Life literally shapes our brains. The more often we perform an action or behave in a certain way, the more it is physically wired into our brain.
10 practical techniques for changing mindset and behavior
This amazing adaptive quality of our brain is known as neuroplasticity. It can work both for and against us.
Laura-Maria Cojocaru, president and founder of the Somato-Integrative Linguistic Neuro-Programming Institute (INLPSI) and president and founder of the “Generația Iubire” Association, is an expert Psychologist-Psychotherapist and Trainer in Neuro-Linguistic Programming. He studied the nature of the human mind following 9 professional trainings with different approaches – integrative psychotherapy, clinical hypnosis, relaxation and ericksonian psychotherapy, couple and family psychotherapy, clinical psychology, linguistic neuro-programming, Bach flower therapies, Social Panorama consultant, international yoga instructor, CNFPA accredited trainer. For over 14 years, she has been guiding people both in individual and group sessions and organizing courses and trainings in Romania, with the aim of making people access and use their inner resources to their maximum potential.
According to the well-known psychologist Laura-Maria Cojocaru, president and founder of the Somato-Integrative Linguistic Neuro-Programming Institute (INLPSI), neuroplasticity allows us to change the way we think and feel in certain situations. When we engage in positive behaviors and learn from others how to do our jobs better, our brains have the ability to connect to shape and improve their neural pathways. This process facilitates our cognitive abilities and allows us to learn and develop in new and exciting ways.
“However, neuroplasticity can also have a negative effect. People who behave in a toxic and repetitive way can take over these neural pathways in their brain. This is caused by certain tendencies to stay in a vicious circle of negative emotions and toxic thinking. To change this, it is important to work on replacing these unwanted behaviors with thoughts that have positive and beneficial neural pathways. This can be achieved by practicing meditation techniques, mental training and practicing compassion towards ourselves and others. By receiving more positive experiences and using the resulting neural pathways, we can gradually replace unwanted thought pathways and harmful behaviors with more beneficial ones. By changing our attitude and activating positive neural pathways, we can use neuroplasticity to create a better future for ourselves and those around us,” says psychologist Laura Maria Cojocaru.
How can we change our mindset and behavior?
The time required for mental and behavioral change varies from person to person. The specialist states that it is very important to be patient, not rush things and work with ourselves at a comfortable speed. Finally, it will be necessary to ensure benchmarks for monitoring progress, such as peer feedback, and also ensure the formation of objective assessment of progress and outcomes. This will help guide our mindset and ensure results are consistent and sustainable.
Moreover, the psychologist Laura Maria Cojocaru offers us 10 useful tips by which we can become more aware of ourselves, prioritize our actions according to a healthier set of values and thus succeed in changing our behavior:
1. Be aware of your mental schema: Start by being aware of how you think, especially your limiting feelings or beliefs.
2. Use positive thinking: Start the day with a positive recap of your events and enjoy the little things you do each day.
3. Focus on your goals: Determine what you want to achieve, create a plan of action, and focus on those goals.
4. Accept yourself: Begin by accepting yourself, past, present and future. Be yourself and embrace the idea that change is necessary.
5. Practice the change: Develop positive habits and practices such as problem solving, overcoming challenges and practicing a positive attitude.
6. Reevaluate your processes and emotions: Reevaluate the way you react and the emotions that cause them and try to change the way you handle these challenges.
7. Track your progress: Track your progress and record it to get a better idea of the improvements you’ve made by correcting limiting behaviors.
8. Stay motivated: Things change in different ways, which means it won’t always be easy. So stay motivated by understanding that all these changes have their advantages.
9. The action: Balance decision making with and without measurement. Keep future options in mind and connect with point 7 and 8.
10. Personal care: Invest in your image, your general culture and your physical condition by reading a book a month, by systematically practicing sports and taking care of your physical appearance. Cherish yourself and finally become the masters of your own lives.