Think about how many times you have driven to work….do you even remember what happens when you are driving to work? I guess the answer is no you don’t. It is something you do automatically, unconsciously – a little like riding a bike.
I guess the same think happens to our habits…We tend to eat the same things, feel hungry at similar times, get angry at similar situations, use the same words when a stressful situation arises…
It is like drawing a line on a piece of paper…at the beginning the line is thin but as we keep drawing on top of it, the line keeps getting thicker and thicker.
When it gets to starting all over again and getting rid of that line, it is logical to think we need to draw a line that is as thicker somewhere else. We need to learn a different route to getting to work, so we will need new directions.
Once we started drawing the line, it takes persistence to keep drawing on top of it. When we learn a new route, it takes practice to learn the new way.
This is called neuroplasticity – our brains are capable to create new pathways, new routes. Think of our brain as lots of different highways crossing each other. They are not fixed, we can build bridges between them, we can build different roads and routes.
But how do we do it?
First we need to understand it is going to take time, it is going to feel uncomfortable, it is going to feel strange for ourselves but as we keep doing it, practicing it and trusting the process. It does get easier and it starts becoming more natural to us.
Whatever you are trying to change, you have to think you need to retrain yourself to doing that. You need to create a new pathway, a new route. With practice you won’t think about the old route anymore, you will take the new route unconsciously and this will become part of who you are.
If you have always got angry in a stressful situation, it is going to take practice to focus on the positives in each situation. it will take practice to focus on the solution.
If you have always reached out to sugar or carbohydrates when you are hungry, it is going to take practice to reach out to nuts, to hummus and veggies as your snack.
If you have always worked 24/7, it is going to take practice for you to let go your work phone, checking your emails in the weekend and allowing yourself to take time out for yourself.
It is up to you to practice and persist in whatever you want to change because we all have in us the strength to doing when we set our minds to it.
But at the end of the day, nobody can do that work for you. You are the only one who can do the work.