Have you ever thought a problem had absolutely no solutions? Or that a situation was utterly unsolvable? Sometimes, we face difficult situations we cannot get out of or avoid. This is where a mindset change can provide answers we hadn’t even considered.
Why is it helpful to set a new mindset?
Setting a new mindset helps envisage goals differently and explore new ways of reading, analysing and acting upon situations in our everyday life, big or small. By changing the way our reads and reacts to a situation, we may diffuse stress. We all have triggers, identifying and addressing them by changing our approach towards the situation can help calm our response to stress. Training ourselves to face complex situations with greater ease develops our resilience.
Learning to turn perceived negatives into positives is a good trick to switch your brain from things looking bleak to brighter outcomes. Stanford professor Carol Dweck describes the growth mindset in these terms: “In a growth mindset, challenges are exciting rather than threatening. So rather than thinking, oh, I’m going to reveal my weakness, you say, wow, here’s a chance to grow.”
Changing your mindset, how does it work?
Did you know that the way we approach and examine our experience throughout life is malleable, scientifically speaking? This is called neuroplasticity. Indeed, our perception and reasoning rest upon our neuropathways made up of a network of neurons. The way our neurons interconnect can be changed once we set our minds to it, quite literally. Developing neuroplasticity helps keep an open mind, learn new things, stay curious.
Before science had confirmed the existence of neuroplasticity, we believed that our brains were hard-wired once we reached adulthood. Now we know that we can choose to shift our minds and the way it works. While it is certainly harder to change our habits and biases once they have been strongly established, with a few key tips and tools, it is not impossible. Since our brain essentially evolved from forming neuropathways naturally, to shift mindset we have to stimulate this process to set it in motion again. Neuroplasticity forms connections and “deletes” the ones that the brain perceives as no longer necessary. This means that we can support our mindset shifts through daily habits.
Here are two questions you can ask yourself to stimulate your mindset shift:
- What did you try hard at? How did you challenge yourself or your beliefs?
- What did you learn through this mistake or difficult situation?
Helpful Habit: Create your own positive affirmations
Start to shift your mindset by practicing this new habit every day. As mentioned above, habits are crucial to develop neuroplasticity, this requires conscious and constant attention and intention. Have you heard of the power of positive affirmations?
This exercise calls upon our ability to turn negatives into positives, or in other words address stresses in a positive and proactive manner.
- First, state your issue or negative feeling, for example: “I am worried about September, going back to school and work is very stressful.”
- Second, think about all of the similar situations you have overcome by your own means. State how you will overcome this situation: “I have all the necessary resources necessary to be organised and successful for this crucial time of the year.”
Now, adapt this process to any stress you may be feeling this month.
If this topic resonates with you then let’s discuss this further via an online call with Sandra, click here.