Even though your brain has endured trauma, we can develop a plan to revitalize your brain – forming and stimulating new neural pathways.
The grey matter in our brains is something we can take for granted or even forget is there. But it’s so important. The grey matter is where neurons live and transmit signals. In fact, just three pounds of grey matter consume around 20 percent of your body’s total energy and oxygen intake. That’s huge!
Inside of our brain is the insular cortex. This is the part of the brain that processes emotions, including our ability to have empathy and compassion for others. When our brain endures trauma, this part of the brain can get impacted, impairing our capacity to process these emotions. Certain addictions can intensify this impairment, and the cycle can get worse and worse.
Fortunately, our brains can adapt. Just as it was reshaped by the traumatic event, your brain and body can be retrained to function normally post-trauma so you can have genuine relationships and feel like you’re supposed to feel. This is because of neuroplasticity, or brain plasticity, which is the ability for the brain to continue changing throughout a person’s life.
When we befriend our sympathetic nervous system (fight, flight, freeze, or collapse response) and attune to our parasympathetic nervous system, we are able to send comforting signals to the body that we are safe. Once we learn self-regulation skills, we can then connect with ourselves and others, and the grey matter in our brain can bloom and flourish. Simple as that!