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March 26, 2009 - Image 64

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2009-03-26

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your car out of the rut
might be scary, and it

feels safer to just stay
where you are.










sof :




Well, our minds oper-

ate much like the drivers
on this road. Every recur-


rent thought or emotion,
response, reaction and

pattern of behavior cre-

. .-

ates ruts, technically
known as neural path-
ways. Many of these neural path-

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passing car makes the ruts

deeper, making it almost impos-
sible to drive between

fact, the thought of turn-
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magine that you are driving on

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March 26 2009

to stay in bed or that

they can take today off
or that they've never
been successful in the

past and won't be now. However,
if they actively push back against

this resistance, tying on their ath-

ruts that you are in. Once you rec-

as automatic and yet do not serve
our best interests. These pathways

ognize them, you can take active
steps to counter the thoughts or

keep us stuck in unwanted ways
and get in the way of our ability to

emotions that kept you stuck in
your previous patterns. Don't be

create positive, healthy change in

surprised by the resistance you
encounter and remind yourself that

any tension or stress you feel is

ing patterns. Do you begin your
meals at home with a buttered

the old pathways speaking.
Remembering that it takes time

piece of bread or roll? Probably
not. Yet, many people reach for

to create new, more desirable neu-

dance with our desires we begin to


feelings that suggest
that it would be better

The first step toward positive
change is recognizing any negative

than previously thought. Each time
we chose a thought, emotion or
behavior that is more in accor-

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ence resistance in the
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do them.

ence is showing us that our neural
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to feel stronger, lose

they have become automatic and
it would be uncomfortable not to

ordered a full meal.
This rut — see bread basket,
eat bread — adds 100-200 empty
calories to your meal. If repeated


to begin exercising
regularly, perhaps

to disappear and the new behavior

bread even though they have

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programs. They make
a conscious choice

these things but with repetition

the ubiquitous bread basket deliv-
ered to the table at a restaurant
and devour a piece of buttered

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op lifelong exercise

belts or stopping at a red light.
Or course, we all had to learn

our lives.
Take an example related to eat-

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forcing these new pathways, the
old ones begin to disappear.
That is how many people devel-

letic shoes and heading out, over
time the pathways that kept them
from exercising in the past begin

However, many of our thoughts,
emotions and behaviors are just

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create and then deepen desirable
new pathways. As we keep rein-

ral pathways, you can feel good
each time you take the desired

action until one day you find the
resistance is gone and you've
changed in the way you desired.

Know that each time you make a
healthier choice it becomes easier
to make the next choice a healthy

one, too, until unhealthy choices
become a thing of the past. 11

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