“If you can’t change a situation, change how you feel about it”
Updated: Jul 16, 2020
Change your mind. Simple, right?
I’m not normally one to post emotive quotes (although do like the odd reminder or picture to keep me from taking life too seriously: 'well behaved women rarely make history' welcomes me in my office daily). But this quote is relevant for so many clients I have worked with.
I believe it comes from a quote from Maya Angelou "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.”
And it’s such an impactful concept to consider when exploring different perspectives and options with any given scenario. We are all hard wired with ways of doing things and ways of seeing things based on age old beliefs that hold no relevance in todays’ challenges or world. So, it’s important for us coaches to help you dig deep, unpick the unnecessary and irrelevant in order to help you reframe your thinking and move forward with focus on what really matters.
I recently read a great article from Forbes “12 Science backed ways to improve your health by changing your mind” and whilst the levels and type of change needed will be unique for each person, I believe there is something in here that everyone can benefit from.
Here are my favourites from the Forbes article:
Point 1: Vacation can wait. Same goes for taking a (proper) break from a problem and protecting those evenings for hobbies and quality time with friends (see points 5 and 11). When engaged in problem solving and highly reactive scenarios, your brain is (practically speaking) operating in fight or flight mode - burning nutrients and glucose at a level we simply cannot sustain for long periods of time. So it is absolutely imperative that you give your brain a break and allow it to rest and recuperate before engaging those creative muscles again.
Point 3: Think about getting outside - related to point 2 and 4, the calm distraction of the great outdoors can do wonders for peace of mind. The NHS is even considering prescribing “shinrin-yoku”, Japan’s spiritual name for forest bathing, as part of their social prescribing for well being.
Point 5: be strategic about socialising. Two heads are better than one. Share that problem, get a different perspective and embrace the innovative and creative solutions that come from different opinions and diverse thinking. From a neuroscience perspective, our brains are designed for interaction and communication and the chemicals released through human interaction cannot be replicated by machines. Make quality time with friends.
Point 11: think laughter. “It really is the best medicine” and that release of endorphins can only do you good. So..... when did you last have a really good laugh?