Kristina's Journey: Self-Directed Neuroplasticity and Healing the Emotional Body

kristina's journey May 20, 2024

The Consciously Open diaries with Kristina Todorova, Founder, The Co-created Hub 

Over the weekend, I had one of my mental health episodes where I spent the day in bed, in my head. The same negative thoughts led to the same emotional loop I felt I just could not break. The truth is - I wasn't really trying to break it - I let myself feel it all and I just laid there, letting my body experience the emotions. For those of you who are new to this part of the blog and unfamiliar with my story and journey (you can read a snippet of it here), I experience something called "depressive disorder" (that's how my GP has described it) and every so often when I am under a lot of pressure in my business or personal life, the mental loop comes back. Healing from depression is a journey and having an awareness of the triggering thoughts and experiences helps us to better cope with those "episodes" where we feel so down and deflated that we cannot leave bed or even have a bite. Having been on this healing journey for more than a year now, I kept wondering - "will I always enter the same loop when faced with triggers that open old wounds? Why is it so difficult to just react differently? ". Then I found my answer - neuroplasticity.

If you are new to neuroplasticity, this is what this term means:  "the ability of the brain to form new connections and reorganize itself as a reaction to new experiences or information." (the Cambridge Dictionary). Self-directed neuroplasticity, in particular, was what caught my attention; a concept first introduced by researcher Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz and further popularised by psychologist Rick Hanson, which involves being conscious of your thoughts and intentionally rewiring your brain for new neural pathways to be created. I had already written some of the recurring thoughts and was aware of what they were but feeling the emotions in my body wasn't making it easier for me to just "think positive" and rewire these neural pathways immediately (I wish I could and if I'm to master this skill, you will be the first to know, I promise). 

Today, I am writing this piece because I wanted to speak about the importance of not judging yourself when you hit such low points; especially if you've been trying to heal as your very brain isn't doing you a favour when certain well-practised thoughts have been fired and wired as neurons. So how do you change your brain and leave the depression zone? There's one more piece of research I want to share before I describe the steps I use to deal with low states.

We've already looked at how we are wired biologically and how that impacts our recovery journey, now let's look at things from a consciousness perspective. A study conducted by  Dr. David R. Hawkins and the Institute of Noetic Sciences showed the existence of an energy field, often referred to as "the consciousness field" which is composed of different emotions. By using a tool called Applied Kinesiology, Dr. Hawkins developed a scale that assigned frequency values to emotional states, with emotions such as grief vibrating at the frequency of 75 and joy at the frequency of 540. He called it the Map of Consciousness. Based on these findings, researchers have been studying the therapeutic potential of using emotional energy as a healing tool. I can only speak about my personal experience and this is exactly why, I want to share a few steps that I use to bounce back when I find myself hitting the bottom emotionally. 

Step 1: Adopt the role of an observer and involve conscious breathing to start to shift the emotion

As a clairsentient and clairvoyant by nature (I need to write another article on how hard I fought these gifts!), I am aware a part of my Self is made of energy and, as we all know from physics, energy is in constant motion. 

When I get so caught up in feeling heavy emotions, I lie down and remind myself: "I am not the body and I am not the mind; I am energy." Therefore, the heaviness I am feeling is a frequency wave moving through my body so the more mental energy (thoughts) I attach to it, the more I am intensifying the energy. So I pause and focus on my breathing, directing my attention, through my breath, to the part of my body where I am feeling the emotion. If you can bear the sensation while you are doing this exercise (the moment you start to breathe into it, it becomes more vivid to feel), within a few minutes, you will notice that the heaviness will start to dissolve and you will start to feel relief.  

Step 2: Meditate

I then go into a breath-focused meditation to begin to silence the mind which, in turn, helps to gain control of the narrative my mind is creating. A quiet mind is like a garden where you can plant thoughts intentionally, using self-directed neuroplasticity. 

If I feel exhausted from the exercise described in Step 1, I just give it a good cry to continue to release and take a nap. Then, I do Step 2 on the same or the following day. Even if I am busy and on a hectic schedule, I prioritise Step 2 even if it is just for 15-20 minutes.

Step 3: Make a conscious choice of a self-empowering perspective

Having calmed down and cleared some of the negative chatter through meditation, I then ask myself how I want to be looking at certain situations and triggers even if I feel justified in my emotional response to these triggers. I try to understand the lesson or find something that I could use from the experience to grow and not repeat the same patterns.

Final Thoughts

Practice makes perfect. Through self-awareness, we can rewire the brain and utilise our understanding of the energetic nature of the emotional body to advance in our healing journey and, in time, create new ways of looking at the triggers and challenges we face. So that we can better cope with and shift the emotional reactions that feel hard and heavy to experience.

The most challenging part for me has been unlearning the mental interpretation I assign to events that trigger familiar emotional reactions. I will continue to share what I am learning on my journey in life and business so if you enjoyed reading this article, I invite you to sign up for our bi-weekly email series and receive our articles directly into your inbox. Apart from my self-reflection articles, we also share tips from different experts in the business and wellness space, and startup stories from some of our members. Also, at the bottom of each email, we share our Speakers' Directory page where you will find free resources and services that you can utilise (energy healing, masterclasses, business resources) to help you navigate the entrepreneurial path more holistically, for ultimate fulfilment and success. 

I will end this article with the following quote:

"Everything changes when you start to emit your own frequency other than absorbing the frequencies around you. When you start imprinting your intent on the Universe rather than receiving an imprint from existence." - Sati Dhamma


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