This is a slightly different post today.
I don’t usually share things like this but I am currently studying neuroscience and part of the course is about brain plasticity which of course is very relevant to eating disorder recovery.
With an eating disorder, we have a brain that is hard wired to perform disordered behaviours, thoughts and routines that are automatic… we don’t need much conscious effort to do them because we have taught our brains for years that that is the right way to do things.
In recovery, we have to go against these brain pathways and form whole new neural connections in terms of our behaviours, eating patterns, how we think and feel about food and weight etc… This takes building new neural connections and then strengthening the new bonds so that they become stronger and more automatic than the old ones.
This is neural rewiring and it is hard, especially when we are older in years!
When we are rewiring the brain for any purpose, it takes immense concentration and effort as it is going against all that the brain knows…. It feels clunky and wrong and it is frustrating as we keep flipping back to the automatic disordered brain pathway that the brain finds easier to use…. But keep going and gradually, with enough repetition and action, the new behaviours and ways of thinking will allow us to become masters in recovery.
This video on YouTube is not about eating disorder recovery but is an excellent way to really highlight what happens in the process of using the neural plasticity of our brains to form new habits, new behaviours and new ways of working….
The video shows what it is like to learn a new skill (like recovery!) from the start when the brain literally says no, to perseverance and ultimate success to the point that the new way of working overrides the old!
I hope my sharing this might help you – it is quite fun and only about 7 minutes long so get comfortable and grab a snack….
… and in my next post, I will be sharing a model that can be used to assist brain rewiring for eating disorder recovery.