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“If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.” - Maya Angelou

Change is inevitable, whether it is with our body, the seasons outdoors, the advancements with technology, and in general, the world around. Every decision we make and every path we take is informed by changes, either large or small. As an example, think of our minds and body’s – our thoughts change over time, our bodies age, sometime we are getting healthier, sometimes we are going the other way – the only constant is change.

The human body’s typical response to change is stress. Stress is actually a natural and healthy human response (think “fight or flight”), but when this becomes non-stop low-grade stress, what we call chronic stress, it can cascade into multiple health issues and conditions.

I am a firm believer that having a “growth mindset” helps with reducing stress while embracing change – where we see change as an opportunity rather than a threat. And with this mindset, without change we would feel stagnant, bored and uninspired.

Mindset is a set of beliefs that shape how we make sense of ourselves and the world around us. In essence, it is what pulls everything together, and plays a pivotal role in what we want and whether we achieve it. Having a growth mindset helps us believe that our talents and abilities can be developed over time through effort and persistence. The best part? PLAY helps us build a growth mindset, by being more curious, creative, problem-solving, open-minded, and self-rewarding. These qualities are valuable for us in an ever-changing world.

Here are some fun ways to build our growth mindset muscles:

  • Learn a new skill or activity that is fun and intriguing – like 3-ball juggling or sketching!

  • Listen to the words in your head and then talk loudly – watch out especially for phrases like “I have to...” or “I must…”, replacing them with “I choose to…”

  • Change out your routine, like cooking a new recipe/cuisine, or doing your regular walking route in reverse (extra bonus: enjoy the brand new views!)

  • Try an online challenge to shake things up – download the free 12-week PLAY-book on this website

  • Be inspired by someone successful with a playful growth mindset – be it a famous personality (think George Clooney) or someone in your own network

  • Boosting memory by playing brain-teasing puzzles, memory card games

  • At work, consider both successes and failures as valuable learning opportunities, align performance evaluations to learning not productivity

  • Celebrate your growth with others – you will appreciate it more!

The good news is that we all have the ability to learn, grow, evolve and develop – the neuroplasticity of our brains naturally allows for it. It starts with truly believing in yourself (the vision of your “future self”) and reframing the negative self-talk to positive beliefs. Play around with it!

Our relationship with change is very personal, defined by our life’s journey, our support system and our past experiences. Change is a teacher and an opportunity to take a look inward, ask ourselves some important questions and take time to really listen to our answers.

As health coach, I will be your guide and accountability partner for you to recognize and navigate your unique change journey. This takes time, though working with a health coach helps you bring pause, swiftly find your path, and move on your change path quicker and in a manner that “sticks”.

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