Reframing’s ability to “rewire” students’ minds

The principles of neuroplasticity can be used by educators to encourage students to start taking risks.

The brain and nervous system’s remarkable ability to change and adapt to our individual worlds is one of its remarkable characteristics. With awareness, intention, and practice, we can strengthen the connections between neurons, resulting in enhanced performance and well-being.

Our neural roadways, also known as networks, activate, and the connections that exist between neurons send signals to the emotional limbic brain, which in turn sends hormone signals to cells’ receptor sites. These messages or emotional signals, on the other hand, send signals to the genes that make new proteins. Proteins, on the other hand, are the manifestations of life that contribute to our health.

These insignificant occurrences that we observe on a daily basis have the potential to accumulate into thought patterns that begin to reframe a challenging day or experience.

Reframing’s ability to “rewire” students’ minds

The discovery that each brain’s architecture is distinct is prompted by the idea that the brain is “self-changing,” meaning that it organizes, disorganizes, and reorganizes based on experiences. Dr. Dan Siegel, an adolescent brain psychiatrist and author, asserts that humans have the power to shape and reshape the firing patterns and architecture of the brain because they can direct their own attention (focal attention), influencing the developmental processes of parenting, education, and psychotherapy. By deliberately focusing, we can strengthen and integrate these neural circuits, just as we are able to focus on various muscle groups through physical exercise. We can also stimulate the firing patterns of specific neuron connections in specific brain regions by focusing on them.

Plasticity is hard to define because it has both positive and negative effects on how our experiences and attention create neural networks.


During these times of unpredictability and elevated emotional states, how can we consistently support ourselves and our students? We can begin by becoming aware of our feelings and sensations and paying attention to them. By demonstrating this awareness to our young people, we can confirm our current position. We can select an improved perspective or thought once we are aware and feel validated.

For these reframing techniques to work, everyone will need to give each other honest feedback and help. We’ll need to be patient and deliberate.

We must be able to regulate our own state in order to receive education. Preparing our nervous systems for the mental and cognitive tasks required for learning, academic growth, and social and emotional development at any age is better for our students. “The human body is also equipped with an innate physiological resilience system, which is our autonomic nervous system,” Dr. Arielle Schwartz writes. Your body has more wisdom than your deepest philosophy. We can begin to reshape our autonomic nervous system by listening to our sensations, which are the body’s language, with great appreciation when we learn to partner with it.

Everything that we perceive, feel, think, and are is driven by our nervous system! It stores our past, and when we go through traumatic events in our lives, our nervous system reorganizes and puts protecting ourselves first. When activated for prolonged periods of time to produce an overactivation of stress hormones, this automatic survival response, which is ingrained in our biology, can result in a persistent disruption of body and brain regulation. As was mentioned earlier, this is by default neuroplasticity.

Habits are part of who we are. When we think, our brains go through biochemical reactions that send signals to the body, and our bodies start to feel like we were thinking. We can unconsciously think thoughts that make us feel, and we can also feel our way into similar thoughts that make us think and feel the same way all the time. Our routines, thoughts, and feelings automatically recycle without our conscious effort, resulting in the same choices and actions.

There are between 86 and 100 billion neurons in our brains. Our cells exchange information at the synapses between those neurons. Remembering that learning will strengthen existing connections is necessary if learning creates new connections. Neurotransmitters, a collection of neurochemicals that are responsible for evoking emotions, are produced by our thoughts as our brains undergo these structural changes. Neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin are two that you may be familiar with. We can stimulate the production of these neurotransmitters when we envision a relaxing location filled with our favorite sights, sounds, tastes, and people, or when we look forward to a vacation or weekend get-together. Our feelings are influenced by our thoughts, and those feelings are influenced by thoughts that are related to them. As this happens, our neurons continue to fire along the same pathways, strengthening the connection between the cells so that their signal becomes stronger with repeated activation.

When neuroplasticity is defined as the chemical, structural, and functional changes that occur as a result of learning, neuroscientist Dr. Lara Boyd refers to these changes in the brain. Our brains are firing and activating the same neural circuits in the same patterns and sequences when we are thinking the same thoughts and feeling the same way.

Many of us have tried for weeks, months, or even longer to break patterns of thinking, feeling, or acting that we found almost impossible to break. Promises and goals are made at the beginning of the year, but by February, many of us are back to our routine ways of being, acting, and feeling. This is not due to a lack of willpower; rather, it is because our nervous systems require recurring, patterned experiences over time. Our brains and nervous systems may enter states of survival when we begin to think and feel differently and engage in novel behaviors. As a result, we frequently abandon unfamiliar and uncomfortable new habits. As we move through these rivers of change, we feel more powerful and confident once we comprehend that the biological and chemical changes in our nervous system are causing this discomfort.

Neuroplasticity can be generated by thinking outside the box. Because our mind is the brain in action, when our brains change, so do our minds. Through the use-dependent principle of neuroplasticity, our brains grow and change as we use them. Connections or synapses that we no longer require or use are removed from our brains, while new connections are created when we learn something new. Our brains are set up to reflect everything we know, and we use this past knowledge to predict what will happen next. Since we keep track of the trillions and trillions of neurons that have interacted with one another throughout our lives, change can therefore be extremely challenging. Our memories of our previous experiences have been formed by the intricate neural networks that have activated throughout our existence, and if we do not make deliberate adjustments or shifts, we will become communities and individuals who are stuck in the past.


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