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7 Steps to Improve your Mindset - Part 1


Neuron firing

Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to change; it allows the brain to rewire with new information naturally. What most are unaware of is that everyone can influence the way the brain rewires. Rewiring your brain to be more positive requires conscious effort, patience, and commitment.

To notice positive results in your way of experiencing life, you must put in some effort and be patient until these become natural habits.


Our brains renew themselves throughout life

to an extent previously thought not possible.

Michael Gazzaniga


Improving Your Mindset and Wellbeing

Our brain tends to focus on negativity rather than positivity, which is evident in how we’re drawn more to negative news than positive ones. This is called negativity bias, and from an evolutionary perspective, the brain has developed this higher sensitivity to potential threats to ensure survival. Therefore, negativity bias is deeply ingrained in the brain, and positivity must be introduced intentionally.

Positive Self-Talk

The first step is to observe how we talk to ourselves. When the inner voice criticises decisions or reminds us how incapable we are, it's your job to take action and avoid letting your thoughts wander down that path. There’s no need to fight negative thinking. Pay attention and introduce positive statements whenever you notice your inner voice being harsh on you. Over time, your negative thinking will fade away. Begin to change your internal voice by talking positively to yourself. Talk to yourself like you would a good friend.

Examples:

  • I give myself permission to change my mind.

  • Attempting to do this took courage, and I’m proud of myself for trying.

  • I love and accept myself just as I am.

  • Fear is only a feeling; it cannot hold me back.

  • I forgive myself for past mistakes.

  • Even if the outcome wasn’t like I had hoped for, I learned something new about myself.

  • I deserve happiness.

  • I still have a long way to go, but I’m proud of how far I have come.

  • I trust myself.

  • I can learn from my past and grow as a person.

Love yourself

Where attention goes, neural firing flows, and neural connection grows.

Daniel J. Siegel


Introducing Self-Compassion

Self-compassion is related to positive self-talk but goes deeper than words. Compassionate people are sensitive to others’ challenges, connect with their pain, and offer their presence to soothe their suffering. Self-compassion is about directing that same compassion and love toward yourself. Like compassion, self-compassion is non-judgmental and unconditional. Therefore, whether one suffers from poor choices or external factors does not matter; everyone deserves compassion for their pain and caring support to overcome their challenges.

The Three Aspects of Self-Compassion

  • Mindfulness: awareness of what is.

  • Common-humanity: knowing we are not alone.

  • Self-kindness: providing unconditional self-comfort.

Self-Compassion Positively Affects

  • Optimism

  • Wisdom

  • Personal initiative

  • Curiosity and exploration

  • Agreeableness

  • Extroversion

self-compassion

Being human is not about being any one particular way;

it is about being as life creates you

with your own particular strengths and weaknesses,

gifts and challenges, quirks and oddities.

Kristin Neff


Practising Gratitude

Gratitude changes your mindset, working as a motivator. The brain regions associated with gratitude belong to the network used when we experience pleasure. These also connect to parts of the brain controlling emotional regulation and are associated with stress relief and, thus, pain reduction.

Feeling grateful and paying attention to the good in our lives creates a more relaxed body state. When practised regularly, gratitude permanently increases unsurprisingly positive wellbeing. Moreover, gratitude improves a deep sense of life's meaning, worth, and purpose.

  • It promotes positivity.

  • It improves self-esteem

  • It improves your mood.

  • It reduces stress.

  • It helps to gain a different perspective on things we may take for granted

Therefore, practising gratitude also offers potential benefits for relationships. You can begin your gratitude practice with meditation, journaling, or simply paying attention to the little things in life that bring you joy.


Woman dreaming

If you believe you can change, if you make it a habit, the change becomes real.

Charles Duhigg


Final Thoughts

Connections within your brain are constantly changing, becoming either stronger or weaker. The resistance to change in your brain is not age-related; your mindset influences it and often becomes resistant, requiring intentional efforts to transform.

Read 7 Steps to Improve your Mindset - Part 2 to discover more ways to improve your mindset.

When unpleasant feelings rule your day for too long, it’s time to reach out to someone you trust. When you don't have someone to talk to, contact a helpline, a support group, or a professional. Your GP or a counsellor can make a difference in your wellbeing. 

 

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