By Lisa Miller
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them — Albert Einstein …this is where cognitive restructuring and brain training tools come in.”
So much has been written about how 2020 and 2021 changed our thinking and our way of life. We all have experienced struggles within the last two years: being sick, loved ones getting sick, friends and family dying, losing jobs, working from home, teaching children from home. Everyone has experienced some sort of change.
But what has happened to our brains over the last few years? We weren’t prepared to have such an abrupt shift in how we do things and how we think. But now the question is: How can we adjust our mindset to be healthier today?
According to Michelle Anne, renowned Neuroscientist and Executive Coach, “when under stress (which is unconscious) we can not change our mindset. We have to feel safe and supportive – quite honestly – loved in order for the brain to be rewired in the direction of our choosing” The first thing we need to do is to slow down. This in short relaxes the brain, which increases blood flow to the brain. We can actually feel the shift in our body when we stop and just be quiet for 2-5 minutes.
Five things you can do to create a positive mind set and build a healthier brain:
1. You are what you think!
Stop the negative self-talk and choose different thoughts, put a more positive spin on it, find the silver lining or reframe things. This helps to create your new reality.
2. Stress is the #1 derailer ☹
Relax, give yourself permission to go to bed early, take a day off, say “no”. Put less on your to do list. This will make your mindset more positive, stimulating dopamine and serotonin! These make you happy and mentally stable!!
3. Smile ☺
Positive emotions lead to broadened cognitive states (Barbara Frederickson 2005). Positive emotions (facially expressed) are contagious! Actually, there is something to the rose colored glasses thing. Science shows it actually works.
4. Absorb yourself
Focus your attention on a state of absorption. In other words, really get into what you are doing. This stimulates relaxation… which leads to a positive outlook.
Choosing what you want in life and then creating a plan with milestones to achieve this activates the prefrontal cortex. This gets you out of the emotional state and the repetitive negative self-talk and into action state…doing, which is empowering. (Michelle Anne)
Bottom line, there are proven ways to relax your mind. It makes you smarter, healthier and happier. Make it a priority. Take steps every day to breathe deeply and SMILE ☺
*Michelle Anne is Harvard trained in Neuroscience and Leadership. A Forbes Coach who studied with one of the most revered saints in India, is a guru in yogic philosophy and a Diplomat at the American Institute of Stress. Her undergraduate work was at Parsons School of Design and Miami University. She is a known as “The Brain Trainer” by CNN, NBC and Forbes. Check out her BrainGYM. It includes weekly classes to help you rewire your brain and your life! Her book, “F*CK THAT: The Subtle Art of Redesigning Your Brain and Your Life”, is due out Q3 2022.
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