09 Dec The Nervous System and Changing Your Perspective
Our nervous system is developed over time due to genetics, epigenetics, our experiences, and our perceptions. Everyday, we are creating new neurons and synapses that are formed in accordance with the conditions stated above. In order to change how we create our neurons and synapses from this day onwards, we must change the perspectives that are shaping our life, in regards to both the past and the present.
A significant shift in perspective can affect us at every level of our psyche, which in turn can significantly affect our physical health. Our bodies are made up of multiple interdependent and oscillating systems, and each system has within it a nervous system of its own which is adjusting based on a perceived need (typically survival needs). These shifts in perspective may have to be fortified for multiple months before the body is able to fully adjust to the new ideals. The statement, “practice makes permanent” sums it up nicely here.
Before affecting any significant change, the first question to ask is, “What type of shift is needed in order to function in an intentional, healthier way?”
Two Categories for Changing Perspective
At Pathwaves, we have been able to identify two different categories that this necessary shift will fall into. By analyzing a client’s specific brainwave patterns, our technicians are able to be highly precise in helping that client determine into which category they fit. Once that decision is made, a session plan is selected which best supports the shift in perspective needed to help that client begin to create their neurons differently.
Category 1: Be Your Own Best Friend
Many of us have a highly active, extremely damaging inner critic existing within us. This disparaging voice tells us we’re not good enough, that we shouldn’t even try to be good enough, and often berates us for what we do or say. Many of us believe that we are the only ones who feel this way, when in reality the majority of people struggle with these beliefs.
This perspective does not serve us in any healthy way. Remember that when we think, talk, behave and function, we are actively creating new neurons which house those experiences. These new neurons, which we create everyday, connect with our already existing neural pathways based on our internal perceptions of how they should “link up” for survival and functional reasons. These connections are heavily influenced by our understandings of and beliefs about both who we are and what is going on around us. Each system of the body is trying to determine the level of importance of the new neuron groups and connections. Once that decision is made (unconscious to You, the rational being), then the systems of the body connect neurologically in order to provide the new neurons with the appropriate support.
Let’s look at an example of this in motion. If I decide to start working out every day, the other systems of my body may or may not react in favor of this idea. My digestive system will have to adjust in order to digest my food differently and give my body the nutrients it needs to work out this often. If I then force myself to workout every day for a week, during that time period the heart, lungs, and digestive system are connecting more and more neurologically in order to provide the necessary bodily functions to be able to continue to work out. It bears to keep in mind that a large percentage of these connections are created and maintained during sleep.
Accordingly, sleep is an important part of this equation. Our personal outlook is as well. If we feel good about the workouts and celebrate them, it signals to our systems to increase the significance of the connections. If we think negatively, the incentives to connect will not be as strong. It’s said to take 30, 60 or 90 days of daily repetition to change a habit. This reflects the length of time required for all the adjustments that were just described to be made in the systems of our body. This is how the involuntary nervous system learns to think for us, and provide us with the functions necessary to live however we “train” it to.
Our involuntary nervous system is a highly valuable resource for living the life of our dreams. Once we entrain it to function the way we want, it becomes easier and easier to achieve our goals. If entrained properly, our system will drive us toward our goals without us even having to think about it. This streamlines both our energy creation and energy usage.
This is why it’s vitally important to treat ourselves as well as we possibly can. Creating a positive message about ourselves helps our system automatically generate self-positive energy from our involuntary nervous system.
At Pathwaves, we like to tell our clients to treat themselves as their own best friend. In other worlds, treat yourself just like you would treat your best friend or how you would like your best friend to treat you: with love, compassion, and unconditional positive regard. That way the involuntary nervous systems will create that kind of energy automatically, in turn greatly enhancing your quality of life.
Category 2: Shifting Perspective On Emotions
Our animal instincts (survival instincts or herd instincts) drive us to constantly determine how we fit within our “tribes”. Are we in the front of the pack? Middle? Left out? These instincts drive us to “jockey for position”, always trying to place us as “better than others” so that we can stay a part of the tribe and ensure our own safety.
These instincts are totally unnecessary in today’s society, and often cause us plenty of trouble. We learn early on in our lives that to “make it” or do well in life, we have to perform well. We believe our place in the tribe is determined by it. At some point, sometimes at birth, our identity or sense of worthiness becomes dependent upon how well we are performing or behaving. When we live life from this perspective, we may adopt a perfectionist attitude, or at the very least behave in a goal oriented or “driven” manner.
All of this attention to performing well causes us to avoid emotions. Many of our clients who operate from this frame of mind believe that emotions take away from performance, or that emotions make us weak. Unfortunately, trying to live life without emotions makes it difficult if not impossible for us to enjoy life fully. Often we find we need to rely on a substance or activity in order to feel happy, rather than being able to enjoy the day to day. This dynamic also causes us to set goals, and then experience little to no satisfaction when we reach those goals. We then look for the next goal to achieve and set the pattern in motion once again, making it harder and harder for us to enjoy life without a “finish line”.
Pathwaves NeuroEmpowerment™: Basic Training
The Pathwaves Basic Training Path includes 10 visits that introduce our clients to what’s possible when you take control of your nervous system, or achieve what we call NeuroEmpowerment™.
In the first session – called “Hello Nerves” – we teach the techniques to clear the way for the transformation to come. This gives clients a taste of what it is like to experience a calm nervous system, even if it’s just for a few moments. This primes the neural pathways for a new way of operating, which continue to be tweaked and reinforced in the sessions to come.
In the second session – called “Calming The Reactive Mind” – we lead our clients through the process outlined above to calm the autonomic nervous system and reduce fight-or-flight responses. This lays the foundation for the rest of the work we do together to get out of survival mode, and into thriving.
In the third session – called “Sleep, Mood and An Ambient Sound (SMASS)” – we focus on training the nervous system – and all the different systems within the body – to work more in sync with each other, and specifically to improve sleep and mood.
Session 4: Changing Perspective – Be Your Own Best Friend
In the fourth session – called “Changing Perspective – Be Your Own Best Friend” – we begin shifting perspectives in order for our clients to treat themselves as their own best friend, love themselves more, and become a “Human Being” rather than a “Human Doing”. This in turn allows them to start enjoying life more fully in the now.
Through the Pathwaves NeuroEmpowerment™ program, we use a proprietary form of integrative neurofeedback – what we call Neurofeedforward™ – to influence the nervous system, and recondition your responses in order to live a life that embodies love over fear. Our method has been able to effectively help more than 95% of our clients change how they feel and function, so they can live happier and healthier lives.
To help those who cannot afford the services of Pathwaves, consider donating to the Pathwaves Foundation. Please call (305) 858-6616 for more information.
If you’d like to learn how you can accelerate change through our methodology, we are here to help. Schedule a free 30-minute consultation today.