Born type A but trying to live type B, is this a possibility? Listen in for tips on how to change your mindset and how it worked for me.
We often hear, you are who you are. You're just born that way. Is there a way to change your core being? I decided there was.
Choosing Not to Live in a Black and White World
I was born a type A person. Change is hard. When things aren't in control I struggle. These are the stories my brain wrote.
But going through fertility taught me that there are some things you can't control. I needed to learn to accept this if I was going to have a baby. This is where I began to change my stories.
The stories you have created
As you grow up, your brain creates stories based on your life's experiences. Things you go through, how you are raised, and what happens to you, shape the stories that your brain relies on when making decisions to navigate your present life.
I learned a lot about neural pathways when I was in college, I have a psychology degree with a biology emphasis, and studying neurons was my geeky hidden pleasure.
But it recently hit me on how this affects my everyday business when I listened to a podcast episode by Stacy Tuschl that featured Dr. Shannon Irving as the guest.
Dr. Irving talked about how 80-90% of our decisions are made by our subconscious mind. And these decisions are based on the stories our mind has created.
But can you change your stories? Is it possible to un "hard code" the years of experiences your mind has saved?
How to Change Your Mindset
In our brains, we have what are called neural networks. When things are repeated over and over, our mind's job is to make these things automated so that we don't have to think about every little thing we do.
But our brain also has something called neuroplasticity. This is the ability to change the brain based on forming new pathways and making those stronger, as the old ones that aren't used any more die off.
Neuroscientist Tara Stewart talks more about this in her article on the Forbes website. While it is possible to change your brain, it takes time and a lot of work.
You can't change unless you really want to
Up until I experienced infertility, I didn't really feel that need to change the way I was. But going through a time that was so uncontrollable, really made me want to change my mindset.
After I finally got pregnant, I very quickly got pregnant again. It wasn't planned, and we were over the moon, but having two kids one year old and under was the next stage of me realizing I needed to learn to let go even more.
Fast forward three years, and then came our next "OMG WHAT?!" baby. Three kids, a business and a husband who traveled was a lot. Then throw in early onset menopause. My anxiety was peaking and I needed help.
While medication was a short term solution to help me get some air in the crazy, it wasn't something I wanted long term. So I started a lot of internal work to help me change the stories of my past drastically.
Making a change is very personal, and what works for one person may not work for another. Some need medication, some don't. Some need a combo. Here are a few of the things worked for me and continue to help:
- Naturopathic MD
- A general mindset shift
My personal strategies for changing my mindset
Embracing the yoga practice was something I never thought I would do. It was never "my thing," I never thought I could quiet my mind or get a good workout from it.
But after meeting a few yoga teachers that showed me otherwise, I quickly realized how very wrong I was. It's called a practice for a reason, and now almost 1 ½ years later, I am still working on it every day, but have made tremendous growth.
Making sure that I get those quiet moments every day, whether in yoga or through meditation, has been essential to keeping my calm. It doesn't have to be long, or look a certain way, it just has to happen.
Some days it's just 5 minutes listening to the Calm app, or laying on the ground with an empty mind at the end of a yoga session. Some days it's a good 15 minute meditation session. But that's about it for me!
I also recently started seeing a new doc, Dr. Nicole Krakora, who has helped me open my mind to approaching my overall health in another way. Just a few short months in and I have seen such positive changes in both my mindset and my physical body.
My overall mindset has also been a huge part of my journey towards a type B lifestyle. I am constantly working on little mind shifts. For example, if I feel the negative creep in, I ask myself what is positive in that situation. There is always something!
Food and your mindset
When it comes to eating, your mindset can play a huge role on whether you are actually happy when you eat. Food is amazing and meant to bring positive experiences.
If you look at history, people have gathered around the table to break bread for centuries. We gather with family for holidays, we go out to eat with loved ones, we have dinner parties, picnics...we are meant to enjoy eating.
But often times today, food brings stress. People turn to social media to help with food choices, diets, what's right, what's wrong.
We are starting to miss the focus. Enjoying what we eat. When we focus on allowing the external world to make our food choices for us, we disconnect with our personal why. And this is where the internal stress starts.
Food choices need to come from within. It may take work, maybe some real professionals to help, but it's possible to find the true reasons we each choose to eat what we do.
Be sure to click below for the one page guide on the 5 things I do to keep my mind in check!