On my Facebook page, we posted the following quote:
The closest predictor of future behaviour is to look at past behaviour. If you look back at the history of your immediate family, their choices and their approach to life, it is highly likely that you have adopted a similar mindset and will make decisions based on this mindset. Which means you are likely to experience similar patterns of doing life that you witnessed in your relatives.
That is of course UNLESS you have consciously decided to be different and DELIBERATELY gone about teaching yourself how.
In the majority of cases, this is why dysfunctional families, depression, anxiety and unhappiness exists, because the same beliefs keep getting passed down from generation to generation.
On the flip side, it’s also why success, happiness, resilience and goal achievement exists too – because of a mindset adopted by the influences you grew up with.
No family is better or worse than one another, we are all just doing the best we can with the knowledge and mindset we have.
However, if you look back on your family and the way they live their life and you DON’T want to follow in their footsteps you will need to get serious about making changes to your mindset.
You need to seek out a role model (or several) of who you DO want to be and learn everything you can about them – how do they think, what makes them happy, what makes them successful etc and set about DELIBERATELY working on yourself until you have become the person you want to be.
You will have to DELIBERATELY decide to break the chain that has been passed down to you. it’s not right or wrong. It’s just the reality of how the brain learns – through the repetitive exposure of its environment.
Where you are in life now is just a product of your thinking and your experiences. You can always change. You just have to decided to…..AND make it a priority to seek out HOW.
For some readers, this information may have been a little confronting because of old information that illnesses like depression and anxiety are chemical imbalances that can only be medicated and managed, but not cured.
While there is no dispute that the chemical imbalance exists, there is rising evidence being found of the effects of thoughts on those chemical imbalances. Every time you have a thought you create a chemical response in the body. When you change how you think you tend to change how you feel. (example when you think happy thoughts – and you believe them – you feel happiness. NB – This is different to an affirmation like ‘I am happy’ that you may not yet believe)
However, as with anything with the brain, it’s not quite as simple as just changing how you consciously think about life, you have to retrain your brain to habitually (unconsciously) think that way.
To do this, a relatively new area of neuroscience comes into play. It’s called neuroplasticity – the ability for the brain to change itself.
Here’s the official definition http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/neuroplasticity
What neuroplasticity means for illnesses of stress, depression and anxiety, is that with new information and application of exercises to reinforce this new information, you can teach your brain to view life differently and effectively you will release different chemical responses and FEEL differently about life.
I have experienced this, both personally as I trained myself out of postnatal depression, and in hundreds of clients I have worked with over the past six years who have experienced stress, depression, anxiety and drug and alcohol addictions.
In my book, The Happy Mum Handbook, I explain this ability to change the brain, in simple terms, so I think it would be relevant to share with you this part of the book. This particular excerpt you are about to read, was actually checked and edited by a Neuroscientist from Perth, so you can trust the accuracy of the information.
I do not claim to know the inner workings of the brain because I am no neuroscientist and, in fact, neuroscientists themselves have only discovered the concept of neuroplasticity over the last 20 years, so the ways in which we feed the brain this new information and retrain it are still being researched.
However, I have found, along with many of my colleagues in the mental health industry, that by teaching clients (and for me, teaching parents) the understanding of this ability to be able to change you brain, and then providing new information on how to change your perceptions about life (and parenting), clients are able to start seeing almost instant benefits to how they feel about their lives.
Over time of repeatedly following these exercises and viewing life consciously in these different ways, clients are starting to think (and subsequently feel) differently about life more regularly. Eventually, it becomes habit for them to view life (and parenting) in this new, stress-free way. That is neuroplasticity in action.
ALL of my resources provide an understanding of the ability to change either yours or your child’s thinking processes, and thus how you/they feel because I want parents to feel empowered to be able to help themselves.
We are by no means EVER trying to replace therapy, or using the help of traditional medical treatments. Our information is purely that – information – to help you to understand what’s going on with you and to give you some tools that we have come to know as being effective.
Our recommendation is ALWAYS that you use the information we provide in conjunction with your medical professional. If/when you find you are getting results, talk to your healthcare provider about what you are doing and establish a plan that meets your goals.
Our focus at The Parental Stress Centre is about education, not therapy. Because information empowers YOU to be in the driver’s seat of your recovery from stress depression and anxiety.
If you have any questions about what we do or any of our products, please don’t hesitate to email me at email@example.com
If you are dealing with postnatal depression, check out our BE the Change 4-part Video Series.
If you would like to teach your child how to grow their brains to feel confident, worthy and to have the ability to deal with life’s ups and downs without stress, then our Stress Free Parenting Program would suit you.