Rewiring the brain

The average person spends 70% of their time in fight or flight mode. In this mode, your immune system is suppressed to gather all your strength to either fight, hide, or escape imminent danger. To recover, you need to learn to recognize your stress response and calm your nervous system.

Thousands of years ago, the stress response of the nervous system was only activated for short, dangerous events. Because society was calm and people lived connected in tribes, the nervous system was able to switch back quickly to the state of calmness. In our society, however, we have learned to suppress our own needs and to compete with each other constantly. Our movies, jobs, and sports activities are extreme, and the global population is addicted to their stress hormones. We would even create stress in order for our addiction to continue. Staying in the fight or flight mode will exhaust you and your adrenal glands. Learning to calm down, however, will boost your adrenals faster than you might expect.

In a state of stress, you will feel a higher heart rate, be agitated, in need of distractions, scroll on social media, watch action movies, think very analytically, and have negative thoughts about life and yourself. This is what we need to change. Calm yourself down in every possible way. Connect with your body, even with the symptoms. Stop resisting your body and your emotions. Merge with it and check if your heart rate gets lower.

One of the ways you can calm down the nervous system is by applying neuroplasticity, or rewiring the brain.

Neuroplasticity

Neuroplasticity, or rewiring the brain, is a proven method for rapidly increasing performance and stopping a negative cycle in the early stages. . In short, through active imagination, we can let our brain release the same chemicals as if such an event were really happening. It is important to note that these strategies are not always appropriate.

Avoid applying these tactics when an emotion has gotten rooted in your body. In those moments, it is best to feel your emotions first, and if you are unable to access them, breathe consciously through your body. Doing this rather than battling or deflecting from it is also an effective technique to rewire the brain.

Drastically do the opposite.

In order to heal, we need the body to drastically do the opposite of what it is currently doing. Initial symptoms can be psychosomatic; when those emotions are released, the body might get chronically stressed. In order to close the well of horror (stuckness and old emotions), we can use neuroplasticity to distract ourselves from our current situation and build a better one. Emotional healing is really important as it makes you, e.g., more aware of your boundaries and what you truly want from your life. At the same time, trauma release is exhausting, and the body can stay stuck in the shock of overwhelming feelings.

Adrenaline and cortisol junkies

Via this and numerous other reasons, the body can be stuck in ‘fight or flight mode’. This mode is also highly addictive, and we can call people with ME/CFS real adrenaline and cortisol junkies. Even when you have improved a little, is it still likely for you to seek the state of adrenaline and cortisol again and again? To imagine the healing state with neuroplasticity, we have to first be aware of the stress mode, so you can actively choose to build other neuropathways.

Recognize the stress response.

In a state of stress, you are hyper-aware of your thinking. Clear thinking to figure out solutions is necessary. You won’t have joy or be able to let go. You lose connection with your body and feel like a walking head. Before you are completely drained by it, more energy goes to the muscles, but at that stage, you won’t be experiencing chronic fatigue yet. You will feel restless, rushed, and agitated, in need of distractions, and probably have sleep issues. You have the urge to make strong theories and concepts to explain life, and you are probably making up very convincing stories. For many, this is the normal state they would want to go back to; please don’t.

Neuro-pathways

After neuroplasticity has done its job the wrong way (feeling worse and worse), you just feel crap; it is your automatic state. Maybe you don’t even notice the stress signals because your body is completely wired. In neuroplasticity, they teach that neural pathways are like highways. The more you drive on it, the bigger the road gets. In order to reverse this process, you will need to start driving on different gravel roads. It is going to be bumpy in the beginning.

Using the’stop!’

When you realize that you are not driving the right road, you have to give yourself a “stop”! This can be an abrupt and energetic stop, or a calm Buddha stop. It is important to use the stop in a way that you would like it to feel. In the case of stress, this is usually a very calm stop. You breathe in deeply and breathe out all at once. You know that you are on this path, and you are very good at driving it. You have become a specialist on that particular road. Now, however, is the time for a significant change. You give yourself some credit for knowing what is going on and the’stop’ you have used.

Active imagination

How would you like to feel? Good? Peaceful? Are you surrounded by friends and family who love you? Looking forward to a beautiful sunset with your partner? Eating your favorite food with all your attention? All of these pleasant experiences that have become memories are available to your imagination. Your brain won’t know the difference between this imagination and real life. You can also create desired situations by combining several pieces of memory. For example, while playing football with your future children at a wonderful beach, you will enjoy a cold beer and watch the sunset while you are laughing and making jokes. Even writing this down already makes me feel better.

Careful

Of course, you have missed these kinds of experiences for a long time. Remembering it might make you sad about missing out on these adventures or calm moments. It is key to not drown in sadness now, as that might trigger the old neuropathways. Stay at feeling wonderful, calm, happy, joyful, connected, at peace, etc. These are powerful memories!

Neuroplasticity technique

Make the memory come alive and keep imagining it as if it were happening right now. To whom are you talking, what are you wearing, how does the beach feel on your feet, etc. Imagine these feelings being represented by a color. What color is it? Now imagine for 10 breaths that each time you breathe in, this color and the feelings fall over you. In the 7th module of the recovery program, I will teach you this technique.

This technique, in combination with changing belief systems, is the main ingredient for lots of courses that help people improve or recover. Consider techniques such as the Lightning Process, ANS Rewire, and DNRS, among others. It brings fast results, and if the root cause of being in a chronic state of stress has been addressed, it can be enough to recover. In those courses, most of the time is spent making you believe in the importance of the technique in combination with success stories from others.

Hypnosis

You can make it yourself even easier by listening to a hypnosis session on YouTube. Make sure you can get really calm, alone, and undisturbed. Lay down in bed and listen to a recording of your choice through headphones. As you get calmer and closer to the theta state, this might even be more powerful; it usually also lasts a minimum of half an hour. To make it even easier, you can also visit a hypnotherapist. The therapist can use a variety of techniques to access powerful memories and plant them in your subconscious.

Small changes

Some small things can make a huge change in your mood and, thus, in neuroplasticity. Think of:

  • Opening the curtains and letting the light in
  • Getting out of bed and into the living room
  • Getting dressed
  • Sitting in the sun (only for a few minutes, if possible)
  • Sitting next to a campfire outside (only for a few minutes if possible)
  • Hugging someone else or a pet
  • etc.
Nature, forests, beaches, and great people!

My mantra with ME/CFS was that I could be tired everywhere. And as it turned out, having a crash on a beautiful beach or in a hammock in a forest will make the crash shorter. Enjoy yourself and the environment as much as you can. Personally, I don’t enjoy being in bed on my phone. I would rather feel awful on a tropical beach. I made this blog about traveling with ME/CFS.

Affirmations

It might feel weird at the beginning, but! Haha I love the ‘but’ over there. It is a different way to stop focusing on what you don’t want and instead focus on what you do want. “I am ready to release all the old patterns.” “I am feeling better every day.” “Healing is happening in my life.” Louise Hay and Abraham Hicks will call it ‘raising your vibrations.’ I have been amazed by the results of affirmations in my life. It gets us out of a state of resistance and into alignment.

Change will come.

Using neuroplasticity can have a fast effect on your life. You might notice an effect right away or within days. Making it a habit is crucial, along with working on emotional triggers and calming the nervous system in various ways to accelerate the process. Involving yourself in different activities is also crucial to rewiring the brain. Good luck!

What is peace?

Because western society is hard-wired to stress, it is good to imagine a peaceful life. How can life also be? You will, over time, be able to reduce more and more from your life and slow down.