The concept of neuroplasticity — or, to put it colloquially, "hacking your brain" — is nothing new. The old notions of your brain being "hard-wired" post-puberty are long gone, and science now generally accepts that your brain continues to grow and "rewire" itself as years go by.
While neuroplasticity gives hope to "old" brains, newer ones need to be "rewired" from time to time as well, especially after suffering extreme trauma, such as a death in the family or an abusive relationship.
Of the latter trauma — which happens, sadly, far too often — it's imperative to "rewire" our brains sooner rather than later, lest we fall back into the patterns that make us susceptible to such things in the future.
Neuroscience expert Dr. Patrick Porter, creator of the BrainTap program, which addresses using neuroplasticity to improve romantic relationships, says it's crucial to "hack" and "rewire" your brain in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. That has all but decimated our traditional ways of interacting with each other. Dr. Porter also says that there's a link between our brainwaves and our romantic relationships, which makes it all the more important to make sure those waves are (literally) vibrating high.
"We can't see it, but brains hum with waves of electrical activity. At the root of all our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors is the communication between neurons within our brains. Changing our brainwaves has a dramatic effect on our physical, mental, and emotional health," he said, adding that achieving this mental equilibrium is beneficial for both our self-love and our interpersonal love relationships.
So, how can you hack and rewire your brain to achieve this much-desired, high-vibrating mental equilibrium? Here are five tips.
Contrary to popular belief that things like "binaural beats" are new, the concept of brainwave entrainment has been around — and proven effective with scientifically reproducible evidence — for more than a century. Doing brainwave entrainment exercises will add a layer to your meditative practices and help rewire your brain for more effective romantic relationships.
Practice Mindful Receiving
As women, we're often trained to be self-sacrificial, especially when it comes to our families. But as Dr. Marlo Archer (correctly) says, "if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." You have to make sure that you're okay before you can make sure that everyone else is okay — and that requires being mindful of your mental well-being. In other words, it's imperative to check in with yourself to gauge your frame of mind before you dive deep into doing emotional labor for anyone else. Naturally, this requires some inner work and some rewiring of your brain to train yourself — but it's necessary so you can be more present for your partner and, if you have them, your children.
Step Towards — And Into — Your Fear So It Doesn't Control You
Biologically, humans have developed fears for good reasons. Fearing something is our body's way of warning us of impending danger. But, the question you have to ask yourself is: does that fear come from a sincere place? Fear of walking alone at night because of predators is one thing — but fear of getting involved with someone new because someone in the past hurt you is another. While this advice is by no means meant to take the place of getting therapy for an extreme trauma, this is to say that confronting your fears and how it's keeping you from achieving what you want — is both courageous and necessary.
Address Your Inner Child
Breaking generational curses isn't easy, but it is necessary. Addressing your inner child — tending to her needs so that you understand the different ways you may be sabotaging your romantic relationships, even if you don't mean to, will go a long way in rewiring your brain. And effectively help leave the past in the past, where it belongs.
Above all else, it's essential to practice an "attitude of gratitude" when it comes to rewiring your brain. Be easy on yourself. Even "baby steps" are steps forward in the right direction. And always remember that every day is a new day to try again, to start over, and to do better — remember, it takes 21 days to form a habit and 90 days to create a lifestyle, so doing this every day will, eventually, become your way of life.