ETC AI – Self Improvement – Personnel Retention
Emotions reflect your Thoughts
You can educate your brain to alter bad habits and break them; these 4-step frameworks backed by science can use to stop listening to your brain’s deceptive messages.
This Article is based on the book: You Are Not Your Brain.
You are not your Brain – Change bad habits by Educating your Brain.
Author: Jeffrey Schwartz works at the UCLA School of Medicine, focusing mainly on people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Here are four key points:
* Self-directed neuroplasticity is your go-to weapon to change your habits.
* Hebb’s law and the quantum Zeno effect.
* There are five steps you can take to break a bad habit.
Lesson 1: To change your habits, use self-directed neuroplasticity.
How cool does that sound? But what the hell is it?
If you break down the term, it comes down to this: self-directed means you exert neuroplasticity on yourself. So you’re using it and who it’s being used on.
Neuro– stands for your neurons, or nerve cells, in your brain, which are the pathways where emotions and thoughts flow.
Plasticity means something like plastic – it is firm initially but can be formed and changed using the right tools.
Let’s pull it all together.
You can change your brain’s pathways and do it yourself.
This means that even if you’re stuck with a couple of bad habits right now, you can change them. Just because your brain is wired in a certain way does not mean that this wiring defines you.
By concluding that you are not your brain, you can start changing the physical structure inside it to work more in your favor and less against you.
This happens when you hear stories like the one of Christopher Reeve, a famous Superman actor, who changed his mindset after becoming paralyzed until eventually moving again.
Lesson 2: Hebb’s law and the quantum Zeno effect.
So how do you start to direct some neuroplasticity at yourself? By learning about two more cool concepts.
Number one is called Hebb’s law and is summed up in one beautiful rhyme: Neurons that fire together, wire together.
The more often one of the neural pathways in your brain is used, the stronger it gets. For example, let’s say you have a new job and must catch the bus every morning at 8 am to make it there on time.
You’re doing fine the first week, but on Tuesday in week 2, you arrive at 8:01 am and miss the bus. This causes stress and anxiety because you’ll be late.
While waiting for the next bus, you have a cigarette to combat the stress, which helps. The nicotine and activity give you a sense of relief and calm you down.
Now you’ve forged a new pathway in your brain that links stress from missing the bus to the relief a cigarette offers. This is reinforced every time you miss the bus and have a cigarette again. What was a one-time thing becomes a habit, and the quick fix becomes a permanent, painful problem.
The second concept is called the quantum Zeno effect. Based on ancient Greek philosopher Zeno’s arrow paradox, this important notion from quantum physics says that a system can be frozen in its state if continuously observed.
What does that have to do with your brain? If you are mindful of your bad behavior and observe it as it happens often enough, it will stop Hebb’s law in its tracks and give you enough time to counteract it.
Then, you can rewire your brain with a better habit by consciously changing your thoughts and behavior.
Lesson 3: Take these five steps to break a bad habit.
Let’s get to the actionable part. The 5-step framework is the book’s main point and summary, so I’ll only touch on it briefly.
Step 1 is to be aware of your negative thoughts (emotions) as they occur. This requires mindfulness, which you can learn through meditation, for example.
Step 2 is to relabel those negative thoughts. You have to alienate them to draw a line between you and your brain. I like James Altucher’s take on this: Just label your thoughts into one of two categories: useful or not useful.
Step 3 is to refocus your attention on a positive activity, like writing, talking a walk, or calling a friend, to show you you can proceed as normal, even when the bad thoughts show up.
Step 4 is to revalue your situation from a loving and caring perspective to eventually change your beliefs about yourself.
Step 5 is to measure your ETC Emotional Fingerprint ® to understand your true emotions while answering soft and hard questions. Request an ETC Free Test as Proof of Concept
You can simulate and rehearse a hiring selection process or a personeel evaluation.