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Why mindset work hasn’t worked for you (and what to do to help)

By Gillian Yuan BN BSc MBEC

I first learned about mindset work when my son was having difficulty with school work because of his perfectionistic tendencies. This drove me to learn about teaching him a more flexible mindset through the Growth Mindset (Carol Dweck) for kids, and adults…and realized that my mindset could use a little “growing” too! As I moved into

coaching women and moms about food and body image, I learned a few more mindset techniques that could help them learn to think differently about their situation. I have used these mindset techniques along the way along with other practices that I just intuitively did, for myself. Yet, here’s the thing… Many women I speak with think that this “changing your mindset” thing is a bunch of BS (pardon my language)....and they’re not wrong!

Many of the mainstream mindset gurus have written books, done podcasts, spoken on large stages, and do TED TALKS…they tell countless people about it, and then many of them go off and try to use it from the book, or the talk, and it doesn’t work. That’s because these things emphasize that if you can just change your thoughts, you’ll change how you feel and then change your life. The common adage is that your thoughts, create your feelings, which create your actions and outcomes… But here’s the thing… Have you ever told your child to stop feeling the way they feel? Have you ever been told to “calm down”? How well has that worked? Not well, at least not for me!

You’ve got to feel your feelings!

Mindset work can only be helpful when you actually feel and process your emotions before moving into how you’d like to think about the situation differently. In the world we live in, it is not common to see people processing their emotions. Parents try to shut down a meltdown from their child at the grocery store so others won’t judge them. Kids are told not to cry at school. We are all told that showing emotion is a sign of weakness! This has created a world where people don’t know how to process their emotions so they silence them by eating, drinking, or doing anything in excess.

What if society saw someone who was processing their emotions as normal, maybe even brave?

Here are a few ways I have found to process my emotions when hard things happen.

  • Deep breathing, even just 3 deep breaths can help

  • Repetitive movements such as walking, tapping your feet back and forth

  • Stretching or yoga

  • Journaling

  • Taking a shower

  • Lying on my back in silence and letting the emotion move through my body…and the tears too.

  • Crying

  • Feeling the emotion from head to toe with deep breathing

Once the emotion has moved through your body, without any other thinking or action about it, then you may be ready to move forward and choose whether you want to change how you think and feel about a situation, or not. Not all negative feelings need to be “fixed”, negative feelings are not bad, and positive feelings are not good. Emotions are just emotions, you don’t need to judge them or yourself (or your kids) for having them and you don’t necessarily need to act on an emotion you have.

Only once you’ve processed an emotion fully can you then decide what to do about the situation. That is when the various mindset techniques can come in. But remember, it is always your choice whether you want to change your mindset. Mindset work is not meant to make you think an unsafe situation is safe, it is meant to empower you to make choices about your situation that will serve you to reach your highest self and your highest purpose. It is best to include all the other areas of your life too, such as your faith or spirituality, your values, and your goals for you to become the Mom and woman that has always been within you!

For more information on mindset work and how to actually include it in your life, book in for a Consultation Call with me! I love working with Moms who are ready to move forward in their life, parenting, and purpose!



Disclaimer: Gillian Yuan is not a licensed medical nor mental health professional. The information provided is for educational purposes and it is recommended that you discuss any changes or mental health concerns with your physician or health care provider. Copyright June 27, 2022 by Gillian Yuan

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