Carol the Coach: Your Brain Can Change Your Motivation

I recently attended the best motivational conference in the world and much of it was about meditation and brain science. The take home message for changing your life boiled down to two concepts. If you want to change behaviors, you need to spend 5-10 minutes a day meditating because it will take you to that inner space that allows you to make the changes in your life. The second strategy was that if you want to be successful, you have to practice mental rehearsal for the changes that you want to see in your life!

When you can get your intentions to match your behaviors, you create the needed feelings and actions that can change your life. This means that you can heal the scars from the past and create the reality or the future once you apply it, personalize it and  make your actions equal to your thoughts. 

Although this sounds so “airy fairy”, the truth is this strategy changes your brain chemistry. These behaviors train your brain to make changes in your life that empower you into mastery. You align your intentions with your behaviors and your actions to match your vision which produces chemicals that provide emotions that reinforce your strengths and your desires for your own reality to come true. Therefore, much of what you believe about yourself can be altered by creating the chemicals in your brain that will produce the feelings that you want. When you produce those feelings, they reinforce what you believe about yourself, your intentions, and your ability to get things done. Feelings are the driver to produce neurochemicals that change your brain neuro-circuitry.
As you change your neuro-circuitry, they wire and fire together
which then sets up the brain to work differently.
The mental rehearsal allows you to create the event that you were envisioning and your brain supports you. You create a scenario in which you experience successful feelings which allows you to live a certain way and then you act it out accordingly which creates a synergy that supports the ongoing changes to take your life to that next level.

It does not mean that you have the power to change all of life's circumstances but you have the power to learn from them, to alter how they effect you and then to do the things that you need to do to feel confident about the changes that you would like to see.

This equates into confidence and mastery. Now you have created a map for the future which means you have learned to sync up your intentions with your behavior and your actions and more importantly you have learned to eliminate the old thoughts and behaviors that stopped you from achieving your goals and dreams.

I've been a psychotherapist for 35 years and in the past 10 years I have learned that people who have depression, or who have experienced trauma or have addictions, requires that I help them to understand that they're old behaviors have not served them well. I always ask them what they want and I ask them to describe it in great detail convincing them to use mental rehearsal which allows them to see themselves as being the catalyst for change. People make changes when they discover the formula for changing how they feel and then repetitively seeing themselves accomplishing their goals. 
Meditation allows you to intuitively know what you want and mental rehearsal creates the map to practice doing it!


Carol the Coach: Good Self-Care

It's easy to have a very harried, busy life and to say I will slow down later. I will work on my breathing and meditation later. And then the inevitable happens… The kids are calling for you, your boss is asking for extra time, your husband needs a favor. You put your own needs on the back burner to meet the needs of others in your life. 

Now  I want to remind you that your brain needs to rest. And one of the best ways to do this is to meditate and allow the brain and the body to replenish and rejuvenate. If you forget to take care of yourself one of three things may happen:

  • You will not be able to cultivate relationships in the way that you would like.
  • You won’t function as well as you think you can.
  • You will not be allowing your brain to rest so that you can optimize your potential and operate at full capacity.

We are very anxious society and we are becoming more and more anxious with every technological apparatus that we use to manage our lives. I know that you have felt that anxiety when you haven't looked at your phone for over an hour because you were busy in a meeting. 

It used to be that we asked people to check their emails only twice a day because people could not resist checking in every 20 minutes to see what new messages they had in their inbox. This has been replaced by Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram which keeps us in the know every second of the day. I'm sure you have gone to a restaurant and noticed that at every table, people were looking at their phones as opposed to talking to each other. Part of good self-care its connection to people in a face-to-face way.

Therapists and coaches alike know that the best way to cultivate mental health is to get you to pay attention to taking care of your brain.  And good brain science means good mental health,

What do you do on a regular basis to take care of yourself?  I know that many of you may say “I get a manicure and a pedicure on a monthly basis” or “I will go get a massage.” But I am advocating that you put regularity into your daily functioning and spend at least 20 to 40 minutes on replenishing your energy and fortifying your brain.
This regimen may look like the following:

  1. Organize your day so that you will limit the amount of time you spend on the phone and with your computer. Start out small but decide what you can handle and tell yourself you're going to go for three hour increments without looking at your phone or computer.
  2. Start your day in a very centered way by meditating from 5 to 60 minutes. You get to decide how much time you're going to spend in a quiet room focusing on being in the present. 
  3. Spend some time either walking outside and observing nature or in a class like Tai Chi or Yoga. This allows you to focus on your body feels as it maintains specialized movement that allows your muscles to expand and contract. 

When you utilize self-care by spending your time and energy in quieting your thoughts, slowing the body down, and enjoying what is, you really are able to replenish your energy in ways that will allow you to maximize self-care.

Carol Juergensen Sheets, LCSW PCC is a psychotherapist and personal life coach. SHe does motivational speaking and empowerment trainings locally and nationally. To find out more about her services, contact her at or call her at 317-218-3479. You can watch Carol the Coach segments on WTHR's Channel 13 Wednesdays at 12:50PM.