How to Increase Neuroplasticity and Rewire the Brain

What are ways to rewire your brain? How can you increase neuroplasticity?

Neural changes in the brain don’t happen easily or quickly. They require you to actively and regularly devote your whole brain to establishing and reinforcing these changes.

Here’s how to increase neuroplasticity and rewire your brain.

Reinforce Brain Changes

In The Source, Tara Swart recommends identifying the barriers lying between you and the life you want to increase neuroplasticity. To do this, draw three columns on a piece of paper and write your goals in the first column. In the second, write the behaviors that are interfering with you achieving these goals. Consider the behavioral patterns you see playing out. In the third column, write down the beliefs that are motivating these behaviors. These are what stand in the way of you achieving an abundance mindset, which in turn halts your progress toward your goals. 

(Shortform note: Other authors provide different suggestions for how to identify the gaps between the life you have now and the life you want. In Designing Your Life, Bill Burnett and Dave Evans suggest that you begin by considering your overall satisfaction with four areas of your life: health, work, joy, and relationships. They suggest rating your satisfaction in each of these areas on a scale of one to 10, then comparing these numbers to see where you need to devote your attention. This exercise may work better for you than Swart’s if you’re struggling to prioritize your goals or understand what areas of your life need improvement.)

Swart also recommends creating a list of affirmations. Write down several inspirational quotes (from books or movies, from people you respect, or directly from your own brain), and repeat them to yourself multiple times a day. This will cement them in your brain and help move your goals from your subconscious to your conscious mind. 

(Shortform note: To write the best affirmations, some experts recommend writing them in the present tense because it simplifies them and makes them easier for the subconscious to understand. They also recommend keeping them positive, avoiding negators like “not” or words with negative connotations, and keeping them solution-centric rather than problem-centric. Additionally, they suggest placing reminders of your affirmations (through sticky notes or other visual reminders) around your house so you see them frequently.)

Additionally, Swart recommends pushing yourself into new experiences. This will help you overcome the fear of failure that can be so debilitating in creating the future you want. New experiences trigger neuroplastic change in your brain and give you a wider understanding of the world around you. These new experiences can be small or large. For example, you could go hiking on a trail you’ve never been on before or listen to a new genre of music.

(Shortform note: New experiences don’t just improve your neuroplasticity: Research suggests they also activate the brain’s reward center, producing dopamine and making you feel happier. They also make you feel more present in the moment, which aligns with Swart’s third step to change your life. However, it’s important to note that the neuroplastic changes created by new experiences may be temporary. If you’re trying to make a permanent change in your brain, you’ll need to repeat the new experience frequently to create and strengthen the neural connections involved in it.)

How to Increase Neuroplasticity and Rewire the Brain

Katie Doll

Somehow, Katie was able to pull off her childhood dream of creating a career around books after graduating with a degree in English and a concentration in Creative Writing. Her preferred genre of books has changed drastically over the years, from fantasy/dystopian young-adult to moving novels and non-fiction books on the human experience. Katie especially enjoys reading and writing about all things television, good and bad.

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