Are You Killing Brain Cells?
Updated: Oct 21, 2020
Guard your thoughts.
The ancient philosopher, Lao Tzu, must have been an early CBT counsellor. He knew that your thoughts are everything! In cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), just like Lao Tzu said, what you think controls how you feel, how you behave and eventually who you become. Lao Tzu said it way more beautifully.
“Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”
So, guard your thoughts wisely.
Really pay attention to the language that you use toward others, about others, and of course the language that you use toward yourself.
Notice when you are focused more on problems rather than on solutions.
And, most of all, pay attention to the negative, stuck, helpless words, thoughts and feelings that course through you. This language is most definitely giving your power away.
Some people think affirmations and positive self-talk are fluffy, corny, or too touchy-feely.
If this is you, ask yourself, “Why am I so uncomfortable with being kind to myself or others?”
The thoughts that you repeat over and over again, don’t just shape your feelings and beliefs. They literally, change the physical structure of your brain. Because…..
Neurons that fire together wire together. The thought patterns that you repeat time and again, become stronger and deeper engrained. Repeated thoughts actually build up the physical structure of the brain that supports your thoughts regardless of whether they are right, wrong, good or bad. Repeated patterns become easier to fall into and harder to get out of.
Use it or lose it. The thoughts that you don’t use, well, those parts of the brain wither away and die. It’s called pruning. Brain cells have branches. Messages get sent from one neuron (brain cell) to another via the branches. When you don’t use particular cells or branches, when you stop having particular thoughts, those branches prune off and sometimes full cells dies. These thoughts can disappear from existence and it can feel next to impossible to get those thought patterns back.
Imagine ruts in the snow. The more you drive in those ruts, repeating the same pattern over and over again, the harder it is to get out of the rut. If you start practicing a new route of positive self-talk, affirmations, or self-compassion, you are likely to fall back into the old negative rut.
However, every time that you attempt the new route again, the easier and easier it becomes to reinforce that new path (literally, creating new neural pathways in the brain). The cool part, once you’ve forged a new road, the old one becomes snowed over and you are less likely to fall into it.
It all starts with your thoughts.
Guard your thoughts wisely.
Because, when you change your thoughts, you change your reality.
If you’d like support to change your thoughts, download your FREE Gift here to receive your copy of Escape the Self-Judgement Sh*t Storm: 4 Transformational Steps to Deeper Self-Compassion.
If you’d like personal support or CBT counselling to work on your thinking and make some lasting changes, I am available for a counselling appointment.