Today I want to talk about your brain, your wonderful beautiful changeable brain. I am hoping that you will take in what I say today, not with defensiveness or with the notion that I am in anyway blaming you, or people who are suffering, but with the intention of helping you become empowered in your own healing.
I have been working in the mental health field since 1996, in various capacities, with all ages and backgrounds of wonderful humans. What I do know is that people can become incredibly resilient if we get out of the way and let the process take flight. Please do not misunderstand my message in today’s post and think that I am against medication, because I am definitely not. I am just opposed to the notion that medication is all that is needed in the mental wellbeing and healing process. If we want to change/grow, we need to do the work. Period. Full stop. Some of the most inspiring humans that I have met along my own journey are folks who have come from, and through, extreme adversity. Whether that be childhood trauma at the hands of a trusted adult or being born into a country that is in unimaginable crisis, these people found the strength to move through and flourish. I have learned so much from their stories of perseverance, letting go, letting be and growth after the trauma. It seems that if we have to endure adverse circumstances, we can, if we let ourselves face it and grow from it.
Ok, there it is, my point of view (which is shared by many incredible research psychologists and counsellors/therapists/mental health interveners). So, if you are in for the most amazing ride of your life, and feeling close to taking on the challenge of change, let’s start with a framing mindset for today.
MINDSET for Today:
I am jumping in with everything have,
whether I sink or swim,
at least I took that leap of faith.
*This statement inspires me and calms my soul.
I would love to have a very wise woman, like Dr. Maya Angelou say this to me when I am going through hell or a crisis of confidence in my life. It is her voice I hear.
I am calling in the big guns so that you believe little ol’ me when I say that you CAN actually change your brain. I want to share with you some tidbits from a book I recently read, by the one and only, incredible neuropsychologist Dr. Rick Hansen, Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence (2013). I know, I know, you’re probably thinking that this is, yet another self-help book telling you that the answer to all your troubles is to just “think positive!”…and how do I do that again, you ask?!?! Well, this book presents the latest neuroscience research behind happiness and explains how you can reprogram your brain to focus on the good, rather than obsessing over the bad.
Quick Video Snack
….to Help You Get to Know this Amazing Researcher, Psychologist and Human…
Highlights from the Book….
I want to give you one quick tip from this book to get you started. If you are ready to change, and in the mindset for taking on the hard work of leaping toward what your life could be like, then I highly suggest you buy this book (I am not receiving any kickbacks from this, just think this is a great resource). The most important reason to spend your money on this life guide is that Rick Hansen talks about the importance of “taking in the good”, how this practice can change your brain and how to do this.
- Take in the Good: This is a deliberate practice of making positive experiences stick around a little longer and linger in our implicit memory (part of our long term memory). He has created four steps to help you take in the good, which are easy to remember with the helpful acronym, HEAL.
Have a positive experience.
Link positive and negative material.
*Check out chapter 3, page 60, to learn how to do this.
My Advice for Today
Stop focusing on what could go wrong, and start focusing on what could go right.
Negative is not “more true” than than positive.
According to this Happiness Study: 52% of your life destiny is up to you and what you do to enhance it, despite your genetic background.
Believe me from my professional experience and my personal journey
…the risk is definitely worth it!
Read Hardwiring Happiness…and live your best life.
Leave a comment, question or feedback…share your experience 🙂
Dr. Heather Drummond, EdD (Counselling Psychology)
eSuccess-Coach * Passionate Advocate for Student Success