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  • Gary Probst

Paring Down the Negative

Synapse Paring

Have you ever wondered why you can’t remember your high school algebra? Have you been astonished at how much of that junior year Spanish you can’t recall?

Don’t be surprised. If you don’t use it, you lose it. That’s how the brain protects itself from overload. It is called Synapse Paring and it can work to your advantage with mental health.

Your brain, from birth, begins to develop neural connections known as synapse. The brain uses proteins and fats to develop actual thread-like connections that are pathways for neurons. Your brain, like a set of knitting needles, develops a set of patterns and mosaics of beliefs and reactions, based on your synapse development. This explains PTSD, as the highly-fearful event prompted the brain of the abuse and violence victim, or the person who was forced to use violence, to build neural connections of hypervigilance.

If you were raised in a negative environment, you have negative neural synapse issues. Those are developed by the brain to protect the body, the ultimate goal of any human reaction. If you are out of the dangerous situation (physical , mental or emotional), you can begin to repair your brain by building positive neural connections. As you build the positive, the brain relies less upon the negative. Over time, with practice and patience, you can allow your brain to begin the paring process on the negative synapse bundles.

Use it or lose it and---in this case, you want to lose it!

However, have you noticed that you still retain enough of that high school Spanish to ask for directions or understand part of a menu? It is not completely gone. The connections for the language have been pared but not entirely. The root remains. Such will be the case for negativity. It can be easily revived with new negativity. This is why bombardment of positive thought is so very important.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy relies upon paring of the negative synapse system to allow the positive to build and overwhelm. It is a bit of a battle but it can be won. Through talk therapy, sometimes made more effective by using antidepressants to rebuild Serotonin levels and combat negative changes in the brain’s chemistry, you can and will “change your brain”.

Let’s start the pruning process, together. Out with the bad, in with the good! Let the paring begin!

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