Our brains exhibit neuroplasticity: that is to say, they can change their hardwiring. Studies show that mindfulness creates functional and structural changes in the brain , and that these practices are helpful in depression, substance abuse, relationship conflicts, and disorders such as eating, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive—all of which arise out of ingrained patterns. When we practice being aware of the present moment and utilize the healing qualities of crystals, we become gently conscious of any negative thoughts and behaviours we habitually run.
Autopilot Versus Direct Experience
Many people are constantly on ‘autopilot,’ exhibiting habitual reactions ingrained by long experience. Being on autopilot can manifest as feeling ‘switched off’ and numb; it may lead to a focus on avoiding pain and repressing feelings—and even to addiction. Other people may be more aware but are still slaves to habits and expectations, stuck in a feedback loop of ‘this is how it has been and so it must be...’ This leaves no room for change. They may be lost in thought, constantly projecting into the future and hardly ever present. Neuroscience research by Norman Farb at the University of Toronto showed that operating in this way uses a specific neural network called the ‘default system’ or ‘narrative circuitry.’ This network relies on memories of how things have been to filter and interpret everyday experiences. It is routinely used for planning, strategizing and setting goals, but it doesn’t operate in real time, nor does it take in immediate sensory or new intellectual data.
The research also identified a more direct type of experience, one that is active, participatory, immediate and sensory based. Direct experience is mindful and can switch off the default system so that you become attentive to data being received in the present moment. Taking a mindful breath, or picking up your crystal, can switch on this direct experience, bringing you alive and into the moment. So if, for example, you are worried about an upcoming event and your mind is going crazy trying to cope, you can rapidly switch off the narrative circuitry that is running those thoughts. This applies to deeper ingrained programs such as habitual reactions, assumptions, addictions or compulsive thinking, too. By coming into the present moment, your body relays new information to your mind. You are no longer imprisoned by the past and flexibly respond to each new situation as it unfolds. Your brain chemistry and other physiological processes change to accommodate the sensations of the moment. You acquire the ability to shape your future.
These 7 crystals are perfect for switching off autopilot, tuning you into the present moment, and helping you manifest change.
See also10 Crystals to Tap for Creativity and Inspiration