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Your Mindset and How it Controls You

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

Your mindset and subconscious thoughts control you. I know, a very bold statement coming from a person who's not a psychologist or psychiatrist. But I have seen this play out over and over again not just in the lives of my clients or patients, but in my own as well.

A lot of how we interact with the world and our preconceived notions about people, events, and past experiences come from our childhood and who taught us about life growing up. Past traumas can change our brains, alter our chemistry and create neuropathways that hardwire us for maladaptive coping strategies, expecting the worst to happen, or believing that other people are not to be trusted. Your brain is wired to keep you alive and it's a necessary part of our biology. But what if your biology isn't helping you and how you see or interact with the world around you?

Our subconscious brain is constantly on the lookout for things that will "hurt" us. This may manifest as feeling anxious about an upcoming project or important conversation with your boss. It could look like avoiding social situations so that you don't have to make small talk and feel uncomfortable in a room of people you hardly know. It can also look like pushing important people away in your life: a spouse, parent, sibling, friend or child because getting too close may lead to eventual pain that is unbearable.

This in tern leads to our mindset and how we consciously think about the world. When I was training in the pediatric ICU, my mentors would ask me at the start of every shift: "What is the worst possible thing that could go wrong today?" and I would have to critically think about ALL the bad things that could happen to my patient in a matter of minutes. I consciously had to choose a "doomsday" mentality in order to keep my patients alive and anticipate how my shift was going to go. Everyday was a moving target and I had to be ready for anything. This undoubtedly spilled over into my personal life where I was constantly assessing situations for safety, monitoring my own children's respiratory patters, imagining that they would stop breathing and what I would do to save them. Not exactly a healthy mindset as a mother. I was hypervigilent while I was working and that cycle continued when I left the hospital which started to put strain on my relationships.

I had to alter my mindset. I realized that while my thought life wasn't always controllable, it could be shifted to an extent. We can't always control where thoughts come from, BUT we can control what we do WITH them. So I started examining my thoughts and asking myself questions about them. I learned to get off the crazy thought train and take a closer look at why I might be having a thought, how it serves or doesn't serve me and moving on. In turn, my mindset started to shift. I realized that while I can't control some things life throws at me, I can control how I view the events or circumstances and I get to make a choice on how I respond to it. That was SO powerful!

So what do you need help with on your mindset today? Are you like me and gravitate towards the "doom and gloom" or are you on the opposite end where avoidance is your safe haven? Either way, we can all use some help in this department. If this resonates with you, please reach out to schedule a free consultation. My virtual door is open.

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