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How to Whip up Wellbeing with Five Brain-based Strategies – PS 063

 

Episode Introduction to Five Brain-based Strategies

In this show, Dr Judy Krings talks to us about coaching through the lens of neuroscience and how to make it easy. Her focus is on practical doable actions that are grounded in neuroscience. She offers us five specific brain-based strategies to whip up wellbeing.  

Knowing how our brains process data coming in and data existing already in our minds, hearts and  bodies can really help coaches and their clients, and not only coaches, but all of us.  Knowledge is power, as they say.  And having some knowledge about how our brain works, can only help us be more powerful!

It’s a welcome back to Dr Judy Krings. The first time Dr Judy was on the show, we talked about Revving Up Your Relationship Resilience: 7 Positive Psychology Tips to Make Love Last.  In that episode, (ps19) , which is one of the most popular shows, Judy walks us through seven positive psychology tips to make love last.  You might want to listen again, or read her book of the same title.  It’s a wonderful read.

brain based strategies - Judy at the HelmDr Judy Krings’ background is in clinical psychology, and, for many years now, Judy’s focus has been on  wellbeing and positivity as a positivity coach.  She teaches positive psychology through MentorCoach, LLC.  

As you listen in, you'll hear Judy's humor.  It is one of her top five signature strengths, and is also one of the five top brain-based strategies to whip up well-being. 

A Beam of Light Signaling a Career Trajectory

To start the conversation, I inquired into what might there have been in Judy’s early life that  influenced her to do the work she chose to do – particularly the focus on positivity and wellbeing and the sciences behind it.   You’ll be curious to learn that Judy’s interest in science, particularly psychology came to her literally as a beam of light.   She wanted to figure out why her dad was an alcoholic, and how she might be able to help him.

Seven minutes into the show, Judy makes a very clear distinction between what she used to do in the traditional clinical psychology field and how she now works as a positivity coach informed by neuroscience and the field of positive psychology.

Basics of Brain-based Coaching

Judy and I explore a range of topics at the start that include:

  • Why knowing how brain science works is important for coaches and how clients benefit.
  • What neuroplasticity is.  What facilitates neuroplasticity.  
  • Some of the reactions of her clients when she introduces neuroscience
  • Positive outcomes of these brain-based strategies

Every time you learn something new, you change your brain. When you choose new thoughts, adopt new habits, try out new behaviors, you change the structure of your brain.  The key is to keep practicing all this newness, so you strengthen the cells in the brain – neurons  – and thereby laying down a pathway to a new brain.   Just think about the amazing growth of our brains when we are young children.  Experiencing curiosity, novelty and wonder are natural to us in our early development.  

Our behaviors and our habits create changes in the brain by strengthening the neurons.  That works in the positive and the negative. So if you want to focus on well being, then the following five brain-based strategies will whip up your well-being.

Five Brain Based Strategies to Change your Brain for Good

Judy prefaces her explanation of the five brain-based strategies with the thought that these strategies sound easy.  Yet, we need mindfulness to make them truly effective and sustainable.  By that, she means we need to embrace them thoughtfully and with conscious awareness.  It goes back to practice, practice, practice.  It takes work and time to rewire the brain for good.

Embrace Novelty

  • Embrace novelty as your new best friend!  Remember, one of the proven ways to make a strength a habit is to learn to use it in a new way.  For example, in a relationship, change up the way you usually interact with someone by applying one of your character strengths.   You are developing yourself  in two very positive ways if you do that: you are strengthening your existing strength AND you are laying down new habits. A key word is stretch yourself to embrace novelty.

Experiment with LIfe

  • Be open and willing to experiment in life.  Let your inner kid out and play.  Let go of control!  Be messy!  Make mud pies! Screw up!  Accept failure! Your brain will get healthier. 

Be Curious

  • Pause and notice. Be mindful to look at life in a new way. Be more adventuresome. Take a risk.  Travel, if possible, truly helps to strengthen the brain because new interests get piqued, and curiosity is aroused.  Find something that arouses your curiosity.  Research the internet.  Get out of your old confining box!

Savoring

  • Be grateful!  Gratitude and love of learning are the two top strengths that contribute most to feelings of well-being.  Reflect on life. Remember past happinesses and joys.   This is particularly helpful in challenging times – remember a time when you were at your peak and reconnect with those resources.

Humor

  • Stress less by harnessing humor.  Judy's humor shines through in our conversation:  ” Put away your pity pants and put on your big girl party pants or your big boy brawny bravado drawers, for you guys!”  Research shows laughter is a healer.  It also adds to longevity.  Cancer patients who watched funny TV shows lived longer than those who didn't.  Stretch your mind with laughter and your body with doing a crazy gratitude dance.  It helps to give your brain a break… and do something new!

Wrapping Up

With awareness of these five brain-based strategies to help whip up your welling-being, next step is to make a plan about how to use them.  Imagining a positive future where you project yourself into the future,  you are creating new thoughts and by taking action you are developing new habits and strengthening new neural connection to change your life. 

As we are aware, often the plumber’s house leaks, or the shoemaker’s daughter has no shoes, Judy transparently offers that applying these brain-based strategies starts at home.  As a coach, being mindful of one’s own growth, requires self-compassion and kindness to oneself.

Go for it. Life is short. Your brain will thank you for it!

How to Connect with Judy

Judy's website Coaching Positivity

Judy on Google+

Judy on Facebook

Judy on LinkedIn

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