With the New Science of Brain Exercises
As a role model for active eating disorders brain and genes change, Sherry is magnificent. Sherry an active bulimic with thoughts of tantrum rage like “screw you” and “I’m going to let go and do for me.” Her purging behavior was eliciting feelings of doubt, shame, guilt and the undoing was loss of self control along with fear of loss. Her life got to a point in her forties of going down the drain, so to speak. This prompted or madly drove her, at forty-four, to begin focused psychotherapy with brain exercises specifically from an eating disorders specialist. She worked once a week in session, while doing her daily workbook/playbook brain exercises and techniques using her full attention.
After only six sessions, Sherry noticed considerable positive changes and the bulimic deterioration that brought her to therapy began to reverse. It is no wonder that Sherry is a lifelong self-educator and that she engages her mind in something like classes or seminars, because she gives it her full attention. This was the exact ingredient to became successful at changing her brain.
In the book reference, according to psychiatrist Norman Doidge, one needs to give what one is learning full attention to create change in the brain. That’s counter to what multi-taskers or book readers who quickly devour the information in a book do. In his book, The Brain that Changes Itself, Doidge powerfully points to the discovery that thoughts can change the structure and the function of one’s brain. This applies to old age as well. What a breakthrough and it’s being called the most important in neuroscience in 400 years. Examples show eighty-year-olds renewing their memory functions to the level of a person twenty years younger. Doidge calls this a great example of adult plasticity or malleable brain that can and does rewire itself when it is damaged.
The question to ask is, how can you apply this concept of changing your brain to be free of eating disorders, brain patterns, negative behavior triggers, or any eating issue? It is documented by Doidge that brain exercises in some situations are more effective than medications. Furthermore, talk therapy, as in psychotherapy, is known to work in changing the brain as much as any medications do for depression and anxiety. Those mental conditions are certainly a challenge for those suffering from any eating disorder or disordered eating.
To help, let’s look at another application of focused attention that changes the brain. In using specific workbooks, playbooks, brain exercises/techniques, and the commitment to continue, a trained eating disorders therapist can help facilitate those positive brain changes. Psychotherapy supports the individual in processing and letting go of negative feelings and negative thinking so that one can continue to be committed to using his or her focused attention. Sustained effort needs to be encouraged by supportive safe others such as one’s therapist, accountability partner in learning, a sponsor, or support group, etc.
Would you ask yourself to begin an exercise program of running ten miles from the start? Or would you be more successful if you started a walking program to build stamina and slowly increased it incrementally to running a one-half mile then to one mile and so on. Then you would find you are growing by following this plan of action.
The idea of a flexible brain and its possibilities has been slow to make its ways in the traditional belief system about the brain. If the past belief has been that the brain is like the heart and is only mechanistic, then if one function and location is damaged, this rules out change. This past belief has been called neurological nihilism. In other words this past belief said, “You’re stuck with mental limitations for life.”
Science got it wrong. That is neural science. The truth today is the brain has plasticity and you can use that knowledge to change your brain in many ways.
What might be the plan that can help eating disorders and brain change? We learn that our thoughts can switch our genes on and off, altering our brain anatomy. We then learn to use our imagination as a tool to “make it so” with this new brain model.
Books that begin with an initial eating disorders quiz can help you to find your weak areas. These weak areas are then given specific tools and exercises for strengthening. You can find a workbook, playbook, journal, study guide, and step-by-step approach that will give you the means to change your brain. There are so many ways to heal that no matter what your old beliefs are, many of new brain exercises can help you.
The many myths regarding weight loss need to be put to rest that continue to tease society into complacency and victim-hood. After confronting those past “weight loss’ myths, you can look for authentic clear cut actions that support personal empowerment plus the actual changes in the brain. Could this lead to healing on every level? Is this truly the breakthrough action formula for proven brain change for all ages? Yes.