“Repetition of basics is the key to mastery.”
That’s what I learned from Brendon Burchard, best-selling author of The Charge. When it comes to mastering any skill or profession, we need to keep repeating the basics. Athletes repeat the same movements, while scientists repeat the same formula until they know it by heart.
Repetition can help us achieve mastery partly because of a mechanism known as neuroplasticity. In the early 20th century, researchers and medical professionals believed that our brain wasn’t capable of growing new neurons or even changing their arrangement. We lived with the belief that there is nothing we can do to change our situation when it comes to the mechanics of our mind.
It wasn’t until decades later that research started supporting the idea that our brain is plastic. The neural connections and pathways in our brain can change based on what happens in our environment and on what choices we make. What we experience in life – especially repeating experiences – can fortify certain neural pathways in our brain while ignoring the others. The result is that whatever we repeat becomes strong in our mind, and whatever we stop doing we will forget.
Using Your Brain as a Muscle
Knowing that our brain is plastic, what thoughts are you going to repeat? The formation of new neural connections happen as we learn and memorize information. What’s important to note is that your brain amplifies both positive and negative thoughts that get repeated. If you dwell on negative thoughts over and over, it will become a strong thought in your mind.
You might think of the brain as a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it gets, and the less you use it, the weaker it gets. There is a condition known as atrophy, where muscle tissue shrinks if you don’t use it for a long time (such as a prisoner of war being held in prison for a long time). In terms of the brain, the more we use it to exercise thinking powerful thoughts, the stronger it gets.
Used correctly, the properties of neuroplasticity can help us think with more clarity, learn with ease, focus on the task at hand, and even avoid outbursts of emotional overreaction. These properties are great for us who believe that we can grow our skills, talents, and abilities to become better every day.
Rewiring Our Brain with Meditation
New research is finding ways on how we can increase the plasticity of our brain. Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) creates a fertile ground to support new neural connections. Some activities that increase BDNF include physical exercise, eating omega-3 fatty acids and fasting. The National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine (NICABM) states that neuroplasticity can result from meditation.
I practice daily meditation, and I can testify of its benefits. Now I know that meditating also has the benefit of strengthening the positive neural pathways in our brain to make our mind stronger. It can greatly reduce anxiety, stress, and other negative emotions that make us less productive.
Life coach Ian Cleary says that:
It’s not enough to just stop anxiety in any given moment which is often people’s focus. The anxiety wiring is still there and waiting to be triggered. We need to create competitive wiring.”
I completely agree with his statement, and understand why it’s difficult for people to not feel anxious. We have only a limited amount of willpower each day, and often it’s not enough to overcome anxiety, especially if our anxiety is formidable because it grows stronger through repetition. We need to create competitive wiring – in other words, new neural connections that are the opposite of anxiety and stress.
That’s where meditation comes in handy. Health journalist Jessica Cassity says that meditation provides the rewiring necessary to dissolve anxiety and stress. Meditation creates calmness, compassion, and awareness, that form the competitive wiring so that anxiety doesn’t trigger easily. By using repetition in the form of meditation, we can create neural pathways that make our mind healthier.
We know that our brain is plastic, and that we can change the properties of our brain by changing the neural connections within it. It’s beneficial to change our wiring to develop strong positive thoughts that support a wealthy and vibrant life. Combine this knowledge with a tool that can help us take advantage of neuroplasticity easily, and we can speed up our results.
One meditation tool that I use nowadays is the 15 Minute Manifestation audios. Read my review and experience about using this program. The program relies on the principle of neuroplasticity to form correct and empowering connections in our brain that help us to achieve our goals and manifest what we desire. Take a look at it if you want to enjoy the benefits of neuroplasticity easily.