8 Thought-Provoking Quotes from Rewire

mindBelow are a handful of ideas I found share-worthy from psychotherapist Richard O’Connor’s book Rewire: Changing Your Brain to Break Bad Habits, Overcome Addictions, Conquer Self-Destructive Behavior.

I share his words in hopes of increasing awareness, inspiring consideration and impacting my readers efforts to create meaningful, lasting change:

How are your emotions impacting your life?

  • Emotions are hardwired, instinctual responses to stimuli, chemical events in your brain….Our emotions arise in the automatic [unconscious] self and may or may not come into consciousness. Even if not conscious, they affect our behavior. In the psych lab, subjects primed to think about elderly people walk more slowly after the experiment; those primed with anger-laden words are ruder to the experimenter; those primed to think about money are more selfish. (p. 17)
  • Whenever we’re trying not to feel our own feelings, we’re in trouble. (p. 57)
  • It has been found that in a depleted state we experience all our feelings more intensely – emotions, desires, pain, and pleasure. This, of course, is bad news for anyone trying to break an addiction [or any habit] – you have less self-control at the same time as your cravings are intensified. (p. 125)

How is your input impacting your output?

  • Whatever we pay attention to determines how our brain grows. (p. 172)
  • The more television you watch, the more you see people who seem richer than you. Research shows that you will then overestimate the income of real people, and underestimate the value of your own. So the more television you watch, the more dissatisfied with yourself you become.  (p. 184)
  • We’re bombarded with information….We’re making choices and decisions all the time….We’re forced to make many important choices with too little information. We know from lab research that people who are cognitively busy give in to temptation more easily, make superficial judgments, and make selfish choices. (p. 194)

What are you doing with your brain?

  • We know now that the brain does not merely store our experiences. Each experience changes the brain, the connections between the neurons and the neurons themselves, so that the brain becomes the experience. If we keep on engaging in self-destructive behavior, we develop a self-destructive brain. (p. 222)
  • Rewiring the brain to develop and reinforce healthier circuitry takes consistent practice, but that’s all it takes. In fact, in most life situations it’s not all that hard to see the right choice; we just are very good at finding ways to reject it. So you have to train your nervous system as you would train your muscles and reflexes, to make the right choice without thinking too much. (p. 242)

Armed with just these few insights from Rewire, what jumps out? What might you consider doing differently to develop new habits, break old ones and create lasting change?