In addition to launching a new streamlined website at https://gideonstrichmd.com/ I have recently begun offering mental fitness coaching using the Positive Intelligence© program. For more information about mental fitness please see my blog “What Is Mental Fitness?” If you are a science geek like I am, or if you are skeptical about the psychological research behind the Positive Intelligence© program you probably want to understand the biological reasons why it works.
The answer in a word is “neuroplasticity.” It used to be thought by the age of 10 to 15, all the neurons (brain cells) in the brain that were ever going to be there were already present and fully developed. In fact, all the anatomic structures of the adult brain are actually present before the age of two. How is it then that even into our 90s we are still able to learn new things and develop new skills? In the last 20 years scientists have found that even though relatively few new neurons are replaced, the connections and interconnections between the neurons are constantly changing which is the meaning of the word neuroplasticity.
If you’re still with me, the point of explaining this process is that every experience we have is picked up by our senses and they send electrical signals to different parts of the brain. These sensory experiences are stored in the brain by changes in the electrochemical circuits. Since we’re always having sensory experiences consciously or unconsciously, these electrochemical circuits are always changing. That is how neuroplasticity works and how memories are formed and stored.
Only a small amount of this sensory input is processed consciously. 99.99% is processed out of conscious awareness, as memories in what we call the “unconscious mind” or “subconscious mind.” It is this pattern of unconscious memories in the brain that form the “saboteurs,” that affect our thoughts, emotions and actions. When certain events trigger these unconscious saboteurs, our thoughts, emotions and even actions are out of our conscious control and may sabotage what we consciously desire.
When we train ourselves through Positive Intelligence to recognize these saboteur thoughts and emotions before we take action, we can make these unconscious patterns conscious by using 15 second mindfulness exercises we call PQ reps (like physical reps in the gym.) Then we have a choice about how to think about the events objectively (the Sage Perspective,) generate positive emotions (the Sage Powers) and take intentional actions that will have more positive results.
Of course, nothing about this process (other than the terminology) is new knowledge. It has been practiced for thousands of years in various spiritual traditions, and it works. What is new is the scientific knowledge that explains how it works and objective research which shows how well it works. Scientific research now shows that if we learn and practice new thought/emotion/action patterns we can intentionally form new electrochemical circuits in the brain through self-directed neuroplasticity. In other words, we can intentionally “rewire” our brain!
What makes the Positive Intelligence program so successful is that it recognizes that learning these new patterns is only 20% of the process. 80% of the process is installing the new patterns in the brain through practice and repetition. The Positive Intelligence app and peer support “pods” encourage and motivate people to practice for a long enough time that they start to see real world results. Then we start to see positive effects in our work, our relationships and our overall well-being. To find out more, please go to my website. If you’re interested in the program and want to talk to me, please contact me at https://gideonstrichmd.com/free-saboteur-assessment-call/ .