Establishing the New Neural Pathway
Mindful Living Continued…
You have increased your NEAT activity these last few months and on reflection you see that you are feeling better. You decide you want to be more aware of what you could do to improve your health and wellbeing, and so you decide to do some more research. Having felt the benefits from what was a simple change in behaviour, you decide to get your own copy of Dr Moreno’s book. You call your friend to get the name of the book, and you acquire a copy of it.
Given what you have already done and that you purchased a copy of the book, you have gone a long way to triggering the development of new (healthier) neural pathways in your brain. As these grow, they make the old neural pathways more redundant. The development of the new neural pathway requires new knowledge, which is the foundation to having new awareness. It’s this new awareness that makes being mindful possible. Remember, to be mindful is to remember that you have a choice. That choice only exists when your expanded awareness gives you a more self-loving alternative to your programmed and habitual ways of living, which has resulted in your dis-ease. It should go without saying, if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got (only compounded).
It’s Friday night, and you normally settle into a few alcoholic beverages, some takeaway and your regular TV entertainment. But tonight you decide to swap the TV with reading Dr Moreno’s book. As you begin to read you learn that there are five major buildings blocks that support all of the body’s systems, and that are also anti-ageing.
You are now beginning to create that self-loving alternative (SLA). This idea of acting more self-lovingly isn’t just about doing things more healthily. It’s doing things more healthily in creative, engaging, self-loving ways. For example, we all know we should drink more water, but learning to love water is another whole perspective. You could get filtered water, water flavoured with fruit, iced water, alkaline water, coconut water etc.
As you read his book you realise that his five building blocks to health are your key weaknesses to your health and wellbeing.
#1 Movement: Until you started with the NEAT approach, you hadn’t been doing much at all. You realise that doing NEAT was a simple way for you to begin exercising, and you know you are looking to do more. (The neural pathway has begun to get stronger.)
#2 Maintain a Healthy Weight: You know you are 10kg or more over weight. Reading through his explanation you see his simple suggestions – reduce refined carbohydrates, increase your (lean) protein intake, drink more water and add more veggies (especially greens ones) to your plate.
#3 Stay Hydrated: You’d be lucky to drink two glasses of water a day. Tea and coffee (a few a day), alcohol and the occasional soft drink. Not only are you not drinking enough water, what you are drinking is dehydrating! Nothing about what you are doing here is self-loving!
#4 Avoid Smoking: You are a social smoker and previously haven’t considered that to be a problem. He comes right out and explains that healthy happy ageing and smoking are mutually exclusive. He points out that every system of the body is compromised. You had no idea.
#5 Supplements: You know your diet isn’t healthy enough to give you the nutrients you need and you don’t take any supplements either. He says even with a healthy diet you are going to need some supplements. OMG, you are so far behind the 8 Ball you’re not sure your state of health is retrievable.
You’ve only read 20 pages in the book and without you even knowing it, the part of the nerve cells in your brain called axons have begun to reach out to dendrites, creating the foundation to new neural pathways (SLA), the possibilities of new behaviours that will replace the old habits and programming. Just like your take-up of NEAT activities (explained in the last blog) every time you encounter one of the five building blocks you will be in a position to be mindful of the fact that you have a choice between your old ways of doing things or these more self-loving possibilities. Whenever you recall that you have a choice, you feed these new neural pathways and the connection of axons and dendrites develop more densely, eventually supporting the easy adoption of more self-loving alternatives.
In our next few blog, I will explore some of these SLA to health and wellbeing, and identify strategies for ways to live life in a more self loving way. The development of these strategies is part of becoming more aware, and is the pragmatic part of creating a new reality. Staying mindful of the choice and not using will or discipline to act on the choice is the lazy part.
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