it, the evidence is there. You can rewire your brain with your thoughts, and this article does a great job of communicating that.
What do you think about neuroplasticity and mindfulness? Do you have any questions? If so, you are probably not the only person wondering the same thing. Start a conversation below! I’ll do my best to post replies to postings in a timely manner.