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STAMFORD, CT, September 19, 2011 /24-7PressRelease/ -- When the season changes, life coach Millie Grenough believes it may be time to change your channels, rewire your brain and reset your personal GPS. Global Positioning Systems commonly known as "that navigation thing in our car" makes it easier for us to get from place to place, piloting our path in the shortest, most direct or even in some cases most scenic courses. Why not take the scenic route for your life as well?
The end of Summer brings a lot of mixed emotions and possible new paths to follow. Children return to school. Routines struggle to re-establish. Vacation time is often over for most of us. And the days start getting shorter and the sunlight is less intense. All these factors can have a direct impact on our mood, mindset and behavior.
Although many look forward to the glorious beauty of the Fall with its pageantry of colors and harvest of delights, some of us just can't seem to embrace quite simply the changes that will be happening to our daily lives.
When Millie Grenough suggests resetting your personal GPS, she wants us to consider the change of season and the change of routine not as a dreaded stress-riddled experience but as something to get excited about.
"Resetting your personal GPS from stress to pleasurable newness can seem like a stretch to some but if you think about it and visualize fun ways to experience life's daily activities it can be a lot more productive. Our brains are primed to continue learning new things as long as we live.... By what we choose to do and not do, we influence which neurons grow and how much they grow," states Grenough. "Instead of focusing on pain, why not choose pleasure?"
To start on this path of resetting your GPS, Grenough suggests that you plan routines/little rituals that are realistic -and as pleasurable as possible- for you and those around you.
Take little 5-second Breathing Breaks - and make it simple!
For children, suggest that they breathe:
- before they brush their teeth
- when they pick up their backpack
- before they get on the school bus
- as soon as they get home
- and right after they hop into bed, remind them to breathe.
For adults, breathe:
- before you check your e-mail in the morning
- before you have your 1st cup of coffee or tea
- as you head out the door for work
- if you hit a traffic jam
And for everyone - when you sit down for a meal, before you pick up your fork - just breathe for five seconds.
According to Grenough, you are the CEO of your own emotions. "If I lift a barbell always with only my right arm, then the muscles in the right arm grow. If I don't exercise my left arm, there will be no growth and the muscle might even diminish," she continue. " It's exactly the same with the wiring in our brains and its 'emotional channels.' If I am always on the stress channel, that will grow. If I choose another channel - maybe the 'Wow, it's a new day!' channel, that wiring can grow."
Remember that fun doesn't have to end because Summer is over . There are many things you can do to make the change of seasons pleasurable at best and at least not so stressful. Grenough recommends celebrating the end of Summer. Her suggestions include:
- Do a family interview: Some of the questions might be -what was the best thing you remember about this Summer? - the gloomiest thing? - the most important thing?
- Pick out one special thing like a new schedule or a new wake-up time. Changing routines can be difficult - but if you use your GPS to make the changeover easier, consciously and creatively that can help ease the channel change.
- Talk about How do you want Monday morning to be and what can we all do to make it happen?
- Celebrate successes. Every night at dinner, check in with each other and talk about your day and ask questions about theirs. What was the best part of your day? -what made you laugh? What made you wonder?
Research shows that when we have the chance to talk about things - the 'stinky' and the 'terrific' - it airs out our brains and can lessen our stress and strengthen those good brain wirings according to Grenough. She also reminds us to make sure to schedule in fun times. There are lots of Summertime activities that you can keep on doing like biking and hiking. Plan the activities and write them down on your calendar like cook-outs, picnics, beach walks and take turns choosing your favorite. Grenough recommends reading as a good all-year-round family treat and suggests picking one night that will be your family reading night.
So if you are swallowed up in the stress of changing seasons, don't get angry at yourself. Just go back to your GPS. Find out Where are you now? and Where do you want to be? Then re-calculate your route! And remember - you can always find an OASIS in your overwhelm!
If you are ready to reset the GPS in your life and if minimizing stress matters, treat yourself to an OASIS in The Overwhelm. Find more practical and simple strategies in Grenough's book OASIS in the Overwhelm, available at www.milliegrenough.com or www.amazon.com.
Millie Grenough, Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, is the author of OASIS in the Overwhelm: 60-second strategies for balance in a busy world and OASIS in the Overwhelm 28 Day Guide: Rewire Your Brain from Chaos to Calm and OASIS en la Adversidad. A sought-after keynote speaker, team builder and retreat leader, Grenough coaches individuals and groups, via webinars, phone, and onsite trainings. Grenough's passion? "To help individuals and groups reach their full potential, while becoming saner and healthier." For more information go to www.milliegrenough.com.
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