Six Steps Toward The Attitude That Wires Your Brain For Excelling

By Don Joseph Goewey

Here’s an unhappy fact: A brain chronically under stress is incapable of sustaining peak performance. Chronic stress has a lot to do with how your brain is wired. You can change all that.  A specific but simple shift in attitude can literally rewire your brain.  It’s called neuroplasticity.  The gain of making this shift is manifold.  The neural networks generating problem-solving, strategic thinking and creativity will start humming to keep you at the top of your game.  The left prefrontal cortex will take charge of emotions making you calmer, more positive and resilient. Networks that manage social intelligence will light-up.  The mind-body connection will kick-in, keeping you healthy and sustaining your energy. You might think, after looking over the steps below, that these small steps can’t change my brain.  I invite you to practice for two weeks and see for yourself if your brain isn’t working better.

1. Each morning, as you’re waiting for your coffee sit quietly and simply take in the morning.  Be present.  Relax your mind, and open your heart. Tell yourself, I have another precious day of human life.  I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to be more enlightened for the benefit of everyone.

2. During the day, when you are stressed, ask yourself: What am I afraid of? Biologically, it takes some form of fear to trigger a stress reaction.  Thus, the operative question to ask whenever you feel stressed is — what am I afraid of? Most if not all of these thoughts will be exaggerations.  Ask yourself, Who would I be without these fearful thoughts?  Then go and be that person.

3. Be aware of your negative thinking. Don’t judge it or even try to change your negative thoughts. Simply be aware of them, and tell yourself, These thoughts are in me, not reality, and then let them go.

4. Take a one to two minute break — often. Look out the window and be present with the day outside. Let go of work for a moment and notice the quality of light, or the wind blowing through a tree, or what’s happening in the sky.  After lunch, take a 5 minute walk around the building and as you walk let go of future concerns and just be present.

5. Start work in a relaxed, peaceful state of mind. There is an experience science calls flow, which research has established as the optimal state for creativity.  Instead of “tackling” problems, try approaching them in an easy, open state of mind.

6. Listen better, judge less and forgive more. The reward is authentic relationships that resonate with the sense of connection.  Be a strength finder instead of a fault finder

When stressful, reactive patterns raise their ugly head, don’t condemn yourself.  Let it go and return to practicing these steps.  Two weeks of consistent practice can make a big difference in brain function.  See for yourself.

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