Three pieces of evidence from recent discoveries in the field of Neuroscience for your daily well-being (through coaching).
I started the University at the end of 1990.
In that year Nelson Mandela was released from prison, Mark Zuckerberg was 6 years old and according to Neuroscience my brain was reaching its maximum development.
Today we know that this is untrue.
The brain does not stop changing and adapting throughout our lives, as a result of behaviors and experiences, and we discover the concept of Neuroplasticity.
What does this mean for us?
It means that our brain – as well as our muscles – can be trained and developed at any age.
It only takes one requirement: a growth mindset.
It is not only our mind that determines our actions, but our actions (the experiences that we consciously decide to do) can “structurally” change our brain.
Here is the substantial difference between coaching and traditional psychology: the latter, generally, focuses on the mechanisms of thoughts and the past, while coaching focuses on the attitude and the future to cause a change within you.
It is another approach.
The risk in traditional psychology is that the research process is infinite and does not produce an attitudinal change in the person.
In coaching – without forgetting the role of thoughts and emotions – change occurs through action.
It is a change, so to speak, “quantum” with respect to traditional disciplines.
What does this mean for you?
Here are three practical consequences for the individual!
- How many times have you taken a personality test?
There are several, from the heart magazines to the most evolved test of the great leadership consultancy.
They tell you who you are and how to enhance your strengths.
What they actually do is put you in a jail and prevent you from evolving.
The brain naturally looks for schemes because they are shortcuts.
But if you think that you are A and not B, you will not investigate further and you will settle into a comfort zone, finding alibis not to evolve.
New experiences are effective to free the imagination, because they force the perceptual system to stop categorizing.
It is not your personality but your attitude that determines the success of your purposes.
Personality may be partly hereditary or influenced by factors that you cannot control, not your attitude.
There is no written destiny.
You decide what to believe and how to show yourself to the world.
You can choose at any time in your life!
- We change a lot throughout our lives.
We are the result of our experiences.
But there are some experiences that have a greater effect.
What you experience between 0 and 7 years is going to be stored in a very deep part of the brain.
In these ages, we live as in a state of hypnosis and incorporate ideas, dogmas and beliefs from the environment.
These beliefs become something that we no longer question and that constitute our “autopilot”.
Thus, when something happens to us – a stressor or an external request – we always react with the same thoughts and emotions, automatically.
We have filters – which no longer belong to us – with which we continue to interpret reality.
These filters can be limiting thoughts, interpretations, assumptions, fears that belong to the past.
However, we are not the filters, but the individual behind them.
The first function of coaching is to help people to recognize their filters and observe them.
If you recognize when your limiting thoughts are activated, you can consciously react in a different way.
Take responsibility for your behavior.
By incorporating a new habit you will contribute to produce a change even in your brain structure.
And this is also part of the new knowledge about Neuroplasticity.
- We have dozens of different thoughts in a few seconds.
It is what you experience daily as the voice in your mind and that fuels an eternal dialogue – not always constructive – with yourself.
It is what the Orientals call “the monkey mind” and that neuroscientists attribute to the evolution of the brain, since this function plays a role in helping us make a model of the world – and predict the future – based on past events.
In a 2010 research, the consequences of this brain function on our well-being were examined.
What the researchers concluded was that people end up unhappier if they let their minds wander.
This is the reason why traditional psychology may not always be the best option for people without pathologies who want to feel more fulfilled in life, happy or achieve a specific goal.
“Don’t feed the beast”, say the North Americans and the beast in this case is your mind that has the tendency to wander, dream, think about the past or the future and not focus on the “here and now”.
Fortunately, that wandering of the mind is not always active.
There are times when we are free from that voice.
In particular, when we are doing something active.
Something we love to do.
In those moments, we feel ourselves.
These are those enchanted moments where who we want to be has come to the surface.
It is that rare day when the body, mind, environment and relationship with those around us are completely satisfied.
We feel ourselves because we are not our thoughts.
I am very sorry Mr. Descartes, we are much more.
To return to the premise of this article, you can train your mental well-being through practices and interventions that consciously discipline the quality of your own thinking.
This includes practices such as: meditation, gratitude, writing, playing a musical instrument, or any artistic activity.
You have to train to be free.
In this way our sense of reality is operating within the subjective experience of oneself.
The “training” of the mind occurs through subjective channels, which can be assisted by anything objective.
In short, there are a large number of elements that surround us that we cannot change.
These are objective situations that dispense with our will.
But the latest advances in Neuroscience are showing us more every day that we can at least change ourselves, be happier, present in what we do and interpret reality in a constructive way.
Does it seem little to you?