Life: Optimized (Chapter 6, page 1 of 2)


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Chapter 6

Memories and Behaviors

The brain may be the place where everything we get from our senses gets stored, processed and integrated into memories and behaviors. The nervous system is a complex organization which delivers the messages from our sensory input to and from every part of our bodies. We can't do much about changing the things we sense. We can, however, change how we think about them and act upon them. The foundational units of the nervous system are cells called neurons. Each neuron channels the sensory messages to the one next to it via a gap called a synapse. In recent decades, increasing numbers of professionals in the mind-body-spirit health field have been finding that each aspect of us is interconnected. Massage therapists learn that emotions literally get trapped in our bodies at the cellular level and they practice advanced techniques to release those emotions from our bodies. Many people marketing self-help programs and books offer various techniques to change existing thought patterns.

There is a great deal of information on the nervous system available in textbooks and online. For this workbook, I want to focus on a very basic summary. The nervous system has two main parts: the somatic nervous system, which controls conscious action, and the autonomic nervous system, which controls involuntary responses and organ function. The autonomic nervous system is going to function regardless. The somatic nervous system is another matter. We are discovering that we can, literally, change conscious thought. We can control the somatic nervous system by the way we think. And when our thoughts change, everything changes. Everyone seems to have a different theory as to how and why this works. Some declare that we have the power to create the world in whatever way we want. Some agree with that and add that the majority rules. Some insist that we have guides and angels who give help and advise. Others assert that these “guides” are simply aspects of ourselves in our subconscious mind. Whatever the reason, thought adjustment is possible and being proven effective.

So how do we go about changing our thoughts? Contrary to what some might believe, it is not easy or quick. Change involves a great deal of hard work. Don't let anyone tell you differently. However, there are times when we can work as hard as we are able and seem to get nowhere. The only difference seems to be that we get nowhere faster than we ever did. One part of the solution to this challenge lies in our behavior patterns. As you complete each worksheet, you might see some things repeating, or some similar results from your efforts. These are patterns. For true change to take place, these patterns have to be changed too. So congratulations! Identifying your patterns is a HUGE step toward self awareness!

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