“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

The brain and mind are malleable.  Although neuroscientists have unlocked much to how brains function and develop, there is still much more left undiscovered.  First, understanding the distinction between brain and mind is of utmost importance.  The brain obeys science, while the mind, on the other hand, obeys spirituality in addition to science.  The distinction is far more complex.  However, in a variation of its simplest terms the brain and mind are able to fall under a nature v. nurture classification system.  For the brain, the nature part is fulfilled.  Individuals are born with a brain.  Nature for whatever reason may attach limitations or advantages upon any given brain at its birth.  The mind, on the other side, fulfills the nurture part of the argument in that by knowing how to think and what thoughts to entertain the individual is able to influence the mind’s development and increase its capability to enable changes in the brain.  The mind is influenced by external factors such as environment, knowledge, awareness, emotion, and more.  Neither the brain or the mind are static, rather they are dynamic and growing, though the changes and speeds of every individual varies.

The brain is a physical object; the human senses are applicable toward a brain under study, for example.  Individuals such as neurosurgeons are able to see and touch a human brain in operation rooms, for example.  On the other hand, the mind is not visible.  Nobody is able to see a thought in like fashion.  Individuals are able to visualize thoughts as enabled by the mind; however, somebody else cannot see the same visualization in similar manner like two different neurosurgeons can see the same brain.  Yet, the mind has great power in not only influencing the wiring, the size, and the overall health of our brains, but it can also impact our internal and external selves.  The first component are the hard studies.  In positive psychology today, researchers are finding more and more correlations and causation between developing, sustaining, and growing positive mental health and changes in the brain’s physical state.  Studies show that with persistence and some guidance individuals are able to make new brain connections or synapses that may also supplant old and negative connections.  With the right thoughts and elimination of the wrong thoughts, individuals are able to decrease the size of bad regions of the brain that store negative emotions such as fear or places that store stress and improve or increase the size of the brain that store positive emotions and reason.

Choose your thoughts wisely.  Rather than waste time and energy on negative thoughts, create happy thoughts, recall happy memories, and look forward with enthusiasm for imagining and experiencing a good life.



4 thoughts on “Neuroplasticity

  1. I enjoyed this inspirational post. I’ve been trying very hard lately to be more aware of my thoughts, you make a great point about how powerful our brains are and how much our thoughts can influence even our health!


    1. You have a cheerleader here wishing you all the best in understanding and gaining greater control over your brain, rather than the reverse. If you are interested in reading more, I would recommend material from David Burns, Jonathan Haidt, and Irvin Yalom. Cheers, friend!


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