3 Powerful and Effective Practices to Rewire the Brain

The year 2020 will remain indelibly etched in people’s minds as an annus horribilis for many years and perhaps generations to come. Effective practices to rewire the brain allows us from being stuck or moving further down the spiral trend.

At the start of a new decade, many of us came in fresh from the holidays with big plans, ready to take on the world. It would have been a year of growth and expansion, setting the bar high to begin and manifest goals and dreams. Yet, Mother Nature had other plans.

In the midst of this silent war, many battled with loss, uncertainty, and intensely difficult emotions. Because of this large-scale shared experience, the tendency to spiral downwards towards despair and loss of hope increases.

In times like this, one’s faith, inner strength and resilience reveals the stuff we are made of. It can bring out the best or the worst in us. A conscious being chooses best. Just keep going. Even when we trip or fall on our face. Pause, then keep moving forward. Feel the emotion as needed. Oftentimes, a good cry aids in release and relieves.

Then remember your True Self: Love, Peace, Calm, and Bliss.

They say the most beautiful souls emerge from the most difficult and painful moments.

Transcendence Begins with Conscious Practices

Overcoming the most challenging situations requires a great deal of will and effort. Bring in more sattva guna into your home. Choose activities that make you feel creative, happy, and content. Surround yourself with encouragement and support. Above all, pray.

Aside from the ready-made formulas handed by religion, prayer also consists of conscious observance of thoughts and emotions. Modern psychology calls this practice mindfulness. This means disallowing the mind and emotions to run wild. The most powerful of prayers are born of your own heart, your own words, ignited by the flame of your intentions and will.

According to Ayurveda, the sensitive mind easily gets disturbed, influenced, excited, and distracted. Therefore, guarding the mind and developing the buddhi (higher intelligence) becomes crucial at the worst of times.

Here we have three powerful prayer practices to work with. I invite you to practice one or all of these daily and listen to your own experience. Begin with the easiest and work your way towards all three to realize maximum benefits.


“Count your blessings instead of sheep.” We can teach children this simple and easy practice in their formative years to develop into a great habit.

Being thankful allows us to recognize the many gifts we have been blessed with in this lifetime. We develop a mindset of abundance and acceptance when we acknowledge and appreciate our blessings.

Start the day by thinking of three different things to be thankful for upon waking before and getting out of bed. Begin with simple and basic things. For example: being blessed with a home, your safety, your family’s health, and daily meals. You might wish to thank the Divine for each relationship you can still nurture or repair. Living in a safe country where you are free to practice your beliefs and express yourself without fear. Being able to work and get by.

You will never run out of things to be grateful for. You can go into the details of each blessing the following days. Later on, you can combine the gratitude practice with bigger intentions:

Thanking God for the protection and healing of those who are in war-torn countries. Shining grace, light, and love on those who unknowingly harm and cause suffering to others. Expanding gratefulness for the upliftment of all beings in all realms.

In the evening before going to sleep, reflect on the same three things you are grateful for that day. Express immense thankfulness for each of them from the heart.

A loving way to express gratitude is to send a family member and a friend a list of all the things you appreciate about them. This will certainly brighten their day and will have lasting, positive effects on your relationship.

When faced with loss, we can be grateful for the experience and opportunity to grow in wisdom.

Consciously looking for things to be grateful for everyday increases neural sensitivity in the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC). This part of the brain is associated with executive functions such as attention, learning, and decision making. Over time, strengthening the PFC enhances one’s ability to modulate information, solve problems, respond to stressors with awareness, and planning.

At the same time, the brain releases dopamine and serotonin with every thankfulness expressed. These feel-good neurotransmitters relieve stress and pain, and make us feel more positive and happy. Studies show that gratitude practice decreases the tendency towards depression. By focusing on the positive, the brain effectively begins the cycle of looking for more to be grateful for.


Mantra comes from the Sanskrit root words manas (mind) and tra (to protect or to expand). With mantra, we consciously utilize powerful sound vibrations to protect and expand the mind, and release its vibrational energy.

Chanting mantra stimulates and awakens dormant parts of the brain, distributing the sound vibrations into the parasympathetic nervous system. This, in turn, calms the mind and reduces stress, the heart rate and blood pressure. It increases self-awareness, focus, and relaxation.

An ancient practice, mantra consists of Sanskrit syllables and sound vowels. This gift from ancient rishis whose deep, meditative states transcended time and space, revealed these cosmic sounds. A branch of yoga called mantra yoga encompasses all knowledge on the science of vibration and effects of sound energy.

Traditionally, a guru or teacher initiated the student into a mantra. To produce its desired effect, the mantra has to be chanted in a very specific meter and pronunciation. Over time, repeated chanting of mantra with intense devotion awakens its mantra shakti.

As a protective tool of etheric quality, mantras purify and cleanse the grosser elements of air, fire, water, and earth. We can chant mantra internally or silently with prayers of gratitude before taking in food and water. Mantra can be used to redirect our attention to our focal point and silence the mind during meditation. We can also chant mantra loudly to purify the environment around us.

One easy universal mantra we can work with is Aum, often spelled as Om.

Before matter, there was sound, and that sound was Aum.

The Pranava mantra (original sound) recognized as the Word of God, can be found in every religious faith. Christians, Egyptians, Greeks, Jews and Romans say Amen, Muslims have Ameen, Tibetans use Hum, and for the Celts Ogham.

This sacred syllable is revered as the code of the Universe, wherein all sounds, mantras, and creation manifests. Aum vibrates its sound energy at the beginning of creation, continues on throughout its expansion, and remains at dissolution.

In a quiet space, try chanting Aum repeatedly for at least 10 minutes and let its effects speak directly to you.


As a seated practice, many might find this the most challenging of all, but the rewards are simply beyond words!

Different techniques have proliferated throughout the 20th century and numerous research have been done to study its effects on the brain and a person’s well-being.

Here we will focus succinctly on its most important and profound effect beyond the brain.

The Amrita Bindu Upanishad speaks of the mind as the cause of one’s freedom or bondage. A pure mind rests in being, free from desire and attachments. The impure mind seeks outward, sensory objects leading to more desire, attachments, and suffering.

A transformative practice, meditation purifies the mind. Through the practice of meditation, one realizes the highest truth: “I Am That,” revealing to us our True Nature, our natural state, that which is Pure Consciousness.

In this silent practice where our Hearts speak in the language of God, our True Self emerges: that we are one with God, with everyone, and everything.

Hari Om Tat Sat.

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2 thoughts on “3 Powerful and Effective Practices to Rewire the Brain”

  1. I really enjoyed the way you explained how to apply these three practices and also their potential benefits. And from my personal experience, my meditation and gratitude practices have a very positive effect on my mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing.

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