It has been said that what we know about the brain only encompasses approximately 10% of what our brains are fully capable of. There is no question that our brain is capable of performing a small number of countless acts every second of every day. To fully understand each of these millions of countless acts in any given day is next to impossible.
That being said, one of the few things that we do know about the human brain is that it is very plastic in nature. The term for this is neuroplasticity, and the plasticity of the human brain is a remarkable thing. No longer can we accept the fact that our brain is a fixed organ, as even in adulthood, our brain is capable of making connections and strengthening itself for better overall human function.
When it comes to the treatment of anxiety disorders, this is particularly important, because neuroplasticity refers to the reorganization of the brain’s neural connections as a response to new stimuli or circumstances. What this means is that therapists can work with an individual to provide new stimuli and new experiences to the brain in the hopes that these neural connections will be strengthened, and negative thought processes can be treated.
Because many anxiety disorders are the result of faulty thought processes and distorted thinking, neuroplasticity exercises will work to strengthen the connections of the brain’s cognitive processes and ultimately eliminate these distorted thoughts. This is exciting news for those suffering from anxiety disorders such as Social Anxiety Disorder, as we now know that an individual can change these thoughts and distorted cognitions by allowing us to consciously manage our neural connections in a dynamic process. For anybody that suffers from Social Anxiety Disorders or any anxiety disorders with faulty thought processes and fears as their base, this is a kind of hope that has never been offered.
Living with Social Anxiety or any anxiety disorder for that matter is a paralyzing experience for the individual. Every day they are torn with fears and thoughts that debilitate their daily living, and prevents them from fully experiencing a high quality of life. If neuroplasticity exercises can be used to retrain these thought processes, and strengthen the flow of positive cognitions, then this hope for Social Anxiety sufferers is the kind of hope they need to believe that their lives will not be paralyzing for forever. For someone suffering from anxiety disorders, this kind of hope is a gift that is priceless.