I love this 3.5 minute video, based on the Growth Model from Carol Dweck. The video simply explains why it’s sometimes hard for us to shift our perspective. The video also confirms that it takes a constant, mindful practice to shift our perspective, but it’s soooo worth it!
So, if our brains are hard-wired to protect us from threat and keep us “below the line” how do we shift our perspective?
Here are some mind-body practices I like in order to shift from living “below the line” to “living above the line.” All of them feel good AND do great things for your body on multiple levels. The really good news is that they are simple and some of them only take a few minutes!
1) Exercise or take a yoga class – this changes the chemicals in your brain, increasing the endorphins to help support a shift in your perspective. This also feels really good for your body, so it’s a win-win!
2) Rest – when we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies and minds aren’t functioning well and it’s more difficult to win out over the part of our brain that’s trying to “protect us” (but in the meantime is keeping us from all the benefits of living with more ease).
3) Gratitude List – set aside 3 minutes and write a list of everything you can think of that you are grateful for. Aim for 30 things (that’s only 10 per minute!). Gratitude practice activates brain regions associated with the neurotransmitter dopamine, which feels really good and helps to initiate action.
4) Power Pose – Stand tall and take up as much space with your body as you can for 2 minutes only. Amy Cuddy’s famous Ted Talk, found here, proves that power posing increases confidence and decreases the stress hormone, cortisol. If you haven’t seen the talk, it’s a must see.
5) Consciously Breathe – There are endless breathing techniques out there and most of them are effective in shifting us from the reptilian brain of fight or flight (below the line) to the more evolved part of our brain. The trick is to make sure you’re breathing consciously and aiming to deepen and lengthen your breath. When in doubt about which approach to take, count your breaths and make sure your exhale is longer than the inhale. You’ll calm your central nervous system while creating present moment experience that gives respite to your mind and your body.
One last thing…the next time you are about to ask someone “How are you?”…instead ask them “What’s good?” Notice how this simple shift changes the conversation and maybe even changes both of your perspectives!
P.S. If you haven’t yet, be sure to take the free 10-question MindBody IQ Quiz to get more clarity on your mind-body connection as well as specific next steps to enhance it!
P.P.S. To continue this conversation and others like it, join other like-spirited people just like you in the private, free Facebook group: the MindBodyWise Living Room.