The Role of Active Neuroplasticity

Robert F. Mullen, PhD
Director/ReChanneling

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We have meticulously outlined the structure and benefits of proactive neuroplasticity. Through the deliberate, repetitive, neural input of information (DRNI), we compel our neural network to change its polarity and assist in the positive transformation of our thoughts and behaviors. Other benefits include long-term potentiation, abundant reciprocation, and increased BDNF and chemical hormones that consolidate cognitive functioning. Proactive neuroplasticity is the most effective method of positive neural restructuring, but it has its limitations. It only uses our left-brain hemisphere – the analytical part responsible for rational thinking. Recovery and self-empowerment entail identifying the automatic negative thoughts and behaviors (ANTs) that negatively impact our emotional well-being. Our right hemisphere monitors our emotions. Our creativity, intuition, feelings, and imagination are also right-brained hemisphere. Active neuroplasticity taps into the emotional, the social, and the spiritual; proactive the mental. Recovery, self-empowerment, and neural restructuring are enabled by both. What proactive neuroplasticity lacks in productivity is fulfilled by reactive neuroplasticity. They work in concert. They complete each other. 

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Plasticity is the quality of being easily shaped or molded. Neuroplasticity is our brain’s constant adaptation and restructuring to information.  Science recognizes that our neural network is dynamic and malleable – realigning its pathways and rebuilding its circuits in response to all stimuli. 

The principle goal of recovery and self-empowerment is replacing or overwhelming the accumulation of toxic neural information with healthy input. Neuroplasticity empowers us to force our neural network to reconstruct itself in alliance with our goals and objectives.

What is the role of neuroplasticity in positive behavioral change? The definition of recovery is regaining possession or control of something stolen or lost. Self-empowerment is making a conscious decision to become stronger and more confident in controlling our lives. In neuroses such as anxiety, depression, and comorbidities, what has been stolen or lost is our emotional well-being and quality of life. In self-empowerment, it is the loss of self-esteem and motivation. So both recovery and self-empowerment deal with regaining what has been lost. And both are supported by neuroplasticity whose goal is to replace or overwhelm years of negative neural information with positive productive information.

If there is an underlying theme in recovery and self-empowerment, it is that we are not defined by our insufficiencies, but by our character strengths, virtues, and attributes – and our achievements. 

We accelerate and consolidate learning and unlearning by compelling our brain to repattern its neural circuitry. This establishes that our psychological health is self-determined. We control our emotional well-being. Of course, we are impacted by outside forces over which we have limited to no control: life’s vicissitudes, physical deterioration, human hostilities, and the quirks of nature. Our psychological well-being is determined by how we react to things. How we respond to adversity as well as fortune and opportunity. The onus of recovery and self-empowerment rests with us. We control our emotional well-being.

Mindfulness of our inherent capability strengthens our self-reliance, boots our self-esteem, and grants us accountability for how we navigate our psychological health. It simultaneously promotes positive neural repatterning.

There are three forms of human neuroplasticity. Reactive neuroplasticity is our brain’s natural response to things over which we have limited to no control – stimuli we absorb but doesn’t initiate or focus on. A car alarm, thunder flash, the smell of cut grass. Our neural network automatically restructures itself to what happens around us. 

Active neuroplasticity is active pursuits like teaching, yoga, journaling, and puzzle assembly. We control active neuroplasticity because we consciously choose the activity. A significant component of active neuroplasticity is ethical and compassionate social behavior. 

Proactive neuroplasticity is rapid, concentrated, neurological stimulation to change the polarity of our neural network.

What is significant is our ability to dramatically accelerate and consolidate learning by compelling our brain to repattern its neural circuitry. Our brain is structured around negative neural input. The primary objective in recovery and self-empowerment is replacing or overwhelming that negative information with positive neural input. 

Our neural network is replete with negative information forming in childhood and increasing exponentially throughout life. To counter this we must consider every available relevant scientific and psychological approach.

Mind, body, spirit, social, and emotions are the gestalt of our humanness. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Gestalt psychology considers the human mind and behavior as a whole. I am a radical behaviorist. We not only consider observable behaviors, but also the diversity of human thought and experience. That calls for a collaboration of science, philosophy, and psychology. Philosophy, existentially defined, welcomes religious and spiritual insight. They compose the gestalt of our thoughts and behaviors.

Through neuroplasticity, we consciously and deliberately transform our thoughts and behaviors, creating healthy new mindsets, skills, and abilities. Through informed and deliberate engagement, we compel change rather than reacting and responding to it. 

Proactive and active neuroplasticity support each other; their collaboration advances our goal. Their collaboration reinforces and strengthens positive neural restructuring. DRNI is a mental process designed to initiate the rapid, concentrated, neurological stimulation that transmits electrical energy. It is proactive because we construct the information before neurally inputting it.

Active neuroplasticity is left-brain activity, embracing the emotional, the social, and the creative. Beyond healthy activities like yoga, journaling, creating, and listening to music, is our ethical and compassionate social behavior. Altruistic contributions to society are extraordinary assets to neural restructuring. The value of volunteering – providing support, empathy, and concern for those in need, random acts of kindness – is extraordinary, not only in promoting positive behavioral change but in enhancing the integrity of our information. The social interconnectedness established by caring and compassion supports the regeneration of our self-esteem and self-appreciation. 

One more rather mundane reason active complements proactive neuroplasticity. DRNI demands a calculated regimen of deliberate, repetitive, neural information that is not only tedious but also fails to deliver immediate tangible results. I can tell you from experience, it is challenging to maintain its rigorous process and the tedious repetition. Tedium generates avoidance, and we know how difficult it is to establish and maintain new habits. Active neuroplasticity brings other elements of our humanness into play to compensate for the rigidity and monotony of proactive neuroplasticity.

Proactive and active neuroplasticity are formidable tools when used in concert to facilitate neural restructuring and the corresponding positive transformation of our thoughts, behaviors, and perspectives. Recovery and self-empowerment are achieved through a collaboration of targeted approaches that compel the rediscovery and self-appreciation of our character strengths, virtues, and attributes. While the realignment of our neural network is the framework for recovery and self–empowerment, a coalescence of science and east-west psychologies is essential to capture the diversity of human thought and experience. Science underscores proactive neuroplasticity, and psychology focuses more on active neuroplasticity. Of course, that is an oversimplification and undervalues the gestalt of our thoughts and behaviors but, you get the drift.

Proactive Neuroplasticity YouTube Series

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WHY IS YOUR SUPPORT SO IMPORTANT?  ReChanneling develops and implements programs to (1) moderate symptoms of emotional dysfunction and (2) pursue personal goals and objectives – harnessing our intrinsic aptitude for extraordinary living. Our paradigmatic approach targets the personality through empathy, collaboration, and program integration utilizing scientific and clinically practical methods including proactive neuroplasticity, cognitive-behavioral modification, positive psychology, and techniques designed to regenerate self-esteem. All donations support scholarships for groups, workshops, and practicums.  

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