The brain is continually developing and erasing neuronal connections, generating the thinking and behavior patterns we employ to make judgments, pick activities, and present ourselves to the outside world. Pathways that are used get stronger, whereas those that are not used weaken and are eventually replaced. The more you use a pathway, the more important it becomes and the faster it grows.
Your current thinking and behavior patterns are a result of what has happened in your life up until now. These patterns were useful at some point and they are being reused now. If any problem arises which needs a different kind of response than usual, then new mental pathways will be created to deal with this issue. So basically, your current thinking and behavior are just the result of what's useful right now.
The more you think about something, the more you learn about it. This is why teachers expect us to ask questions: so we can understand things better and build our knowledge base. Questions help us develop our brains!
When you think about something positive, you encourage positive neurons to grow. When you think about something negative, you discourage negative neurons from growing. Actually, thinking about anything makes neurons grow regardless of whether they're positive or negative. But when you focus on something positive or negative, then you influence which neurons grow and which ones don't.
Learning new things enhances your brain's ability to function.
Instead of looping over the same pathway again and over, this approach appears to foster the formation of new brain pathways, generating new connections that were not present the day before. Brains that have been taught to think in this way learn new knowledge considerably faster. They are called "nimble" or "plastic" brains.
A person with a growth mindset believes that his abilities can be improved by learning new techniques or strategies, and taking advantage of opportunities that come his way. He doesn't see his personality as something fixed but rather as something that can be changed through hard work and motivation. In other words, he has a growth mindset.
Studies have shown that people with growth mindsets tend to make more progress in life than those who believe they're born with certain talents or abilities. They also encounter fewer problems moving forward because nothing stands in their way. Perhaps most important, having a growth mindset helps them avoid giving up when things get difficult or frustrating.
People with growth mindsets don't feel compelled to explain away failures or mistakes using excuses or reasons. Instead, they look at what they've done wrong and use that information to improve themselves for future successes. In other words, they accept responsibility for their actions but don't feel the need to blame others for them either.
Experience also influences the creation of connections (synapses) between neurons, which establishes paths for the many hierarchies of brain function. These pathways guide or influence our cognitive, emotional, psychological, physiological, and bodily reactions to our daily activities. As we learn new things and expand our abilities, these pathways can be strengthened or altered by learning or trauma.
The human brain is always changing in response to experience. Certain regions of the brain are more likely to grow new cells and connect with other regions. This activity helps us develop new skills and understandings. Other parts of the brain that were not used recently may shrink a little because less activity means less need for storage space.
However, even if you don't use a particular part of your brain, that region will still be present and active. It's just that there are fewer connections within it so it uses up less energy. Over time, these changes may lead to differences in how and where you process information depending on what you have learned and experienced.
For example, research has shown that people who score high on measures of creativity tend to have larger volumes of brain tissue in certain areas.
All of that is beginning to change. Scientists have discovered that simply changing the way you think, you can re-grow brain cells and modify the shape and function of your brain. This new science is known as neuroplasticity, and it has piqued the Dalai Lama's interest.
Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to grow new cells and repair damage caused by illness or injury. The human brain is capable of growing new cells all the time, but these cells don't connect to other cells to form new connections. Instead, they remain separate cells that will one day be lost if they aren't used.
But scientists have found that the brain is also capable of forming new connections between neurons even when there are no new cells being born. This ability is called neural plasticity. It's this property that has motivated researchers to ask whether it's possible to influence how we think by modifying the brain activity of healthy people. Can we teach someone to be more positive or less negative by teaching them a new skill or altering an existing one? The evidence so far suggests that it is possible.
Scientists have discovered that the brain is plastic. It can be trained to make new connections! This is important for us because it means that we aren't limited by our genes when it comes to shaping our brains. With practice, anyone can become more positive or less negative about anything. Their brains could learn it too.