Four Tips on Rewiring Our Brain

Rewiring our brain:

Our brains are an imperative instrument of determining overall mental, emotional, spiritual, social and physical health. I’m currently undergoing Basic Training for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR). This experience has awakened my passion around healing and overcoming trauma ten fold. It has helped me realize how monumental our brains are for allowing this healing to take place. The brain serves as the center of our nervous system, which is where so much of our trauma is stored.

We are wired for relationship. Even our brains are wired to be in relation with itself. We have the right brain and the left brain with the corpus callosum binding the two hemispheres together. Its as if the corpus callosum serves as the peanut butter and jelly in between two pieces of bread. (One of my favorite ways to describe the brain to kids)!. The right hemisphere is responsible for emotions, gut feelings, the ability to see the whole picture, while ultimately allowing us to read social cues. The right part of our brain reads nonverbal cues, and looks and allows us to see things more holistically.The left hemisphere, on the other hand, is responsible for more literal and logical thinking and is drawn to order. Many of us tend to function better in one over the other. But really, it’s important to have both sides as balanced as possible. Both are imperative in helping us get through life successfully.

How do we reconnect and rewire?

  1. Mindfulness Practices: Creating space in your environment to be present and engaged with your own self and with God is imperative to helping rewire your brain. When we are able to practice mindfulness, we allow ourselves to detox from the external stimuli that gets us all tangled up inside, even mentally. We have space to step away and actually hear ourselves think. We have space for gratitude and reflection. Mindfulness allows our bodies and minds to really relax and helps us take down our guard in a healthy and needed way.

  2. Therapy: This helps to create new neuro-pathways in our brain. Depending on what type of therapy we take part in, when we talk through different parts of our history and present circumstances, we are getting different parts of our brain to connect to the other. This is especially true when we utilize art, sand, mindfulness and the body to engage both sides of the brain. EMDR specifically helps rewire our brains when we have undergone trauma, allowing the maladaptive memories to be processed so that the trauma doesn’t hold its grasp on us.

  3. Connection and Attunement: Spend time with others who challenge your way of thinking, and with those who love you. These types of connections and relationships we foster help to wire our brains in very healthy ways. Even better, move and get active by going for a walk with these people. You are activating your body and your brain simultaneously. When we attune to our child using emotions and compassion, (right brain) after they have an emotional meltdown, we are allowing their right brain to connect to their left brain. Use emotion before integrating logic.

  4. Art: Paint, clay, lettering, you name it! All of the creative arts help our brains to reconnect and rewire as we use our subconscious to create some kind of masterpiece! This then manifests into the tangible world. So what we imagine, we can create.

If you or your kiddo seem to be experiencing an imbalance of either being overly emotional or increasingly logical, some of these tips will help with the balance. Spend time nurturing your child. When they are losing their cool, chances are, you using logic to attempt to reason with them in that moment will significantly increase their chances of them losing it more! Meet your child where they are at. If they are frustrated or upset, as illogical as it may seem in that moment, allowing space to nurture and empathize with them will be huge! And it will also help with attachment to self. I’d also highly recommend Dan Siegel’s book “The Whole Brain Child”! This book has allowed me to really capture parts of this blog!

Amanda Cosel