by Victoria Vigil, MPH COPE Certified Health Coach
NASA did an experiment years ago where they made goggles for astronauts that flipped their vision upside down. They wore these goggles 24/7, even when they slept. Hence, they saw everything upside down 24/7. The interesting part of the story is that about 26 days later, the astronauts starting seeing things right up side up again! The goggles hadn’t changed, but suddenly everything was right side up again. So what happened? The brains of the astronauts actually created new pathways. In other words, they rewired themselves!
The experiment didn’t end there though. They tried the same thing again only allowing the goggles to come off for short periods of time. THIS time the neural adaptation did NOT happen! In other words, it took almost a month of CONSISTENT new input for the brain to adapt and make it the new norm.
You’re probably wondering what this has to do with you, right? While you are working toward getting healthy, you are training your brain to form new pathways. Just like the astronauts vision didn’t revert if they took short breaks away from the goggles, our habits will not change unless we stay consistent for at least a month. (The longer we stay consistent, the deeper those pathways become also.)
This is at the core of any behavior change. I’m not saying you can’t get back on track if you fall off, but as with any new pathway we are trying to form, the month will pass more quickly if we quit having to start over.
It is never to late to work on your health goals. If you or someone you know could use some healthy neural adaptation, let’s get started now! I’m here to help.
Victoria Vigil, MPH
Health Educator and Certified Health Coach
Let me help you discover your Optimal Health!