The Neuroplasticity Alchemy When We Communicate
Making sense of what we communicate
When we talk what happens? Do we let words come out of our mouth that combined simply convey a message to others on the receiving end? Does it happen like that? Try now by thinking of something you want to say, find the basic words to say it and say just the words together to simply convey the message. Here is an example. I want to tell someone that I feel I like being with them, I say this in a monotone voice with minimal body language and the message I give does what? Well it probably has little of the impact I want it too but it also may get completely misconstrued. The misconstrued part has a lot to do with the other persons need to make sense of anything and it's true that our own brains need to find meaning. If it does not make sense we will discount, distort, elaborate until it has meaning.
How We Communicate What We Feel
So when we talk or communicate it's good when we can find expression in our voice, use colourful expressive metaphors to convey clearly what we wish to say. And if we can't find those words we can say it with our body, our eyes, our smile, our tears. When we communicate, really communicate, maybe not so much through things like texting, but through our true selves we feel ourselves and those around us. When we genuinely connect, talk from our true self, our heart we have the opportunity to do a lot. We impact our environment and those around us in a way that we wish to at that moment in time. We may wish to do many things. We may wish to convey anger and hatred to someone or love and kindness but either way we get it out, we are heard, we express our feelings we connect with our feelings and we are felt by others, there is some big healing just in this.
The Alchemy Of Our Grey Matter
However is there more happening beneath the surface? Well maybe the magic of communication is truly having an alchemical impact on our grey matter.
Neuroplasticity is a term used to refer to the brains ability to adapt and learn from itself. Over time our brain will make the most of what it experiences and form new neural pathways to optimise its ability to deal with your very personal life and experiences. Through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) it has been discovered that our brain when using language relies on the interplay between multiple neural pathways (Mehl Madrona and Mainguy, Remapping Your Mind, p35). This is a dynamic process, like a little dance that happens within your grey matter. As the dance goes on the steps between one part of our brain to another part of the brain become more familiar and easier, new pathways are formed and hey presto! Brain alchemy has happened. Complexity theory (Schore, Hill, Affect Regulation Theory, p50) provides a clear representation of how the brain works in relation to experiences. The brain contains billions of neurones. These neurones combine to form neural paths or networks and then from this combination modules are formed, providing different functions such as face recognition from a face recognition module. These modules then combine to form bigger subsystems within the brain so using the example of a face recognition module, this module may then combine to form part of a mode that relates to a broader capacity such as recognition generally. Each subsystem forms part of another wider system and it goes on and on. When we communicate, whether by words, body language or even our silence our grey matter is doing a dynamic dance within us that changes things, changes our lives subtly overtime as each neural pathway gets reinforced in accordance to how we have communicated and then experienced that communication in relation to the world around us. So next time you express yourself through communication take note of what you sense and feel with it. Pop inside your head for a moment and visualise your own very unique neural pathways being sculpted out in your brain. And if you want your life to be rich with deeper more meaningful experiences allow yourself to be open to them and know that your grey matter is getting better each time you push yourself, trust others a bit more, to let yourself experience more deeply. Know that each time you do this a little bit more of that neural pathway that you want to develop in your brain is slowly but surely being sculpted out.