Just as life is constantly changing, the brain is constantly changing. It is through repetition that thinking patterns, and consequently behaviour patterns can be shifted, tweaked, changed or completely replaced with more positive empowering ones. Through repetition the brain rewires itself.
Science has proven the brain can rewire itself. This is fantastic news especially for anybody wishing to improve the quality of their life and engaging the support of a coach for this 'change' process. Making, and more importantly sustaining, any changes in thinking or in behaviour patterns, would be very difficult, if not impossible, without this scientific truth. Knowing this offers coaching clients not only motivation but also confidence to continue on the path to 'change', which sometimes can be a difficult one.
Neuroscience has shown the brain can be rewired
An assumption is a thought or conclusion drawn when someone says or does something. It is a reaction. You do not have the full picture or asked any questions yet to be able to make an informed decision. Conclusions are often based on assumptions which could be incorrect. They are not backed up by fact yet treated as the truth.
Assumptions have the potential to confuse a situation, and everyone involved. For example, silence or nodding does not always mean the person agrees. They could be simply acknowledging they heard you. They might not agree yet in that moment are not ready to comment.
You cannot know if what you are assuming is the truth unless you ask questions to get more information and clarification. Listen carefully and ask questions if you are not sure or need further information to form an opinion.
The brain is wired to keep you safe and fulfill your core needs such as nutrition, shelter, community, pleasure, reproduction, and emotional expression. This establishes an idea of where you are, who and what is around you, and where you might encounter danger. Also known as the ‘fight or flight mode’ which is essential in times of danger - it keeps you at the first level of awareness.
You don't need to sit still on a pillow to get many of the benefits of mindfulness, science shows.
I've probably written a dozen articles over the years about the benefits of mindfulness, how it impacts the brain, and how simple it is to get started with meditation. And yet I confess I have personally never managed to keep up a consistent meditation practice.
At least I know I'm not alone. Experts reassure struggling meditation newbies that just sitting still and breathing can be way harder than it first seems. And if that doesn't work to alleviate my guilt, then I also remember this post highlighting the wisdom of Wharton professor Adam Grant and author Oliver Burkeman, arguing there are many other ways to practice mindfulness aside from classic meditation.
You don't need to meditate to practice mindfulness. After being harassed for years by mindfulness's many boosters, Grant finally took to The New York Times to argue that meditation isn't for everyone. Many people, he explains, find other ways to quiet their brains, be in the present moment, and reduce their stress.
Burkeman concurred in the Guardian, writing "I have a personal theory that almost everyone secretly meditates, whether they realize it or not....almost everyone pursues some activity demanding absolute presence of mind: if not mountain climbing or sailing or bike racing (where a lapse of attention might mean death), then photography or singing or recreational cookery (where a lapse of attention means you'll screw things up)."
2. Resist unnecessary mental time travel
Here’s how I think about mental strength:
Mental strength is the ability to control your mind instead of being controlled by it.
So becoming mentally strong doesn’t mean you are able to exert complete control over everything that goes on between your ears.
Mental strength means understanding which parts of your mind you can control and being able to do it well when it matters.
Core values are personal to each individual . They can be described as your code of ethics, your fundamental principles, your standards, or personal rules. I like to refer to them as the bricks you build your foundation on. Knowing what you truly value in life, what makes you feel fulfilled and gives you a sense of meaning, connects you to your true self and is an important part of your personal development.
Core values are about YOU – not what society, the media, your education, your colleagues and friends or family deem as important, or of value, but what is important to you, what you value.
Stress tends to set in when you are not treating these values with the respect they deserve.
Not respecting your core values means you are not respecting your true self. In turn your self-esteem could suffer, which of course in turn de-creases the quality of your day-to-day life. When the feeling of being calm and peaceful is present, and the quality of day-to-day life is high, you feel good about yourself and who you are. Your self-esteem and self-worth benefit from this.
Caroline Myss, a five-time New York Times bestselling author and internationally renowned speaker in the fields of human consciousness and mysticism says: “Being able to speak and live with the truth, your truth, means you have to become comfortable with having your power, be comfortable with all that is true about you, all that is beautiful about yourself, this is being okay with yourself.”
Consider the Core Values Process I offer as a gift to yourself.
The focus can be on your life, your overall life which would include your career, your career alone or your leadership values (this is a great exercise to do as a new leader or to update your existing leadership skills aligning them with your personality). Get in touch.
by Suzie Doscher
Photo credit: Shutterstock
Mental resilience is the cornerstone of a successful life - but can you build it in yourself, your family and your team?
Crying every morning may sound like a terrible way to start the day, but for life coach Suzie Doscher, Class of 1974 (1970-74), tears are a vital safety valve – and a healthy response to a global pandemic. “When a friend asked me how I was coping with lockdown, I told her I regularly had a good cry,” she says. “I sometimes started the day feeling uneasy or unsure, but I know it’s important to deal with my emotions so I release them by having a cry. That is how I got myself to a place where both my feet were firmly on the ground, and then I knew that I could handle whatever came my way.”
Now, more than ever, our mental health matters. We live, work and study at breakneck speed, bombarded by choice. And with technology – and the recent lockdowns – creating an ‘always on’ environment, boundaries between life and work are increasingly blurred. Clearly, the ability to build our own mental resilience, in mentally healthy work and living spaces, is crucial.
None of this is news to Brigitte Eigenmann, Head of Human Resources at ZIS. “Our mental and physical health are connected,” she says. “That’s why we need to take mental health seriously.”
These are a sample of options you have when in need of some stress relief:
It is most import to ensure that any action you propose to take is in keeping with your personality and can be executed in a style that suits you.
by Suzie Doscher, Executive and Life Coach, Self-Help Author
Remind yourself that life is constantly changing,
Raise your self-awareness with this: