Are you familiar with this beautiful quote by the great Mohandas Karamchand (Mahatma) Gandhi?
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
I love it, as it explains so well how subtly your mindset can impact your life and your future.
For example, did you know that how you view aging today (whether as a positive or negative process) can have a very real impact on how you age?
Small changes in behavior like choosing or not choosing to maintain relationships, continuing to take care of your health, or staying engaged and contributing to society have been shown to alter your life’s longevity by up to 7 years! (Keller A1, 2012 Sep;31(5))
According to Kelly McGonigal Ph.D., author and Health Psychologist, small shifts in mindset can lead to a cascade of behavioral changes that have a lasting impact on your life (like the healthy longevity described above). (McGonical, 2015)
Ultimately, it all comes down to our mindset.
So, what do we mean when we refer to our Mindset?It’s not just the way you think.
Mindset refers to implicit deep beliefs that color how you perceive life events and how your body responds.
It may be the difference between the body going into a threat response or a tend and befriend response.
Your relation to the world is impacted by your mindset and so is your life in many deep ways.
So, how do we deal with a limiting Mindset, like for example a belief that aging is bad?
According to Kelly McGonigal Ph.D., attend to your Mindset with an attitude of Mindful curiosity.
Rather than trying to argue the evidence against your own belief, try to hold both opposites (aging is bad, and aging is good) and bring mindful attention to what is true at this moment.
Research suggests that people tend to notice only evidence in support of their beliefs. (Plous, 1993)
So, being open and curious allows evidence to come forward that is consistent with the mindset that may be more helpful.
Remember, mindset can dictate what evidence we align with, so maintaining open curiosity is key.
If you’ve identified a mindset that may be limiting to your health, aging, and engagement with life, try the following:
- Bring curiosity to your beliefs
- Hold the opposites beliefs without searching for evidence in support or against.
- Talk to people about it, this will help you share your insights and will also serve as a reminder for next time a belief is hijacking a value-driven life.
Be mindful of your thoughts and when you notice thoughts of an unhelpful mindset, aim to put these steps into practice where possible.
We hope these tips provide you with some insights and assistance to living your most brain healthy life.
This Blog was written for BrainFit Resorts. Please visit us there: www.brainfitresorts.com