Jill Hewlett - Brain Fitness Authority Toronto - Brain Health and Exercises


Things rarely, if ever, go exactly as we plan. Sometimes they turn out better, sometimes worse, and sometimes they don’t turn out at all.

It can be frustrating when things don’t go as we had envisioned, especially when we invest a lot of hope, sweat and tears into a particular outcome.

The disappointment is real.  What can you do?

Although you can’t dwell forever in the emotion, I think it’s important and useful to allow the uncomfortable or difficult feelings to surface. Pushing them away doesn’t honour the importance of your dreams and plans, and ultimately repressed feelings will only fester and look for another time to be released.

Some ways you can allow these feelings to surface are:

  • Journaling in a notebook
  • Talking to a friend about it
  • Sitting in meditation
  • Walking in nature
  • Taking a bath

You may have more suggestions you can add to this list.

At some point though, you need to transcend the discomfort and not make those feelings become a reason to not move forward.  A ‘poor me syndrome’ or being stuck in repetitive loop will become a habit and make it harder to change. This includes excessive dwelling on those times when your plans do not go as you had hoped.

Of course, there is a chance that by feeling through your emotions, you will ease and eventually be released of the residual discomfort and disappointment. However, if that’s not the case – having some ‘Mindset Shifting Strategies’ is essential.

When it comes to intentionally working with your mindset, you are engaging in a form of Brain Fitness – a legitimate and powerful brain training activity.

Thanks to neuroplasticity, your brain is highly changeable, modifiable, and programmable. You just need to know how to tap into it.

One highly useful method that I’ve used over the years is to intentionally shift my mindset. It’s not always easy, and can take practise, but it’s worth the effort. Even a slight change can make a big difference and have you feeling a whole lot better and moving in a completely new direction.

Does that sound appealing? 

If so, here are some suggestions on how to do it:

  1. Silver Lining – Every life situation, if you take a closer look, has a learning opportunity or some good that comes from it even if it wasn’t the outcome or opportunity you were initially hoping for. Since knowledge is power, even if you can simply extrapolate a new insight, or become more informed, your brain will grow and simultaneously you will become the recipient of valuable life lessons.
  2. Mountain Side – You can become so accustomed to your own point of view that you can lose a healthy, well-rounded perspective. This mindset strategy refers to looking at things from the other side of the mountain where the view is probably a lot different, if not a complete contrast from your own. This may bring your opinion into balance so that better understanding can be had and better decisions can be made.
  3. Future Self – It’s typical to fret about issues that will have no bearing in our lives in weeks, months, or years from now. If you are having a hard time deciding how much attention or concern you should be giving to something, you can sit down in a quiet place and ask your Future Self what they think about it. Initially this may seem far-fetched, but you will likely be amazed with the insights that begin to pour in. This could be the input, nudge, or new perspective that you need to come to positive terms with the situation.
  4. Wise Advice – If you have a wise friend, family member, or counsellor in your life, it could be timely to turn to them for their welcoming ear and mature input. When you are in stress, you are not accessing your whole brain resources, so you are likely spinning your wheels, repeating certain scenarios in your mind, and not able to come up with alternative thinking or solutions. Someone who has a more objective viewpoint and whose opinion you value and trust can have a timely and helpful impact.
  5. Could Be Worse – It may sound like I’m desperate to find another strategy for you, but this one may be quite useful, especially in the initial stages of shifting your mindset. Why? Because thinking about how things could have turned out better may only frustrate and annoy you more. However, thinking about how things could have been worse may immediately give you a sense of relief, even if only temporarily. This may lead you to feeling grateful for your current situation and may elicit energy to forge new perspectives and actions that make things better.

So here are several ‘Mindset Shifting’ options for you!

Remember, shifting your mindset takes practise; it’s a layer by layer process. Your brain is like a garden.  It grows and changes based on the environment it is in and the care you give it.

To Your Fit Brain & Fit Life,