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Distinctiveness And Consistency – The Building Blocks of Neural Pathways

The transportation of signals to and from the brain is done by these remarkable things called ‘neurons’. They are scattered throughout the body (largely the brain) in magnificent networks that join up at critical points to form the basis of neural pathways.

Neural pathways are responsible for transmitting the information we have stored so that it can be converted into action in the present. For example, you may come to realise you drive the same route to work each day, or you eat off your plate in the same order each night – these are both neural pathways.

There is still a lot unknown about neural pathways, but there is also a lot we can take away from them. Each day, each week, each month, and over our whole lifetime we will continually develop and create new pathways and block up others (exciting!). This is a process that can be both positive and negative – both detrimental and advantageous.

So how do we create new neural pathways and how do we make sure we’re doing it correctly? There’s two key terms, and these are ‘distinctive’ and ‘repeatedly’. Terminologically speaking distinctive means to be unique, different and special. Repeatedly means to be consistent, persevering and dedicated. So let’s put this all together and try to understand how we can begin to support the growth of our brain and its ability to comprehend and manage challenging situations.

First we must realise the difference between the development of positive neural networks and negative neural networks. A positive neural network is something like a person beginning to exercise consistently and starting to see the results in muscle growth or weight loss, and being proud. On the counter, there can also be negative neural networks, for example thoughts we generate about the consistent exercise and training to achieve such results being too much hard work or too tiring to complete.

Can you see how we can have the development of both positive and negative neural networks for the same activity? This is where we need to be really careful, this is a critical stage.

Somehow we need to hold onto the positive parts and block out the negative, right? Then we can exercise freely and be focused only on our growth.

There’s a beautiful thing about our thoughts. Our thoughts create our reality. It can be very hard to control our thoughts, but they’re like a muscle and they can be exercised – they can get stronger over time. This is where the principle of repeatability comes in – if we can make the conscious effort to direct our thoughts to more positive outcomes each day, we start to build this ‘muscle’ (the brain’s networks).

It’s something we have to be patient with though, we’ve just gotta keep turning up, day after day after day for about 15-20 days or so (see my article “It Takes 21 Days to Build or Break a Habit“).

It’ll gradually become easier to think more positively each day. Our challenges won’t be diminished but they will be tied to more affirmative goals and we will be more motivated and inspired to continue pursuing them.

One thing you can start to try each day to start you on this journey is to wake up each morning with a thankful attitude. Showing gratitude that you have been blessed with another day – and at night go to bed with thoughts that you have done your best and are thankful for the lessons you have learned (literally say these lessons in your mind or out loud each night) and you will start to see a shift in your desires to achieve what’s truly important to you. I trust in you. You should too.

Always,

~ A.M, 2018

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6 comments

  1. There is no such a thing as positive and negative person, even things that happen to us can be viewed as having multiple impacts at different levels of our dissatisfaction or satisfaction. Everything has advantages and disadvantages.
    When it comes to building new neural pathways, we simply need to keep the brain active with challenging brain cells involving activities.
    I have done a lot of research in this area, and I can say with fairly high confidence that drawing from reality allows one to develop photographic memory and keep brain cells alive longer. This does not even depend on age, but only on brain involvement level, it absolutely does not refer to brain activation via negative or positive thought or undertaking.
    Talking about positivity and negativity, it’s just a way people are trying to define their experiences. However, the same person or action, or behaviour can be easily assumed as positive or negative depending on circumstances and quite frequently it is defined after something happened relating rather to result or sequence or impact.
    I really do not like the mainstream assumptions what a person has to do to keep their brain healthy, I’d also suggest everybody takes their own path and activates it the best way they can.
    My recent observations show that human perception, memory and brain fitness suffer a lot recently, therefore, we can expect more decline regarding cognitive function and at younger age. We use or lose it: that is definitely true about the brain, well, about everything in our body, in fact.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it is true that everything has advantages and disadvantages, I absolutely agree. And you’re correct to say that keeping the brain active is important for it’s growth. I particularly believe that conscious efforts to control our thoughts, whilst not easy, can be extremely advantageous to our mental health.

      It’s interesting, your point about photographic memory and drawing from reality, something I have not considered closely. I understand how the growth of the brain as an anatomical structure is more down your field of expertise, but what I was trying to get across with this article is the ability to overcome periods helplessness and mental trauma through positive thought routines. Yes, maybe brain exercises will help with memory recall and higher level thinking, but the importance of conscious thoughts about our future should not be undermined, when our mental health is at stake.

      I absolutely agree that everyone should also take their own path, hence why they have their ‘own thoughts’. My message is to merely widen perspectives and provide tools that can aid individuals should they choose to use them. Yep, if we don’t use it we will absolutely lose it, can’t agree more!

      I appreciate your insight so much, thanks for reading. I hope we can continue to learn from each other going forward!

      Like

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