Scientific proof that you are what you think…. and that you can change both

Using the technology of brain scans in his work treating obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Dr. Jeffrey M. Schwartz, research psychiatrist at the School of Medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles, has documented how the neural connections in the brain physically change when thought patterns change. In their article, Lead Your Brain Instead Of Letting It Lead You, Stephanie West Allen and Jeffrey M. Schwartz state:

Acting as if you have a trait causes both brain changes and chemical changes throughout the body.  Therefore “acting as if” with attention to what you are doing is a very powerful technique for altering and mastering behavior.

Before neuroscience had proven that brain changes are created by behavior accompanied by full attention, the great acting teacher Konstantin Stanislavski knew this intuitively.  Stanislavski worked with his students to help them convincingly act their roles.  He believed that a person cannot experience a feeling on command but the actor can evoke the feeling by willfully experiencing what he called “antecedents” to that feeling.  Antecedents are actions.

If those with OCD can learn to change their behavior in order to rewire their brain and therefore reduce the affects of their disorder, then there’s a clear precedent that you can change your attitude and even change perceptions about who you are. When you’ve become convinced about something – say, transforming the experience of getting fired into a valuable career lesson – consider how that will contagiously influence others’ attitude about you and, consequently, attract better circumstances into your life.

Angela Loëb helps people bring who they really are to what they do in life.
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