This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Learn-Share-Grow.jpg


June 22, 2020

Below is a lesson from The Motion Machine on how we can restructure our brain, as well as our key learning.

The Blue Courage team is dedicated to continual learning and growth.  We have adopted a concept from Simon Sinek’s Start With Why team called “Learn, Share, Grow”.  We are constantly finding great articles, videos, and readings that have so much learning.  As we learn new and great things, this new knowledge should be shared for everyone to then grow from.


Mindfulness Is Self-Directed Neuroplasticity

Posted on May 17, 2011 by Steven Handel

“My experience is what I agree to attend to. Only those items which I notice shape my mind.”

William James, American psychologist

William James was one of the first psychologists to address the notion of neuroplasticity back in his late 19th century text, “The Principles of Psychology.” The central idea behind neuroplasticity is that our brain can restructure itself based on our experience.

One popular example of neuroplasticity is sensory substitution. For instance, if a person is born blind, often the visual parts of the brain will be taken over by another sense, such as hearing or touch. This is the brain’s way of re-allocating unused processing power only to what a person is actually sensing and experiencing.

It would be wasteful to leave potential neural networks dormant simply because we aren’t getting any input from that sense. Thus, brains have evolved over time to become more adaptive to these changes in our biology and experience.

Continue reading here.


Key Learnings:

  • Neuroplasticity: our brain can restructure itself based on our experience.
  • Brains have evolved over time to become more adaptive to these changes in our biology and experience.
  • Neuroplasticity occurs inside us everyday as we encounter new experiences and learn new things. But this process is especially rapid during our early stages of brain development.
  • Neuroplasticity is what allows us to take our experiences, then learn from them and form new memories.
  • The more we experience something and the more we practice something, the more we are making deep structural changes to our neural networks. This is called long-term potentiation
  • If our brain changes itself based on our experiences, then by changing our experiences we can actively reshape our brains.
  • Mindfulness is a moment-by-moment awareness of what is happening in the present moment, including your senses, thoughts, and feelings.
  • By practicing mindfulness, we not only become more aware of our experiences in the moment, but we also learn how to have more control over them and shift our focus of attention.
  • “[Mindfulness] creates a spaciousness of the mind to notice that an impulse has arisen and to disconnect from the automatic behavior that usually follows when someone is an impulsive person. So mindfulness creates a space between impulse and action that allows us to be more flexible in our responses.” -UCLA psychiatrist Daniel Siegel
  • When you practice mindfulness, you can observe your experiences without immediately reacting to them. Instead, you can take a step back and reevaluate your options before deciding how you want to move forward. This gives you a tremendous amount of freedom and power.
  • 8 weeks of mindfulness training can create significant changes in regions of the brain associated with attention, memory, stress, and empathy. (Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging)