Neural Pathways: How To Use Your Brain’s “Delete” Button
The Harmonious Dance of Neurons
In 1949, a melody was composed by Canadian Neuropsychologist Daniel Hebb that resonates even today. He coined a phrase that elegantly illustrates how our brains form and reinforce pathways through repetition: “Neurons that fire together, wire together.”
Just as a musician practicing a tune over and over again, every experience, thought, emotion, and physical sensation triggers a symphony of neurons, constructing a unique neural network. The more you play this “song” of experience, the better the brain becomes at triggering the same neurons each time.
Imagine our brain cells as an orchestra, communicating through synaptic transmission. One neuron releases a chemical ‘note’ or neurotransmitter, absorbed by the next neuron. This communication melody, known as ‘neuronal firing’, strengthens with frequent rehearsals. The more often these messages travel along the same neural pathways, the faster they transmit. With ample repetition, they become a symphony on autoplay. This is the scientific chorus behind the old adage ‘practice makes perfect’.
Through these orchestrated neural networks, we compose unconscious programs that dictate our thinking patterns, perceptions, experiences, beliefs, and habits.
And here’s the interesting part – our brain is a neutral conductor, indifferent to whether the piece it’s conducting is ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Consequently, repeatedly playing a ‘negative’ tune only strengthens it, embedding it deeper into the concert of your reality.
The Impact of Neural Networks on Smoking Habits
Much like a haunting melody you can’t shake off, smokers who have repeatedly convinced themselves that smoking serves a beneficial purpose may find it difficult to change the tune.
Let’s paint a picture here. If you’re a smoker, there was a time when you consciously chose to light up your first cigarette. Many despise their first drag, but for some reason, it hits a chord, registering a perceived benefit.
Maybe it was the rebel yell or the symphony of social acceptance. Regardless, a conscious decision was made that smoking played a pleasing tune, and this process was repeated multiple times every day, week after week.
Despite the toxic symphony of chemicals unsettling your body’s harmony, this smoking habit became a pattern you believe strikes a beneficial chord.
Many claim to smoke as a relaxing refrain. In reality, the body perceives this as a dissonant melody, triggering an increased heart rate and adrenaline release. The actual relaxation likely arises from the deep breaths taken when smoking and the firmly held belief that relaxation will ensue.
The old smoking tune can only fade away when new, healthier refrains replace it.
The Field of Neural Pathways
Imagine your brain as a sprawling field with a well-trodden path through it. You’ve seen it in parks – people bypass the laid pavement and create their own well-worn track. That path represents your smoking habit, an automatic program.
Only by forging a new path through the field, a healthier habit, does the old path begin to disappear from disuse.
Forging New Neural Pathways
The most straightforward tool to create these new paths is hypnosis. It’s like a master gardener that can help you cultivate the field of your brain most beneficially. Through hypnosis, you can reframe your beliefs and focus on cultivating healthier habits. This shift in perspective can not only change your relationship with your problems but may also unearth other areas for growth previously out of sight.
You might also find these articles interesting:
Overcoming Addiction with Counselling and Hypnosis
The Honest Talk About Hypnotherapy and Smoking Cessation
Unexpected Facts About Habits
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