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How We (Un)learn - Or The Neurons That Fire Together, Wire Together.

Your brain has billions of neurons, pretty close to 100,000,000,000 of these cells as an adult.

Each neuron makes hundreds of connections to other neurons and the more often a connection is used, the stronger that connection becomes.

Some of these connections are running your daily motor functions seamlessly. You don't think about breathing or blinking - those happen automatically thanks to the cells dedicated to those functions.

Some of these connections are learned as we grow. Many make sure you're safe and sound every day. You learn that a hot stove hurts, so when you see a burner, you keep your hands away from it. You learn that fast cars can smash pedestrians so you wait for the crosswalk and don't walk into oncoming traffic.

There are other learned connections that simply do not serve you. Perhaps something bad happened to you and based on the one instance, you've made a very strong connection that if that stimulus ever arises, you'll have a negative response.

Perhaps you had a poor algebra teacher freshman year in high school and as a result, you thought you were no good in that subject and you abandoned it forever. Maybe you were embarrassed when speaking up in class as a child and you still fear speaking in public and avoid it at all costs. To be clear, doing math problems or speaking in front of your colleagues won't hurt you but to your brain, these tasks may seem daunting or impossible.

Let's rewire.

If you know you deal with an irrational fear, you may not have been able to overcome it using your conscious mind. That's where brain training can help.

The brain wants to function efficiently. Fear of imagined consequences is an enormous waste of electrical energy. Brain training helps the brain to realize in the very moment it's happening when it is wasting energy and helps the brain to decide to take another, more electrically sound path.

The scientific term for changing the connections of the neurons of the brain is Hebbian/ Anti-Hebbian Learning and Nicky Case made an amazing, short interactive video about it that I love to share with clients dealing with anxiety and debilitating fears.

Nicky's video is about Anti-Hebbian Learning via exposure therapy but the great thing about brain training is you don't need to actively try to face down your triggers. The brain is going to be noticing areas it wastes energy and will begin weakening those responses without any special effort on your part.

If you have some limiting thoughts and you're ready to get beyond them, brain training can be a sound option to break free.

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