MENTAL FITNESS: How to choose a positive mindset amidst adversity

MENTAL FITNESS: How to choose a positive mindset amidst adversity

You know where your Brain resides. Where does your Mind live?

All jokes aside, there is the muscle of the Brain and the muscle of the Mind. Based on a large ongoing body of research, we know a lot about very little, lol. Seriously, there is so much more to learn, however, what we do know in very basic terminology is:

  • Limbic System: the old brain or what some call the lizard brain. It’s the part of our brain that is in charge of our basic emotions such as fear, anger, and pleasure, and instinctual drives such as hunger and procreation.
  • Left Side: while the left and right sides of the brain hopefully work together, the left side of the brain is in basic terms, our box checker, travel planner, and accountant. It is concerned with the logistics of life.
  • Right Side: this side of our brain is interested in creating new ways to experience life. It likes to create new boxes to check, and then remove the boxes entirely. It thrives on coming up with new ideas and living in the moment. This is the side that we want to grow because as young adults our lives can easily become consumed with left brain activities.
  • Prefrontal Cortex: this portion of the front part of your brain, just behind the forehead, is responsible for complex behavior, cognition, successful decision making, ability to express and essentially evolve in powerful ways. This is where the magic happens related to organizing and orchestrating our thoughts and being able to manifest them into reality.

According to Daniel Siegel in his book, “Mindsight” we all have the ability to tell our older brain that our emotional response doesn’t have to define us. We can choose our emotional response by becoming more aware of our choices and how things work with our mind.

According to the research behind Positive Intelligence®, we can now practice intercepting any negative messaging we send to ourselves. We can then choose to use our inner sage powers to identify the gifts in any adversity, and choose our emotional response with intention. In order for this to be possible we have to build the muscle of our brain.

According to my own research related to iBG®, intellectual brainwave games, we know how to build the muscle of our brain and essentially keep our internal battery charged, to use layman’s terms.  This is done by engaging as many of the 8 positive triggers for brain health according to Dr. Siegel, many other existing researchers, and our own iBG® research, which shows that all 8 are can be engaged simultaneously.

BUILD the muscle of your BRAIN = BEING ABLE to improve your MENTAL FITNESS

When you meet a challenge in life, professionally and/or personally, do you react with a positive mindset or negative one? The capability and capacity to choose is the basic definition of mental fitness, and being able to do so in real time. Here’s another way to think about your current level of mental fitness:

  • Out of every 4 thoughts you have, are at least 3 positive?
  • What about out of every 100 thoughts? Are at least 75% of them positive?
  • What about out of every 10,000 thoughts?

According to Barbara Fredrickson, PhD, when 75% or more of our thoughts are positive we tend to flourish. When 69% or more of our thoughts are negative we tend to languish and/or struggle. Becoming mentally fit is in large part moving towards having 75% or more of your thoughts be authentically positive. In order to do that, we must become aware of our inner saboteurs, learn how to intercept them, and practice the Art of self-command… which goes back to building the muscle of the brain, working out the muscle of our mind with mental fitness reps, and embracing what my colleague Shirzad Chamine calls our inner sage. Before I was introduced to Shirzad’s work, I called it our inner genius, and sometimes still make that reference because we greatly underestimate our own innate ability to thrive.

Some of the key takeaways that I have experienced with my own practice of brain and mental fitness include, but are not limited to:

  • Peak Performance
  • More Inner Peace and Elevated Wellness
  • Improved Professional and Personal Relationships
  • Improved decision making
  • A more natural style of leadership
  • Embracing a play-based approach to life

There’s so much more and I promise I’ll keep writing about this and sharing with you my many experiences as a human being, father, spouse, brother, and guide to others and their organizations.

Choose to be fit of brain and fit of mind…. The body will follow!