By Katya Juliet
Every moment of every day, your brain is changing and it is affecting your mind. Yes, your brain and your mind are two different things.
In my quest to better understand the power of positive vs. negative self-talk and its effect on both our daily life and physical brain, I stumbled upon acclaimed Author and Psychologist Dr. Shad Hemstetter’s two books What To Say When You Talk To Yourself and The Power of Neuroplasticity, both of which are absolutely incredible. I highly recommend them and will be writing, referencing and sharing concepts from them.
“You are creating, at this moment, the person you’re going to become tomorrow, and you are physically wiring that person into your brain.” – Dr. Shad Hemstetter
First off, I want to introduce the concept of Neuroplasticity and how it relates to communication. Neuroplasticity can be defined as: “The brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life.” More specifically, neural pathways and synapses change in response to the changes going on inside you and around you: behavior changes, the way you think or feel emotion as well as changes in your environment and even damage to your brain are all factors.
When we communicate and receive feedback with other people as well as with ourselves (both consciously and unconsciously) those brain changes are taking place simultaneously. Thus, how we communicate (tone, emotion, volume) and what we communicate (positive or negative) literally changes who we are physically, who we think we are mentally, and therefore, changes how we communicate in the future as well.
As I mentioned before, our brains and our minds are not one the same. In Chapter 7 of The Power of Neuroplasticity, Dr. Hemstetter breaks down the way it works in four parts using a computer analogy that makes it pretty easy to understand.
Part 1 The Basic Computer: This represents your physical brain.
Part 2 The Software: This represents your neural pathways and circuits we call “programs.”
Part 3 The Computer Operator: This is you – the “you” that you’re aware of. This is your conscious, thinking mind,
Part 4 The Silent Controller: This is your brain on autopilot.
Lastly, your “Subconscious Mind” is your brain’s neurons silently firing. Which leads me to my concluding thought on the introduction of this topic. Ready for my deep-thought moment?
I was watching The Dr. Phil Show one afternoon (Haha, at least I admit it) and it was a show on Bullies and Bullying. In his council to a young woman, he mentioned that what one person may have only said to us one time can actually be repeated to ourselves, by ourselves, hundreds of thousands of times a day! In that moment it registered. How much of what I think I hear is actually being told to me by others and how much of it is me saying or repeating it to myself?
For example, when we argue with someone and say things like “you always say this” or “you always do that” and they adamently say that it’s not true – while we may actually feel that way – could it be possible that they did do or say it one, maybe two times, and because it impacted us so, we then continued to repeat it to ourselves, neurologically and unconsciously, the rest of “all the times”? Wow.
In later blogs, I will share more of Dr. Hemstetter’s work and methods he shares on how to learn to self-talk with more positivity and keep an overall healthier and more optimistic mindset. This topic is very fascinating and helpful to recognize that sometimes the way we self-talk and communicate may be making our own lives better or most likely, more challenging, and certainly causing impactful change to occur within our brains 24/7/365.
What are your thoughts on Neuroplasticity? Are you interested in learning more?
For additional support or consulting services, feel free to contact Katya Juliet through her business website, Buzzword-Consulting. Buzzword Consulting offers affordable digital marketing services, communication consulting, copywriting, PR & Social Media Management for small businesses, start-ups, entrepreneurs & non-profit Organizations.
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