What Are Samskaras? Learn How They Impact Your Brain

Ashton August
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How many times have you driven to work and don’t even remember the drive? How often have you found yourself stuck in the same emotional response, even after you’ve become aware of your triggers? How many of us feel stuck in the rut of the same negative mindstates, unable to break the cycle?

We’ve all been there. We get to work and don’t recall a single detail of the drive. We vow not to snap at our partner, but the next time they irritate us, there we go again. We feel uninspired, lacking in creativity, but unable to find a way out.
 

“You create your thoughts, your thoughts create your intentions, and your intentions create your reality.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer

 
Why is it so common, and so hard to change? Why do we seem to slip into the same patterns, no matter how negative or self-defeating, despite knowing we should make a change? It’s called a pattern for a reason . . .
 

A Brief – Yet Fascinating – History Lesson

When the settlers first took their wagon caravans from the East Coast across the Great Plains, the oxen and horses that pulled those wagons and carts eventually wore grooves into the plains, the rocks, and terrain.
 

 
 
The more people that traveled these paths, the easier it became – the paths were worn deeper, more permanent, more engrained . . . There are still parts of the Oregon Trail where you can see these incredible grooves, at times worn directly into the rocks!

Through this analogy, we can gain an understanding of how samskaras are formed.
 
 

What Are Samskaras?

Samskaras work the same way in the brain. Just as a river eventually weaves grooves through the rocks it passes over, so too do our thoughts weave grooves in our brains.

Over time, repetitive thoughts weave grooves in our brains, making it easier for our minds to follow this established path over creating a new path. These grooves are samskaras.

Samskaras are these habitual thought-patterns, that over time and with repetition, weave grooves in the brain. Naturally, it becomes easier to slide into these predisposed and pre-arranged grooves than to create an entirely new one.
 

Samskaras are these habitual thought-patterns, that over time and with repetition, weave grooves in the brain.

 
Samskaras – the name and their meaning – can be easily remembered if you break it down by syllables: it almost sounds like “same scars” – our thought synapses and brain frequencies have an easier time going down that same old path than striking a new one. Same scars, same old ways of thinking.

Our thoughts are always creating grooves in our brain, and our thoughts are actively creating our reality. So the question becomes, are we using our thoughts to create the reality we seek, or are our thoughts not serving our highest potential?
 

 
 

Within Us Dwells a Living, Breathing Universe

Our brains are incredibly malleable.

When we think the same thing over and over again, we establish a mental habit. Every thought we have creates a synapse. These brain synapses fire countless times per second. This is the human condition of thought. It’s fascinating, and it goes deeper.

Within us dwells a living, breathing universe of thoughts, feelings, thought-feelings, associations, triggers, and beneath it all, potential – limitless potential.

When we think the same thing over and over again – I’m no good, I’m not creative, I’ll never accomplish xyz, we literally weave grooves in the brain. And with repetition, these grooves get worn in, and the same synapses carved deeper and deeper.
 

Your thoughts are like beacons that emit a certain frequency, and attract the same frequency back.

 
Like the universe, the mind is impartial. It simply responds to your thoughts.

Universe and mind alike – they don’t filter whether your thoughts are positive and serving you vs. harmful and not serving you – they simply respond to your requests.

And I say request intentionally because whether you want it or not, your thoughts are like beacons that emit a certain frequency, and attract the same frequency back.
 
 

Apply This Knowledge of Samskaras to Empower Your Reality

Think of samskaras and your understanding of them as a tool. When we comprehend how samskaras work, we are empowered to create the reality we want by the thoughts we think.

What if every time you recognized a tendency to react from a place of fear, resistance, or defensiveness, you could replace that tendency with conscious action? What if you were able to shift those negative thought patterns into empowering thought patterns that serve your highest good?

Next time you notice yourself going down the same path of reacting, negativity, fear, or self-doubt, try to shift the pattern. Sure, it’ll take effort, but with mindfulness and repetition, you can weave new and positive grooves in the brain.

As Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “You create your thoughts, your thoughts create your intentions, and your intentions create your reality.” Imagine positive samskaras of peace, self-love, empowerment, and openness.

That, my friends, is the positive potential of samskaras. And establishing habitual thought-patterns of positivity is the ultimate path to empowering your life and creating the reality that you seek. You have the power!

Ready to dive deeper? Read: Samskaras Can Change Your Brain for the Better: Here’s How
 

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Ashton August

Ashton is the founder and Editorial Director of YogiApproved.com. She is also a yoga instructor, motivational speaker, and author of the 30-day personal growth workbook, Learn Grow Shift (available on YogiApproved and Amazon). You can practice online yoga with her on YA Classes and connect with her on social!

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