Calm is not wishing

Posted by on Oct 6, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Sometimes calm is not wishing…

By Julia Mudarri LMFT

Part of being able to remain calm and act from a space of gratitude or compassion, is sometimes simply not wishing for things to be any different than they are right now. In other words, go with what is. This morning,  as my children and I were rushing out the door to make it to school and work on time, I had a brief moment of appreciation.  I suddenly marvelled at  how we always seem to “make it” in spite of the daily rush. For a few seconds I was able to step outside of the action, and watch our well oiled morning machine as we gathered our lunches, took last bites of breakfast on the way out the door, ran back in a couple of times for our phones, homework or water bottles…all the while verbally reminding each other what we needed to remember this morning. In that moment, all I thought was what an amazing team we made and how supportive we are of each other to make our exit successful each morning. Now of course, there are other mornings where my thinking is much more negative, yelling for someone to hurry up or get out of bed. The difference I realized this morning though, is that those are the moments I am wishing for the situation to be different instead of just going with what is. And not only that, but pausing to notice. How we think about situations like these is an illustration of how thoughts about simple aspects of our daily routines can be tied to what Dr. Carol Dweck refers to as growth vs. fixed mindset. (/www.mindsetworks.com/science). Though sometimes difficult to notice in ourselves due to the automatic nature of our thoughts; It is these attitudes that actually help to shape our neural pathways and help determine not only our outlook on life, but in turn, affect our emotions, stress levels, abilities to learn, function and relate to others. The good news is that science is finding that our brains are actually quite elastic.We actually have the power to change our brains, by changing our thoughts, behaviors, and the way we  experience these.(http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0024657) Neural plasticity is the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections. Throughout life, neural plasticity allows nerve cells to compensate for things like trauma, injury and disease by adjusting the way these cells respond to changes in the environment. Through the use of tools like mindfulness, various forms of psychotherapy, meditation and prayer, to name a few; (http://scan.oxfordjournals.org/content/2/4/259.short) We can alter our habits to the point of changing our default way of thinking and behaving to form new connections in our brains. These new connections have the potential to make us feel better. Essentially it’s like teaching our nerve cells to respond in different ways. Next time you have a positive experience try this: Take 2-3 seconds to pause and allow the feeling sink in as you breathe, helping to ‘cement’ the moment into memory by paying attention to body sensations, smells and emotions.

Please feel free to join one of my groups, or schedule an individual appointment to find out and practice how to have more of these moments. Call 408-680-8114 for a free consultation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *