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What Fires Together Wire Together

Have you ever noticed having repeated negative inner thoughts that you can’t seem to shake away? I have a recurring one about not being heard and feeling worthless and insignificant as a result. It’s rooted in my relationships as a child.  

If you’ve thought “it’s all in your head,” you’re be right. Literally. Our brain cells are super social, and they talk when they get close to each other. A LOT. They communicate with one another via a “neuronal firing,” in other words one brain cell releases a chemical that the next brain cell absorbs. When brain cells communicated frequently, the connection strengthens. Messages that travel the same pathway over and over again, start to transmit faster and faster. Like with anything else, with enough repetition they become automatic. 

In other words, the more we keep thinking about recurring negative thoughts, the more entrenched they become, and the harder they are to get rid of. 

The good news is that those connections can be broken through conscious, deliberate action. Seeing a therapist can be really helpful, but not everyone has the ability to see one. Another way to break the cycle is to keep a thought log. The key is to catch yourself when you’re doing it. Then keep a log of when you had the thought, what triggered the thought, what action you took as a result, and what alternative action (or non-action) you could take to replace it the next time. 

Doing the inner work is hard, but it’s the path to authenticity and living our truth! 

What recurring negative narrative is inside your head?

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