All posts for the month February, 2016

The Power of Belief – The Advantages of Growth Mindset

Most people are of the opinion that hard work is the root of success. That is true at some point, but the fact is that there is an even more important aspect of success – one that gives rise to motivation for hard work.

The Power of Belief

Power to Believe

Even more important than hard work is the power of belief that you can do something. Maybe not today, but if you put enough time, effort, and energy into it – then you will be able to in the future. This persistent belief in knowing that you are capable if you choose to achieve something fuels your motivation for hard work towards what you intend to achieve. Now, this might seem like a weak argument, but studies have actually shown that the power of belief has prevalent and positive manifestations that can help you get from point A to point B.

Fixed and Growth Mindset

There are two kinds of people in this world: those having fixed mindset as well as those having a growth mindset. Those having a fixed mindset are people who limit their capabilities to certain aspects. Have you ever identified yourself as someone who is not good at math? Or maybe you told yourself you are not really the artistic type? This is fixed mindset and as long as you keep yourself chained to this description of yourself, then it is unlikely that you will be able to experience growth.

Those having a growth mindset, on the other hand, have a different perception on intelligence. They see themselves as constantly changing individuals who have the capacity to change and improve what they know. People having a growth mindset tell themselves: I can’t do this…yet.

Yet – because they believe that change is still possible and with the power of belief, these people act and make plans in expectation of growth. That is why they are able to move from one interest to another, learning different disciplines and even mastering them all at the same time.

Not Just Theories

Now you might be thinking that the power of belief is just an optimistic, new-age way of thinking – but that is not the case at all. A study was actually conducted following the progress of two groups of children: those having growth mindset and those having a fixed mindset. After years of tracking, they have found that children having a growth type of mindset were able to improve their grades at excellent proportions, as opposed to those who were fixed in their way of thinking. This study has been conducted over and over again in one form or another with the same results: people having a growth mindset have a better chance towards success.

Not Permanent

Note though that these mindsets are not permanent. Just because you have fixed mindset now does not mean you will have it forever. Once you have managed to recognize the problem, you can start shifting your focus and believe that you can grow into someone who has a more malleable way of perceiving intelligence.

Studies show that the mind is incredibly malleable. If you believe you can make it work efficiently towards a specific purpose, then the brain will definitely adjust to those expectations and give you the results you want.

But how can you turn yourself into a growth type rather than a fixed type? One way of shifting your mindset is by focusing on what you can improve. Studies show that those having a fixed mindset tend to focus on their scores and compare themselves with others. They tend to ask: how well did I do in my exams?

People with growth mindsets, however, are more forward thinking. They ask themselves: what can I do to get better grades next time? Once you focus on this forward and positive way of thinking, you will be able to slowly shift your mindset and be open for growth.

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Scope of Power to Believe

The great thing about the power of belief is that it extends to every single aspect of your life. Whether you want to ace the math exams, pass the bar, learn guitar, or master karate – you will find that shifting your mindset will let you do practically anything and everything you want to achieve in your life. Even better – there is no time limit to this. You can start whenever you wish but the earlier, the better.

How to manage stress and make stress your friend

If merely the idea dealing with the “s”- word makes you feel like you are standing on a burning deck, then this comprehensive and enlightening video about how to make stress your friend will give you a whole new, surprising perspective on the ideal way to cope with the obnoxious, dreaded stress successfully. Famed health psychologist Kelly McGonigal shares with the audience her in-depth, evidence-based knowledge on stress management done right – more specifically, by making stress your friend ( that’s right!) as opposed to your ( most likely ) worst enemy.

How to manage stress and make stress your friend

There is no newsflash that stress, ranging from relatively little to moderate and even severe, can have a negative impact on your physical, emotional and mental health, as all three of them are powerfully inter-connected. So you’re perfectly entitled to regard stress as your foe, just like Kelly McGonigal herself used to – BUT, in light of the latest medical studies and irrefutable evidence supporting her new approach to stress management, with significantly greater health-improving benefits, McGonigal has rightfully changed her belief on stress and generously shared her revolutionary, science-based theory with the audience.

By the end of this highly educational, virtually life-changing video you will understand why adopting yourself this new approach to dealing with stress will work for you too, making a real difference in your daily life.

Why Befriending Stress Is the Way to Go – The Scientific Evidence Supporting It

As Kelly McGonigal starts explaining just how to make stress your friend, while interacting with her audience, she presents the medical study that has revolutionized the way stress should be regarded by every single person out there, irrespective of the amount of stress they have come to experience. According to a lengthy medical study conducted by researchers at the University of Wisconsin and tracking an impressive 30,000 adults across the US for 8 years, people who experienced a significant amount of stress in the previous year had a whopping 43% increased risk of premature death – BUT, only those people who considered stress as harmful to their health were exposed to this significant risk of passing away prematurely.

On the other hand, people who did not regard stress as interfering with their health had actually the LOWEST RISK OF DEATH of anyone who participated in this study! This strong evidence is the quintessence of McGonigal’s new approach to stress, one that you should wisely embrace for a healthier, happier you. The study also concluded that 182,000 people in the US died prematurely over the course of 8 years, however not from stress itself – quite on the contrary, they died from the very belief that stress is harmful to their health. So with nearly 20,000 deaths per year, this means that common stress beliefs are the 15th largest cause of the death in the US, thus killing more people than HIV/AIDS, skin cancer and even homicide, according to public health records.

Therefore, learning how to make stress your friend is your ace up your sleeve, as it can significantly lower your risk of dying prematurely – why? Because as previously mentioned, physical, mental and emotional heath are inter-connected and by changing your mind about how you view stress, you can effectively change your whole body’s response to stress – and this is a difference you can see and feel in everyday life.

McGonigal goes on detailing precisely how making friends with stress really works, by asking the audience to pretend they are participating in a social stress study where expert evaluators are bound to stress them out big time ( for study purposes). The physical changes your body undergoes in stressful situations, such as anxiety or other signs that you are obviously having trouble dealing with pressure, should be in fact be mentally regarded as signs your body is energized instead of being attacked, thus preparing you to effectively meet the challenge ahead.

How to Make Stress Your Friend – The Controlled Stress Response Difference

As participants in a study conducted at Harvard University were told, their actual stress response, controlled by willpower, holds the key to improving their health and happiness – a pounding heart and breathing faster in stressful situations mean in fact that more oxygen is delivered to your brain, thus helping you actually relieve anxiety, while becoming more confident in your biological ability to cope with stress. McGonigal continues by showing that, while people viewing stress as harmful typically experience constricted blood vessels ( further increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases), people in control of their stress response maintain their blood vessels completely relaxed, despite the pounding heart; needless to say that this is a whole lot healthier for you.

So viewing your stress response as distinctively helpful to your overall health, as opposed to harmful, can really make the difference between a stress-induced heart disease at the early age of 50 and significantly increasing your life expectancy. Your belief on stress truly matters, as evidenced by science. The cuddle hormone, medically known as oxytocin, plays a key role in fine-tuning the brain’s social instincts, enhancing your empathy and improving your relationships with your loved one – but get this: oxytocin is a STRESS HORMONE and this means that it is released when you are dealing with stressful situations, as an intrinsic part of your biological stress response, motivating you to seek support rather than bottling it up.

Oxytocin has also natural anti-inflammatory properties, helping your blood vessels to stay relaxed, while protecting your cardiovascular system against the effects of stress by stimulating the regeneration of heart cells and healing of stress-induced damage. Even more amazing, all these oxytocin-associated benefits are enhanced by social contact and support. So reaching out makes your stress response a lot healthier, while recovery from stress is done much faster. In a nutshell, your response to stress is endowed with a built-in mechanism called human connection and this means that caring builds stress resilience and creates the biology of courage to deal with stress, as you know how to trust yourself to handle life’s challenges.

In this must-see, strongly useful and uplifting video Kelly McGonigal encourages you, in good reason, to learn how to make stress your friend by totally changing your belief that stress is bad for you, as this is bound to be the beginning of a beautiful, beneficial friendship, with great potential for a healthier and happier you all the way through.

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