First, please forgive this term—for me it’s real. I did my student teaching back in the late 80’s in inner city Washington DC when the crack epidemic was a really big deal.
I watched the impact this incredibly addictive drug had on communities (we did “shooting drills” in our classrooms with our children). And I also met scores of children born addicted to their parent’s drug of choice. A brain affected by crack is a brain that is profoundly disabled.
Ok, so back to my point. A drug like crack changes our physiology; it impacts brain function, the nervous system, and our ability to respond to life.
While I doubt any of you actually do crack, I am certain that you have habits that cause similar physiological responses in your brain and nervous system. If you want to unveil yourself, become who you truly are, and show up fully for what Life is asking of you, you must get off of your personal version of crack addiction.
Stress, self criticism, over work, worry, fear of the future, pushing too hard, trying to change the past…which of these is your crack?!
These kinds of habits cause a stress response in our bodies and over time, we become addicted to these hormones—but there is a way out!
In the world of neuroscience, the phrase “neurons that fire together, wire together” is a nutshell explanation of how we form habits in our brains. It’s also how we change habits.
To change a negative (stress) habit with a positive (balancing-of-your-nervous-system) habit, one must only fire a new set of neurons.
Simple, but how we build new neural pathways (get those neurons to fire together) is through practice.
So, the simple practice of taking one mindful breath every time you pick up your (stress inducing) phone is a great example of building a new habit. Or instead of picking up your phone, take a sip of water or walk around the block…