11 thoughts on “How Conscious Attention Effects Positive Change in the Brain, Part 1

  • April 10, 2011 at 12:37 am

    I would like to ask about
    (1) the patterns already developed or neurons already having made connections – do they also reform every time an action or emotion is repeated ?!! or do the neuron connectivity stays as it was ?
    (2) If i want to make new connections in neurons then do I have to input new thoughts different from those often triggered by me which is also emanating from an already established pattern – how to do this ? LS

    Reply
    • April 10, 2011 at 1:44 pm

      Excellent questions, LS! Our brains retain the quality of “plasticity” throughout life, which means changing old neural patterns (that were wired in childhood or traumatic event) is always possible, and yes, the process involves “making sense” of past in new ways that are more helpful to the functioning of our brain, and therefore healthy living (See Daniel Siegel’s book on this, “Mindsight”) . Essentially we human beings need a way of thinking that allows our body to maintain an optimal relaxed state for the particular situation we are in, however, to retain relaxed body state involves balancing our emotional energies — which is where it gets tricky. I will discuss this further in Part 2.

      Reply
  • April 16, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    Athena,

    Just discovered your blog and find this truly fascinating. Thank you for authoring such a thorough and educational post.

    I am interested in the connection you’ve made between the brain and the physical response ( like “shut down mode” from listening and learning). A few thoughts I’d appreciate your input towards. The primary thrust of my work is to help business leaders navigate complex change through effective use of their influence skills. At the heart of influence leadership is masterful awareness and management of their own thinking. It is simply where it all begins. A couple of questions:

    When I am asking someone to enact “judgement suspension” in order to suspend established beliefs so he or she is able to engage with someone differently (where preconceived negative beliefs have taken root) how realistic is that request?

    When I advise someone to consider stepping out of the situation for a moment and purposefully take a ” balcony” view of the situation so that they are not speaking from their amygdala. Is this accurate and what are your thoughts here?

    I am certified in a few leadership assessment instruments. I find that placing identifing language on our behaviors goes a long way in managing past our natural reactive tendencies.

    Enjoyed the post!

    Amy

    Reply
    • April 17, 2011 at 12:57 am

      Hi, Amy, thanks for the positive feedback, and excellent questions. I agree that at the heart of influence is masterful awareness and disciplined thinking. To achieve such, I invite clients to honor the design of their brain. We can either “think” thoughts that intentionally allow us to remain CALM, CONFIDENT and CEeNTERED in present (I call it 3 C’s) thus remain in charge of our emotional energies — or allow fear response to hijack our thinking brain and body — in which case what appears to us as “thinking” is really old fear-based recorded thoughts/beliefs that puts our brain and body in “protective” mode — and our imagination worrying about the future or regretting the past. You are on target in your recommendation to clients to suspend their “judgements” and “step out of the situation” to take a “balcony view.” Both of these actions re-engage the thinking brain, and our imagination (one of our biggest assets), restoring our connection to the present moment, putting our imagination to creative use, connected to vision, purpose, and so on. Thanks for commenting!

      Reply
  • May 17, 2011 at 2:20 am

    Thank you for posting this Athena, I often talk to my clients about ‘mind gardening’ or painting their life work of art.
    I feel this is one of the most important messages to get out into the world right now. Being aware of this information is not only life changing for the individual, changing all our vibrations means we can change the world.

    Reply
    • May 17, 2011 at 9:47 am

      Thank you Kay for stopping by to share thoughts and insights. Really appreciate your comment and feedback.

      Reply
  • June 27, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    Hello there!

    I really love your blog, there are many posts on here that are food for thought. I was wondering whether you would be interested in a feature done on you and your blog? Please visit our web site and go to the fan page to see what we are about. We are looking for recommended reading material plus interviews on the authors of that material and you are someone we are very much interested in!

    Any how please let me know your thoughts on this.

    Gratitude and Regards

    Reply
  • January 14, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    Excellent Article Athena.

    What is your opinion and is there evidence on the subject of meditation and prayer positively effecting mind and mind function. In other words, what happens when one is purposely focused and engaged in communication with Deity even if percieved?

    Chris

    Reply
    • January 16, 2012 at 9:38 am

      Great question, Chris, and the answer is, yes, there is ample evidence in the last decade especially to show meditation and prayer affect positive changes on the brain, actual structural changes. A couple of books of many that list research is How God Changes Your Brain by Drs Andrew Newberg and Mark Walkman, and Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain by Sharon Begley. Thanks for writing!

      Reply
  • April 21, 2012 at 1:59 am

    Beautiful writing and excellent topic Athena!

    May I ask for a link to the second part of the article? I’m having no luck finding it. Thanks!

    Reply
 

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