Rewire your brain and tap into your psychological superpower

6 Min Read

We all have a superpower just waiting to be tapped into. It is ready to help us improve our performance at work and support us in our daily lives. It is powerful and innate. Yet it is not well known and its full potential is not utilized.

This superpower is ours psychological immune system. It works unconsciously to develop psychological ‘antibodies’ that strengthen our capacity for resilience and adaptation. It allows us to learn from setbacks, train and rewire our brains, and protect us from psychological damage resulting from negative emotions or difficult life events such as failure, trauma and stress.

This includes the stress we face at work, such as important presentations, important client meetings and dealing with a challenging colleague or manager. The psychological antibodies we create from these types of experiences can produce positive thinking patterns, personal growth, problem-solving skills, and even help control impulses, emotions, and irritability.

Our minds are remarkably resilient and our brains are exceptionally capable of making the most of difficult events. People often, for example underestimate their potential to weather emotional storms yet, when these events occur, our psychological immune system helps protect us from the consequences of these challenging experiences.

This special immune system works hand in hand with our emotional responses to learn to distinguish what we like and dislike, how to deal with and overcome challenges, and how to learn to adapt to our environment. Just as healthy diet and exercise support our physical immune system, we can also consciously strengthen our psychological immune system.

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So how do we do that?

A neutral mindset can be a powerful tool

First, we can try to move from a negative to a positive mindset – or at least a neutral one. In general, we are programmed to have a negative attitude towards unfamiliar situations and stimuli. If the jump from negative to positive self-talk is a step too far, consider initially reframing the events in a neutral or realistic way. This psychological phase of ‘rest and digest’ allows people to study their approach, their actions and the results, and more easily move past a naturally pessimistic mindset.

To move toward positivity and counteract negative emotions, consider the following:

· Accept praise, compliments and compassion (don’t let them deviate as many do)

· Try keeping a short-term journal about a negative experience to help identify and overcome potential problems

· Practice daily affirmations, mantras and gratitude

· Practice mindfulness, breathing exercises and guided meditation to center and refocus

· Develop a sense of purpose, which improves orientation to personal goals

Goal setting and self-motivation strengthen the psychological immune system by allowing people to take control and exert control over events. Without such a foundation, it is easy for people to worry and worry.

Participating in physical activities such as walking and yoga also supports a strong psychological immune response, helping the mind stay cognitively sharp and respond quickly to stressors. When researchers started mapping brain activity, they discovered that the brainnetwork in standard mode‘ actually became more active when attention was shifted to something that required less mental focus. While we still have much to learn about this network and how it works to support our psychological immune system, it is thought to be involved in a variety of cognitive functions, including creative thinking.

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All this said, these actions and activities will not support the psychological immune system if not done authentically. In difficult circumstances, being honest with yourself is the best policy. It’s fine to sit inside discomfort while trying to find purpose in the experience. Realize that better days lie ahead.

Follow the entrepreneur’s example to boost your psychological immune system

The biggest proponents of a better psychological immune system – whether they know it or not – are corporations. Research from Cleveland Clinic Canada and the Global Risk Institute shows companies want employees who can pick themselves up, dust themselves off and move forward with resilience – all characteristics of a strong psychological immune system.

Successful entrepreneurs often exhibit these tendencies: they are not necessarily smarter than others, but they are often positive, resilient, and have an unwavering belief in what they do. By following the example of entrepreneurs, we can strengthen our psychological immune system, be more confident in ourselves in times of stress, and be more comfortable taking risks.

Our psychological immune systems are powerful allies that help us live a fulfilling life and enjoy a successful career. They encourage us to be optimistic, grow from new circumstances and look forward to new situations. So leverage yours and redefine yours to earn the personal and professional rewards you deserve.

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