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When I was younger, I loved video games, specifically, Super Mario Brothers. Little Mario traveled his way through all sorts of obstacles and challenges, bumping into mushrooms, dodging flaming balls, and jumping on turtles, all in an attempt to rescue the princess. 

I remember the sense of accomplishment when Mario achieved the next milestone, but that dopamine hit didn’t last long. As soon as I made it to the next level, the game got more difficult. The threats were greater, the challenges harder, and the next level seemed impossible. I had a couple of choices: I could keep playing the levels I’d already passed. After all, I knew the tricks and shortcuts, and every time I went through those levels, they got a little easier. Or I could try the next level where I was most certainly going to fail.

Like a video game, life is a series of challenges, obstacles, lessons, and growth. It can feel like the second you recover from one challenge, you are confronted with another. You put in the work, you learn, you grow, you overcome, yet there always seems to be another challenge ahead.
Just like a video game, life is a series of opportunities to level up.

Think of your life as a series of levels. In level 1, childhood, you learn the basics of life: How to walk, talk, eat. Quicker than you realize, you advance from one level to the next, learning to work with others, problem solve, live on your own. All the skills you learn in level 1 build in level 2. You’ll still need to know how to walk, talk, and eat in level 2, but it won’t solve all your problems. That is something we constantly forget. While the skills we’ve learned are helpful, what worked to win in level 1 and 2, won’t always work in level 3 and 4. 

The same is true in any time or place of change. When your team is changing at work, you’re starting a new level. New circumstances, new skills, new challenges, new teammates. The way you’ve always done things isn’t always going to work.

Leveling up often happens without you even realizing. Once you find yourself outside of your comfort zone, feeling stuck, scared, or lost, you’ve probably leveled up. The real question is, how do you find comfort and success in this new level of your life?

Whether it is learning to walk, getting through high school (you couldn’t pay me enough to do that again), starting a new job, or building relationships, we face obstacles, learn, make a plan, and move forward. We can either play it safe and do what we’ve always done, or we can choose to tackle the next level. The only way to achieve our potential (or save the princess) is to embrace the discomfort of the unknown.

Over the next several weeks, we will look at ways to level up. So, I have two questions for you, and you can reply directly to this email with your answers:

- If your life were a video game, what game would it be?
- Where in your life would you most like to level up and why?

Leave a comment with your answers. 

----------------

Subscribe to the Anne Grady Group for more resilience-building tools and strategies! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU8s....

----------------

Sign up for Anne's weekly Resilience Reset email list! 
https://www.annegradygroup.com/strong...

----------------

More at https://www.annegradygroup.com​​​​​
▶︎ Instagram: @AnneGradyGroup
▶︎ Twitter: @AnneGradyGroup
▶︎ Facebook: Anne Grady Group
▶︎ New Book + Companion Journal: https://www.annegradygroup.com/books/...
Are you ready to level up?

When I was younger, I loved video games, specifically, Super Mario Brothers. Little Mario traveled his way through all sorts of obstacles and challenges, bumping into mushrooms, dodging flaming balls, and jumping on turtles, all in an attempt to rescue the princess.

I remember the sense of accomplishment when Mario achieved the next milestone, but that dopamine hit didn’t last long. As soon as I made it to the next level, the game got more difficult. The threats were greater, the challenges harder, and the next level seemed impossible. I had a couple of choices: I could keep playing the levels I’d already passed. After all, I knew the tricks and shortcuts, and every time I went through those levels, they got a little easier. Or I could try the next level where I was most certainly going to fail.

Like a video game, life is a series of challenges, obstacles, lessons, and growth. It can feel like the second you recover from one challenge, you are confronted with another. You put in the work, you learn, you grow, you overcome, yet there always seems to be another challenge ahead.
Just like a video game, life is a series of opportunities to level up.

Think of your life as a series of levels. In level 1, childhood, you learn the basics of life: How to walk, talk, eat. Quicker than you realize, you advance from one level to the next, learning to work with others, problem solve, live on your own. All the skills you learn in level 1 build in level 2. You’ll still need to know how to walk, talk, and eat in level 2, but it won’t solve all your problems. That is something we constantly forget. While the skills we’ve learned are helpful, what worked to win in level 1 and 2, won’t always work in level 3 and 4.

The same is true in any time or place of change. When your team is changing at work, you’re starting a new level. New circumstances, new skills, new challenges, new teammates. The way you’ve always done things isn’t always going to work.

Leveling up often happens without you even realizing. Once you find yourself outside of your comfort zone, feeling stuck, scared, or lost, you’ve probably leveled up. The real question is, how do you find comfort and success in this new level of your life?

Whether it is learning to walk, getting through high school (you couldn’t pay me enough to do that again), starting a new job, or building relationships, we face obstacles, learn, make a plan, and move forward. We can either play it safe and do what we’ve always done, or we can choose to tackle the next level. The only way to achieve our potential (or save the princess) is to embrace the discomfort of the unknown.

Over the next several weeks, we will look at ways to level up. So, I have two questions for you, and you can reply directly to this email with your answers:

- If your life were a video game, what game would it be?
- Where in your life would you most like to level up and why?

Leave a comment with your answers.

----------------

Subscribe to the Anne Grady Group for more resilience-building tools and strategies! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU8s....

----------------

Sign up for Anne's weekly Resilience Reset email list!
https://www.annegradygroup.com/strong...

----------------

More at https://www.annegradygroup.com​​​​​
▶︎ Instagram: @AnneGradyGroup
▶︎ Twitter: @AnneGradyGroup
▶︎ Facebook: Anne Grady Group
▶︎ New Book + Companion Journal: https://www.annegradygroup.com/books/...

YouTube Video UExTZERTdG9fZ2VxQnF0bnBPUmNXMzMyZjRaRFdqdzdIYi4xN0Y2QjVBOEI2MzQ5OUM5

Are you ready to level up?

October 3, 2022 9:37 pm

Last week, I asked you to pay attention to areas in your life where you may be creating unnecessary stress. Checking your email after work and endless scrolling through social media are great examples of self-inflicted stress, and shifting those two habits alone will dramatically improve your mental health.

Unfortunately, much of our stress stems from events beyond our control. That stress begins to have negative consequences when we don’t have the mental, physical, and emotional resources to cope with the demands placed on us. There is a looming mental health crisis as a result.

Fortunately, we can increase our capacity to deal with stress and build a resilience buffer zone by developing these skills and mental muscles over time. 

Part of this capacity building is to understand our brain and body’s stress response. When we understand how stress works, we can proactively and strategically manage it.

How It Works:

Your nervous system does essentially the same thing when you are scared or excited. If you’ve ever tried to change lanes in traffic, only to realize there was someone in your blind spot, you know the power of your nervous system. In a split second, your heart races, pulse quickens, mouth gets dry, and your body takes over. You’ve probably experienced a similar feeling while reading an email at some point in your career. While the email isn’t an immediate threat, your nervous system has the same response.

Your brain and body are amazing and are designed to protect you. Being able to tell the difference between danger and safety is necessary for survival. Your autonomic nervous system kicks into high gear, setting off a neuro and biochemical reaction, preparing you to deal with threats. Just as your nervous system cannot tell the difference between a real and perceived threat, it also can’t tell the difference between real and perceived safety. Every moment we spend in fear takes energy from our emotional reserves to cope. Every cue of safety replenishes these reserves to help us deal with challenges as they arise. This is great news because it means that you can signal safety for your brain and nervous system at any time.

Pay attention to your body and physical sensations. The next time you feel your nervous system trying to protect you, simply remind yourself that you are safe. I say to myself, “In this moment, I am safe.”

It’s so simple, it’s easy to dismiss, but this tool is a powerful resilience building skill. You can learn to control your nervous system. 

Write this on a sticky note and place it on your computer, mirror, refrigerator, or anywhere you need a reminder: "In this moment, I am safe."
Use this simple mantra to reset your nervous system

Last week, I asked you to pay attention to areas in your life where you may be creating unnecessary stress. Checking your email after work and endless scrolling through social media are great examples of self-inflicted stress, and shifting those two habits alone will dramatically improve your mental health.

Unfortunately, much of our stress stems from events beyond our control. That stress begins to have negative consequences when we don’t have the mental, physical, and emotional resources to cope with the demands placed on us. There is a looming mental health crisis as a result.

Fortunately, we can increase our capacity to deal with stress and build a resilience buffer zone by developing these skills and mental muscles over time.

Part of this capacity building is to understand our brain and body’s stress response. When we understand how stress works, we can proactively and strategically manage it.

How It Works:

Your nervous system does essentially the same thing when you are scared or excited. If you’ve ever tried to change lanes in traffic, only to realize there was someone in your blind spot, you know the power of your nervous system. In a split second, your heart races, pulse quickens, mouth gets dry, and your body takes over. You’ve probably experienced a similar feeling while reading an email at some point in your career. While the email isn’t an immediate threat, your nervous system has the same response.

Your brain and body are amazing and are designed to protect you. Being able to tell the difference between danger and safety is necessary for survival. Your autonomic nervous system kicks into high gear, setting off a neuro and biochemical reaction, preparing you to deal with threats. Just as your nervous system cannot tell the difference between a real and perceived threat, it also can’t tell the difference between real and perceived safety. Every moment we spend in fear takes energy from our emotional reserves to cope. Every cue of safety replenishes these reserves to help us deal with challenges as they arise. This is great news because it means that you can signal safety for your brain and nervous system at any time.

Pay attention to your body and physical sensations. The next time you feel your nervous system trying to protect you, simply remind yourself that you are safe. I say to myself, “In this moment, I am safe.”

It’s so simple, it’s easy to dismiss, but this tool is a powerful resilience building skill. You can learn to control your nervous system.

Write this on a sticky note and place it on your computer, mirror, refrigerator, or anywhere you need a reminder: "In this moment, I am safe."

YouTube Video UExTZERTdG9fZ2VxQnF0bnBPUmNXMzMyZjRaRFdqdzdIYi4yQzk4QTA5QjkzMTFFOEI1

Use this simple mantra to reset your nervous system

August 15, 2022 7:39 pm

Let's do an experiment. Fill in the blank. “If at first you don’t succeed, ____________”. You may be thinking, “try, try again”, but I was thinking, if at first you don’t succeed, failure may be your thing. 😉
 
The way you filled in the blank may be an indicator of how inclusive you are. 
 
As adults, we don’t listen to understand, we listen to respond. Our brain likes predictable patterns, and it is always trying to fill in the blanks. When we try to fill in the blanks, we often fill them incorrectly, and it can cause people to not feel heard, valued, or included. 
 
Anytime you are communicating, you bring with your past experiences, both good and bad, with you. We are so inside of our own reality, that it’s easy to forget that our realities can be very different.
 
Diversity and inclusion go beyond race or sexual orientation. My son Evan has autism, and this invisible difference often makes him feel excluded and different. Transplant someone from New Jersey into South Texas (I’m speaking from experience), and the words “similar” and “included” are not how I would describe my experience. Two people can look and sound identical and still be completely different.
 
We have to stop filling in the blanks if we want to create real equality and inclusion. 
 
How do you make someone feel included?
 
1. Really listen

We speak at approximately 125-150 words per minute, but we are able to listen to and comprehend 400-600 words per minute. That means that while other people are talking, we have lots of time to think about other things. Do you check your phone while you are in conversations? 86% of adults do, and it is the exact opposite of listening.
 
The moment people see you are trying to understand them, they become less defensive. Rather than spending your time trying to convince someone that you are right, truly listen to understand where the other person is coming from. Listening is not an easy skill. It requires you to stop thinking and doing so that you are able to truly focus on what the other person is saying. You will be far more effective if your intent is to listen to understand, not to be understood.
 
2. Be genuinely curious
 
I’ve yet to meet someone who is offended when I ask a question about their background, culture, or experiences. The beauty of diversity is that we all bring our own gifts, knowledge, and experiences to the table. When we make assumptions or judgements about others without first trying to understand, we are not only filling the blanks in wrong, but we offend people in the process. It is okay to ask questions, paraphrase for understanding, and show genuine curiosity. It is how we learn. Two great ways to start are, “Can you help me understand….” Or “Can you help me understand where you’re coming from…”.
 
3. Invite others to share their story

The best way to invite others to share their story is the offer to share your own. In the past, the idea of vulnerability was usually associated with weakness. In recent years, the word vulnerability has come to be used in a broader context — as in when you choose to share parts of yourself that you might be tempted to keep hidden. If you choose to show vulnerability with another person, that’s not a sign of weakness. It’s a demonstration of courage and builds connection and trust. This doesn’t mean you should air dirty laundry or show people that rash that keeps spreading, but it is okay to let your guard down. Not only is it okay, it helps you build resilience. When we are vulnerable, we make it safe for others to be the same.
 
Community and connection are created when we take time to understand and celebrate our differences as well as our similarities. I don’t know anyone that wakes up and says, “I can’t wait to frustrate and disappoint the people I interact with today”. We wake up wanting to be successful, happy, and the best possible version of ourselves. Every human being has a fundamental need for connection and inclusion. That is what connects us.
Are you guilty of filling in the blanks?

Let's do an experiment. Fill in the blank. “If at first you don’t succeed, ____________”. You may be thinking, “try, try again”, but I was thinking, if at first you don’t succeed, failure may be your thing. 😉

The way you filled in the blank may be an indicator of how inclusive you are.

As adults, we don’t listen to understand, we listen to respond. Our brain likes predictable patterns, and it is always trying to fill in the blanks. When we try to fill in the blanks, we often fill them incorrectly, and it can cause people to not feel heard, valued, or included.

Anytime you are communicating, you bring with your past experiences, both good and bad, with you. We are so inside of our own reality, that it’s easy to forget that our realities can be very different.

Diversity and inclusion go beyond race or sexual orientation. My son Evan has autism, and this invisible difference often makes him feel excluded and different. Transplant someone from New Jersey into South Texas (I’m speaking from experience), and the words “similar” and “included” are not how I would describe my experience. Two people can look and sound identical and still be completely different.

We have to stop filling in the blanks if we want to create real equality and inclusion.

How do you make someone feel included?

1. Really listen

We speak at approximately 125-150 words per minute, but we are able to listen to and comprehend 400-600 words per minute. That means that while other people are talking, we have lots of time to think about other things. Do you check your phone while you are in conversations? 86% of adults do, and it is the exact opposite of listening.

The moment people see you are trying to understand them, they become less defensive. Rather than spending your time trying to convince someone that you are right, truly listen to understand where the other person is coming from. Listening is not an easy skill. It requires you to stop thinking and doing so that you are able to truly focus on what the other person is saying. You will be far more effective if your intent is to listen to understand, not to be understood.

2. Be genuinely curious

I’ve yet to meet someone who is offended when I ask a question about their background, culture, or experiences. The beauty of diversity is that we all bring our own gifts, knowledge, and experiences to the table. When we make assumptions or judgements about others without first trying to understand, we are not only filling the blanks in wrong, but we offend people in the process. It is okay to ask questions, paraphrase for understanding, and show genuine curiosity. It is how we learn. Two great ways to start are, “Can you help me understand….” Or “Can you help me understand where you’re coming from…”.

3. Invite others to share their story

The best way to invite others to share their story is the offer to share your own. In the past, the idea of vulnerability was usually associated with weakness. In recent years, the word vulnerability has come to be used in a broader context — as in when you choose to share parts of yourself that you might be tempted to keep hidden. If you choose to show vulnerability with another person, that’s not a sign of weakness. It’s a demonstration of courage and builds connection and trust. This doesn’t mean you should air dirty laundry or show people that rash that keeps spreading, but it is okay to let your guard down. Not only is it okay, it helps you build resilience. When we are vulnerable, we make it safe for others to be the same.

Community and connection are created when we take time to understand and celebrate our differences as well as our similarities. I don’t know anyone that wakes up and says, “I can’t wait to frustrate and disappoint the people I interact with today”. We wake up wanting to be successful, happy, and the best possible version of ourselves. Every human being has a fundamental need for connection and inclusion. That is what connects us.

YouTube Video UExTZERTdG9fZ2VxQnF0bnBPUmNXMzMyZjRaRFdqdzdIYi5EQkE3RTJCQTJEQkFBQTcz

Are you guilty of filling in the blanks?

June 20, 2022 9:18 pm

When you are lying in bed at night replaying your day, are you thinking about the things that went right or the things that didn’t?
 
Thanks to our negativity bias, the chances are pretty high that you naturally default to the negative. When those negative thoughts become obsessive, you are stuck in rumination.
 
We’ve all been there – we make a mistake and replay it over, and over, and over. But is that useful – No. 
 
How do you get out of the rumination cycle?
 
Rumination is the habit of obsessive thinking, it is a coping mechanism for stress, and it is a common psychological experience. When not managed properly, rumination can be dangerous to your mental health.
 
Replaying an event to try to figure out what you might be able to do differently next time is helpful. When you are stuck in rumination, not only is it not productive, it reinforces the negative material and our negativity bias, and it does nothing to help solve the problem.
 
Want to break the habit of rumination?
 
Distraction (do something useful and productive). Do not try not to think about it. When you try not to think about something, you magnify it in your mind. Think about or do something else.Your brain will stay in a negative loop unless you shift your attention. 

Shift your attention to something positive – If you messed up, think about times you got it right. Turn your attention to your strengths. Remind yourself that you are human .If you are still stuck in a negative cycle, remember this simple question: What’s right, right now?

Practice mindfulness. Notice when you get sucked into rumination. How does your body feel? Is it contracting or expanding? You can choose to disengage. Rumination is about the past. Bring yourself back to the present. Say to yourself, “Oh, I’m ruminating again”; this calms your brain and takes you out of a threat state, allowing you to think more clearly.. Anytime you go back to rumination, gently bring yourself back to this moment and take 3 deep breaths. This will interrupt the rumination cycle.
 
Wherever we direct our attention becomes our reality because we find what we look for. The more you ruminate, the more likely it inclines your mind in that direction.
 
Breaking the habit of rumination is a skill and one that will dramatically improve your mental health. You can rewire your brain by spending more time magnifying the positive in your life   and less time worrying about things you can’t control.

----------------

Subscribe to the Anne Grady Group for more resilience-building tools and strategies! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU8s......

----------------

Sign up for Anne's weekly Resilience Reset email list! 
https://www.annegradygroup.com/strong...

----------------

More at https://www.annegradygroup.com​​​​​
▶︎ Instagram: @AnneGradyGroup
▶︎ Twitter: @AnneGradyGroup
▶︎ Facebook: Anne Grady Group
▶︎ New Book + Companion Journal: https://www.annegradygroup.com/books/...
This Habit is Sabotaging Your Mental Health

When you are lying in bed at night replaying your day, are you thinking about the things that went right or the things that didn’t?

Thanks to our negativity bias, the chances are pretty high that you naturally default to the negative. When those negative thoughts become obsessive, you are stuck in rumination.

We’ve all been there – we make a mistake and replay it over, and over, and over. But is that useful – No.

How do you get out of the rumination cycle?

Rumination is the habit of obsessive thinking, it is a coping mechanism for stress, and it is a common psychological experience. When not managed properly, rumination can be dangerous to your mental health.

Replaying an event to try to figure out what you might be able to do differently next time is helpful. When you are stuck in rumination, not only is it not productive, it reinforces the negative material and our negativity bias, and it does nothing to help solve the problem.

Want to break the habit of rumination?

Distraction (do something useful and productive). Do not try not to think about it. When you try not to think about something, you magnify it in your mind. Think about or do something else.Your brain will stay in a negative loop unless you shift your attention.

Shift your attention to something positive – If you messed up, think about times you got it right. Turn your attention to your strengths. Remind yourself that you are human .If you are still stuck in a negative cycle, remember this simple question: What’s right, right now?

Practice mindfulness. Notice when you get sucked into rumination. How does your body feel? Is it contracting or expanding? You can choose to disengage. Rumination is about the past. Bring yourself back to the present. Say to yourself, “Oh, I’m ruminating again”; this calms your brain and takes you out of a threat state, allowing you to think more clearly.. Anytime you go back to rumination, gently bring yourself back to this moment and take 3 deep breaths. This will interrupt the rumination cycle.

Wherever we direct our attention becomes our reality because we find what we look for. The more you ruminate, the more likely it inclines your mind in that direction.

Breaking the habit of rumination is a skill and one that will dramatically improve your mental health. You can rewire your brain by spending more time magnifying the positive in your life and less time worrying about things you can’t control.

----------------

Subscribe to the Anne Grady Group for more resilience-building tools and strategies! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU8s......

----------------

Sign up for Anne's weekly Resilience Reset email list!
https://www.annegradygroup.com/strong...

----------------

More at https://www.annegradygroup.com​​​​​
▶︎ Instagram: @AnneGradyGroup
▶︎ Twitter: @AnneGradyGroup
▶︎ Facebook: Anne Grady Group
▶︎ New Book + Companion Journal: https://www.annegradygroup.com/books/...

YouTube Video UExTZERTdG9fZ2VxQnF0bnBPUmNXMzMyZjRaRFdqdzdIYi43QzNCNkZENzIyMDY2MjZB

This Habit is Sabotaging Your Mental Health

May 16, 2022 12:13 pm

April is World Autism Month, or as The Autism Society is shifting to Autism Acceptance Month.

Raising a child with mental illness and Autism has been my resilience-building breeding ground. We began therapy when Evan was just 11-months old, and he has been in one form of therapy or another ever since. The lessons we have learned from countless therapists have been invaluable.

It’s hard to believe that Evan is turning 18 this month and graduating from high school in June! While I know our journey is in many ways just getting started, I am so hopeful for Evan’s future. I am also incredibly proud of the fact that he still asks me to share his story. He understands the shame and stigma attached to mental illness and Autism and wants to help change that. As a mom, this is my proudest accomplishment.

Just like you, I’ve learned how to build my resilience muscle out of necessity. On the days when I doubt my own strength, I look back on the lessons I’ve learned (and the ones I’m still learning): 

1. Unconditional love
2. Acceptance
3. Empathy
4. Support
5. Self-care

Join me this month in helping build awareness and acceptance for people with Autism. And remember, when you see behaviors from others that may make you cringe, rather than pass judgment, offer a kind smile, a pat on the back, and provide reassurance. Remember, we are all doing the very best that we can.

----------------

Subscribe to the Anne Grady Group for more resilience-building tools and strategies! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU8s...​...

----------------

Sign up for Anne's weekly Resilience Reset email list! 
https://www.annegradygroup.com/strong...​

----------------

More at https://www.annegradygroup.com​​​​​
▶︎ Instagram: @AnneGradyGroup
▶︎ Twitter: @AnneGradyGroup
▶︎ Facebook: Anne Grady Group
▶︎ New Book + Companion Journal: https://www.annegradygroup.com/books/...​
Lessons I’ve learned from raising a child with Autism

April is World Autism Month, or as The Autism Society is shifting to Autism Acceptance Month.

Raising a child with mental illness and Autism has been my resilience-building breeding ground. We began therapy when Evan was just 11-months old, and he has been in one form of therapy or another ever since. The lessons we have learned from countless therapists have been invaluable.

It’s hard to believe that Evan is turning 18 this month and graduating from high school in June! While I know our journey is in many ways just getting started, I am so hopeful for Evan’s future. I am also incredibly proud of the fact that he still asks me to share his story. He understands the shame and stigma attached to mental illness and Autism and wants to help change that. As a mom, this is my proudest accomplishment.

Just like you, I’ve learned how to build my resilience muscle out of necessity. On the days when I doubt my own strength, I look back on the lessons I’ve learned (and the ones I’m still learning):

1. Unconditional love
2. Acceptance
3. Empathy
4. Support
5. Self-care

Join me this month in helping build awareness and acceptance for people with Autism. And remember, when you see behaviors from others that may make you cringe, rather than pass judgment, offer a kind smile, a pat on the back, and provide reassurance. Remember, we are all doing the very best that we can.

----------------

Subscribe to the Anne Grady Group for more resilience-building tools and strategies! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU8s...​...

----------------

Sign up for Anne's weekly Resilience Reset email list!
https://www.annegradygroup.com/strong...​

----------------

More at https://www.annegradygroup.com​​​​​
▶︎ Instagram: @AnneGradyGroup
▶︎ Twitter: @AnneGradyGroup
▶︎ Facebook: Anne Grady Group
▶︎ New Book + Companion Journal: https://www.annegradygroup.com/books/...​

YouTube Video UExTZERTdG9fZ2VxQnF0bnBPUmNXMzMyZjRaRFdqdzdIYi5CQkEwRDA0MDkwNUM2MDY1

Lessons I’ve learned from raising a child with Autism

April 19, 2021 6:51 am

Who do you compare yourself to regularly? 

Or more specifically, who have you compared yourself to in the last 24 hours?  

So often we ask ourselves, "How does this person do “that”? What am I doing wrong?" While it is natural to compare yourself to others, it’s also what robs us of joy. 

Without realizing it, when we compare ourselves to others, we activate our brain’s negativity bias, and it directly affects our mental state. Research shows that the kind of social comparison women are prone to is directly linked to low self-esteem.  

Social media makes this comparison all too easy. We compare our life to the highlight reel of our friends, family, and colleagues. I can tell you that when you see my posts on social, you are most likely to see the great moments. I rarely post when I’ve had a horrible day because who wants to see that? Social media can be great if it helps you connect with others and build relationships, but not when it starts impacting your mood or causes you to constantly compare yourself with others. Doing that is just waging mental war with yourself. The next time you find yourself heading for a social media fix, ask yourself if it is serving you. Instead of endlessly scrolling, take time to comment on posts and engage with the people in your network. 

I confess, I check my phone more often than I care to admit and get caught up scrolling through social media. Half the time, I don’t even realize I’m doing it. And that’s the problem – when we unconsciously allow anything to interrupt our mental processes and potentially shift our mood, we are giving away our mental real estate. This is especially the case when you are tired and don’t have the mental capacity to process it, put it in perspective, and choose how you want to interpret it.  

The next time you head down the path of comparison, make a concerted effort to S.T.O.P. (Stop, Take three deep breaths, Observe your thoughts and emotions, and Proceed). Then spend your time and energy celebrating all of the amazing things you have accomplished and all the great things you will go on to accomplish. Don’t rob yourself of joy by comparing yourself to others. 

----------------

Subscribe to the Anne Grady Group for more resilience-building tools and strategies! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU8s......

----------------

Sign up for Anne's weekly Resilience Reset email list! 
www.annegradygroup.com/strong

----------------

More at https://www.annegradygroup.com​​​​
▶︎ Instagram: @AnneGradyGroup
▶︎ Twitter: @AnneGradyGroup
▶︎ Facebook: Anne Grady Group
▶︎ New Book + Companion Journal: https://www.annegradygroup.com/books/...
Comparison is the thief of joy

Who do you compare yourself to regularly?

Or more specifically, who have you compared yourself to in the last 24 hours?  

So often we ask ourselves, "How does this person do “that”? What am I doing wrong?" While it is natural to compare yourself to others, it’s also what robs us of joy. 

Without realizing it, when we compare ourselves to others, we activate our brain’s negativity bias, and it directly affects our mental state. Research shows that the kind of social comparison women are prone to is directly linked to low self-esteem.  

Social media makes this comparison all too easy. We compare our life to the highlight reel of our friends, family, and colleagues. I can tell you that when you see my posts on social, you are most likely to see the great moments. I rarely post when I’ve had a horrible day because who wants to see that? Social media can be great if it helps you connect with others and build relationships, but not when it starts impacting your mood or causes you to constantly compare yourself with others. Doing that is just waging mental war with yourself. The next time you find yourself heading for a social media fix, ask yourself if it is serving you. Instead of endlessly scrolling, take time to comment on posts and engage with the people in your network. 

I confess, I check my phone more often than I care to admit and get caught up scrolling through social media. Half the time, I don’t even realize I’m doing it. And that’s the problem – when we unconsciously allow anything to interrupt our mental processes and potentially shift our mood, we are giving away our mental real estate. This is especially the case when you are tired and don’t have the mental capacity to process it, put it in perspective, and choose how you want to interpret it.  

The next time you head down the path of comparison, make a concerted effort to S.T.O.P. (Stop, Take three deep breaths, Observe your thoughts and emotions, and Proceed). Then spend your time and energy celebrating all of the amazing things you have accomplished and all the great things you will go on to accomplish. Don’t rob yourself of joy by comparing yourself to others. 

----------------

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----------------

Sign up for Anne's weekly Resilience Reset email list!
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More at https://www.annegradygroup.com​​​​
▶︎ Instagram: @AnneGradyGroup
▶︎ Twitter: @AnneGradyGroup
▶︎ Facebook: Anne Grady Group
▶︎ New Book + Companion Journal: https://www.annegradygroup.com/books/...

YouTube Video UExTZERTdG9fZ2VxQnF0bnBPUmNXMzMyZjRaRFdqdzdIYi42RTNCOEMxREI3Q0VDMjU2

Comparison is the thief of joy

March 7, 2022 3:24 pm

If you have found yourself isolating, it is important to remember that our relationships play a huge role in our ability to stay resilient. They buffer us against our most difficult and challenging times, providing the deep connection human beings fundamentally need. 

Our social connections have been found to be the greatest predictor of how long we will live (more than smoking, high blood pressure, and obesity), and the greatest determinant of our long-term happiness:

- Our connections shape the way we see the world. Harvard researcher Shawn Achor found that if you were to look at a hill by yourself, you would believe it’s 10-20% steeper than looking at a hill of the same height while standing next to someone who would climb the hill with you. Social connection changes what your brain sees. 

- Social connection improves overall wellbeing. When you have a pro-social mindset (when you’re focused on  doing things to help others), research shows you are kinder, have more energy, and increase motivation, productivity, and creativity. If you are an introvert (or have found yourself becoming one) this doesn’t mean you have to constantly socialize or be the life of the party, but it is important to connect with others. The quality of our relationships is much more important than the quality. The happiness boost you get from connection with others is crucial to your health and well-being and a key element to building resilience. 

Not only does connecting with others give us a sense of belonging, it can lower anxiety and depression, help us regulate our emotions, lead to higher levels of empathy, and actually improve our immune systems. By neglecting our need to connect, we put our health at risk.

If you have found yourself retreating into a cocoon, don’t forget to make time to connect with friends, family, and colleagues. Your health and happiness depends on it.

----------------

Subscribe to the Anne Grady Group for more resilience-building tools and strategies! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU8s......

----------------

Sign up for Anne's weekly Resilience Reset email list! 
www.annegradygroup.com/strong

----------------

More at https://www.annegradygroup.com​​​​
▶︎ Instagram: @AnneGradyGroup
▶︎ Twitter: @AnneGradyGroup
▶︎ Facebook: Anne Grady Group
▶︎ New Book + Companion Journal: https://www.annegradygroup.com/books/...
The greatest predictor of long-term happiness 😊

If you have found yourself isolating, it is important to remember that our relationships play a huge role in our ability to stay resilient. They buffer us against our most difficult and challenging times, providing the deep connection human beings fundamentally need.

Our social connections have been found to be the greatest predictor of how long we will live (more than smoking, high blood pressure, and obesity), and the greatest determinant of our long-term happiness:

- Our connections shape the way we see the world. Harvard researcher Shawn Achor found that if you were to look at a hill by yourself, you would believe it’s 10-20% steeper than looking at a hill of the same height while standing next to someone who would climb the hill with you. Social connection changes what your brain sees.

- Social connection improves overall wellbeing. When you have a pro-social mindset (when you’re focused on doing things to help others), research shows you are kinder, have more energy, and increase motivation, productivity, and creativity. If you are an introvert (or have found yourself becoming one) this doesn’t mean you have to constantly socialize or be the life of the party, but it is important to connect with others. The quality of our relationships is much more important than the quality. The happiness boost you get from connection with others is crucial to your health and well-being and a key element to building resilience.

Not only does connecting with others give us a sense of belonging, it can lower anxiety and depression, help us regulate our emotions, lead to higher levels of empathy, and actually improve our immune systems. By neglecting our need to connect, we put our health at risk.

If you have found yourself retreating into a cocoon, don’t forget to make time to connect with friends, family, and colleagues. Your health and happiness depends on it.

----------------

Subscribe to the Anne Grady Group for more resilience-building tools and strategies! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU8s......

----------------

Sign up for Anne's weekly Resilience Reset email list!
www.annegradygroup.com/strong

----------------

More at https://www.annegradygroup.com​​​​
▶︎ Instagram: @AnneGradyGroup
▶︎ Twitter: @AnneGradyGroup
▶︎ Facebook: Anne Grady Group
▶︎ New Book + Companion Journal: https://www.annegradygroup.com/books/...

YouTube Video UExTZERTdG9fZ2VxQnF0bnBPUmNXMzMyZjRaRFdqdzdIYi40MDNEMzA0QTBFRThFMzBE

The greatest predictor of long-term happiness 😊

February 14, 2022 11:50 am

Would you let a total stranger into your house so they could steal all your stuff? Of course not!
 
Well, guess what? You do this every single day, and the person sabotaging you is…YOU!
 
When a friend makes a mistake, do you berate them? Belittle them? Yell at them? No. Then why in the world would you reserve that treatment for yourself? There are plenty of people who are kind and compassionate toward others but go for the total knockout when it comes to how they treat themselves.
 
We don't often give ourselves the grace or the common decency that we would show a stranger on the street.
 
This month I've been sharing the science behind kindness and compassion. We have explored how being kind can strengthen your immune system, reduce stress, and improve well-being. Unfortunately, you can’t practice true kindness and compassion with others if you don’t start with yourself. This has been a hard nut to crack for me, and it’s one I work on daily.
 
In order to actively and intentionally give yourself grace, protect your peace, and build resilience practice these 3 strategies daily:
 
1. Start with the way you talk to yourself about yourself.

I talk a lot about communication in business and in relationships, but in this case, it has to start with how you communicate TO yourself ABOUT yourself. It’s difficult to see the world in a way that is inconsistent with the way you see yourself. If you’re sending yourself messages like “I’m not good enough” and “I’m unhappy”, you start to find those things because we find what we look for. Building resilience starts with self-compassion. Blaming our actions rather than our character allows us to feel guilt instead of shame. In his book, "Resilient", Dr. Rick Hanson asks, “What would you do if you were on your own side?” Approach yourself with the same kindness you would show to a friend.
 
2. Quiet your mind. 

Our brain is constantly changing and adapting based on the input we give it, and what we focus on grows. Shawn Achor, author of "The Happiness Advantage" and "Big Potential", notes that the first and last 30 minutes of the day are the times when you are most vulnerable to having your attention hijacked. During these times, your brain is not as easily able to prioritize information or place it into a greater context. 

When it comes to taking care of yourself, take control of the first 30 minutes of your day. That means no social media, no news, and no email. Give yourself a fighting chance by taking control of your day before it takes control of you. Protect your most valuable resource – YOU.
 
3. Don’t believe everything you think.

Your thoughts and feelings are not facts; they are simply information. Rather than analyzing and judging why you are thinking and feeling a certain way, simply observe it. When you notice a self-sabotaging thought, stop and ask yourself two questions: 

1. Do you know this to be true? And 2. Is this thought or emotion serving you? 

Challenge self-defeating thoughts by deconstructing them, rather than getting stuck in them. This takes time and practice, but you’ll start to realize that you have developed self-defeating habits that are sabotaging your mental health.
 
Being kind to yourself is a hard job, but it is a requirement for resilience.
 
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Random Acts of Kindness Challenge! I hope you will continue practicing random acts of kindness and experiencing all the benefits (both physical and mental) that come with showing compassion to yourself and others.
 
----------------

Subscribe to the Anne Grady Group for more resilience-building tools and strategies! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU8s......

----------------

Sign up for Anne's weekly Resilience Reset email list! 
www.annegradygroup.com/strong

----------------

More at https://www.annegradygroup.com​​​​
▶︎ Instagram: @AnneGradyGroup
▶︎ Twitter: @AnneGradyGroup
▶︎ Facebook: Anne Grady Group
▶︎ New Book + Companion Journal: https://www.annegradygroup.com/books/...
The Most Important Kindness Practice Of All

Would you let a total stranger into your house so they could steal all your stuff? Of course not!

Well, guess what? You do this every single day, and the person sabotaging you is…YOU!

When a friend makes a mistake, do you berate them? Belittle them? Yell at them? No. Then why in the world would you reserve that treatment for yourself? There are plenty of people who are kind and compassionate toward others but go for the total knockout when it comes to how they treat themselves.

We don't often give ourselves the grace or the common decency that we would show a stranger on the street.

This month I've been sharing the science behind kindness and compassion. We have explored how being kind can strengthen your immune system, reduce stress, and improve well-being. Unfortunately, you can’t practice true kindness and compassion with others if you don’t start with yourself. This has been a hard nut to crack for me, and it’s one I work on daily.

In order to actively and intentionally give yourself grace, protect your peace, and build resilience practice these 3 strategies daily:

1. Start with the way you talk to yourself about yourself.

I talk a lot about communication in business and in relationships, but in this case, it has to start with how you communicate TO yourself ABOUT yourself. It’s difficult to see the world in a way that is inconsistent with the way you see yourself. If you’re sending yourself messages like “I’m not good enough” and “I’m unhappy”, you start to find those things because we find what we look for. Building resilience starts with self-compassion. Blaming our actions rather than our character allows us to feel guilt instead of shame. In his book, "Resilient", Dr. Rick Hanson asks, “What would you do if you were on your own side?” Approach yourself with the same kindness you would show to a friend.

2. Quiet your mind.

Our brain is constantly changing and adapting based on the input we give it, and what we focus on grows. Shawn Achor, author of "The Happiness Advantage" and "Big Potential", notes that the first and last 30 minutes of the day are the times when you are most vulnerable to having your attention hijacked. During these times, your brain is not as easily able to prioritize information or place it into a greater context.

When it comes to taking care of yourself, take control of the first 30 minutes of your day. That means no social media, no news, and no email. Give yourself a fighting chance by taking control of your day before it takes control of you. Protect your most valuable resource – YOU.

3. Don’t believe everything you think.

Your thoughts and feelings are not facts; they are simply information. Rather than analyzing and judging why you are thinking and feeling a certain way, simply observe it. When you notice a self-sabotaging thought, stop and ask yourself two questions:

1. Do you know this to be true? And 2. Is this thought or emotion serving you?

Challenge self-defeating thoughts by deconstructing them, rather than getting stuck in them. This takes time and practice, but you’ll start to realize that you have developed self-defeating habits that are sabotaging your mental health.

Being kind to yourself is a hard job, but it is a requirement for resilience.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Random Acts of Kindness Challenge! I hope you will continue practicing random acts of kindness and experiencing all the benefits (both physical and mental) that come with showing compassion to yourself and others.

----------------

Subscribe to the Anne Grady Group for more resilience-building tools and strategies! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU8s......

----------------

Sign up for Anne's weekly Resilience Reset email list!
www.annegradygroup.com/strong

----------------

More at https://www.annegradygroup.com​​​​
▶︎ Instagram: @AnneGradyGroup
▶︎ Twitter: @AnneGradyGroup
▶︎ Facebook: Anne Grady Group
▶︎ New Book + Companion Journal: https://www.annegradygroup.com/books/...

YouTube Video UExTZERTdG9fZ2VxQnF0bnBPUmNXMzMyZjRaRFdqdzdIYi4xM0YyM0RDNDE4REQ1NDA0

The Most Important Kindness Practice Of All

November 29, 2021 10:06 pm

It’s hard to believe it’s already time for Thanksgiving and before we know it 2022 will be here!  

This is a great time to really put things in perspective. It’s the time of year when we get to look back, celebrate our accomplishments, re-focus on things we still want to accomplish, and be genuinely thankful for all of the good in our life.

Sometimes in order to gain perspective, we have to reset. Ask yourself, "What is most important and does the way I spend my time reflect that?" Take the time to make sure your actions match your intentions.

Need a little help? 

Here is a 3-step process that you can use to literally rewire your brain by looking for the good stuff:

1. Look for it.
Last week we talked about What is right, right now?. Whether it is spending time with family or surviving time with family, take time to look for all the good. 

2. Savor it.
When you experience a delicious moment, sit in that good feeling. It could be a belly laugh at a joke at the dinner table or extra whipped cream on your pumpkin pie. Whatever it may be, enjoy it and really take it in.

3. Express it.
Gratitude is contagious. Let the people around you know how you feel about them.

When you start looking for the right things, it’s amazing what you find. So this Thanksgiving, eat too much, laugh as often as possible, and cherish each moment and be thankful.

THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart, to each and every one of you for being a part of my life. You make this journey incredible. Wishing you a healthy and Happy Thanksgiving!

And don’t forget…we are in the home stretch of the Random Acts of Kindness Challenge! Every single day for the month of November practice at least one random act of kindness. I want to know what they are! Comment on social using the hashtag #RandomActsChallenge, send me an email at hello@annegradygroup.com, or subscribe to my YouTube channel and comment there. 

Let’s make kindness go viral this month!

----------------

Subscribe to the Anne Grady Group for more resilience-building tools and strategies! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU8s......

----------------

Sign up for Anne's weekly Resilience Reset email list! 
www.annegradygroup.com/strong

----------------

More at https://www.annegradygroup.com​​​​
▶︎ Instagram: @AnneGradyGroup
▶︎ Twitter: @AnneGradyGroup
▶︎ Facebook: Anne Grady Group
▶︎ New Book + Companion Journal: https://www.annegradygroup.com/books/...
A Thanksgiving gratitude reminder!

It’s hard to believe it’s already time for Thanksgiving and before we know it 2022 will be here!

This is a great time to really put things in perspective. It’s the time of year when we get to look back, celebrate our accomplishments, re-focus on things we still want to accomplish, and be genuinely thankful for all of the good in our life.

Sometimes in order to gain perspective, we have to reset. Ask yourself, "What is most important and does the way I spend my time reflect that?" Take the time to make sure your actions match your intentions.

Need a little help?

Here is a 3-step process that you can use to literally rewire your brain by looking for the good stuff:

1. Look for it.
Last week we talked about What is right, right now?. Whether it is spending time with family or surviving time with family, take time to look for all the good.

2. Savor it.
When you experience a delicious moment, sit in that good feeling. It could be a belly laugh at a joke at the dinner table or extra whipped cream on your pumpkin pie. Whatever it may be, enjoy it and really take it in.

3. Express it.
Gratitude is contagious. Let the people around you know how you feel about them.

When you start looking for the right things, it’s amazing what you find. So this Thanksgiving, eat too much, laugh as often as possible, and cherish each moment and be thankful.

THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart, to each and every one of you for being a part of my life. You make this journey incredible. Wishing you a healthy and Happy Thanksgiving!

And don’t forget…we are in the home stretch of the Random Acts of Kindness Challenge! Every single day for the month of November practice at least one random act of kindness. I want to know what they are! Comment on social using the hashtag #RandomActsChallenge, send me an email at [email protected], or subscribe to my YouTube channel and comment there.

Let’s make kindness go viral this month!

----------------

Subscribe to the Anne Grady Group for more resilience-building tools and strategies! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU8s......

----------------

Sign up for Anne's weekly Resilience Reset email list!
www.annegradygroup.com/strong

----------------

More at https://www.annegradygroup.com​​​​
▶︎ Instagram: @AnneGradyGroup
▶︎ Twitter: @AnneGradyGroup
▶︎ Facebook: Anne Grady Group
▶︎ New Book + Companion Journal: https://www.annegradygroup.com/books/...

YouTube Video UExTZERTdG9fZ2VxQnF0bnBPUmNXMzMyZjRaRFdqdzdIYi5ERkUyQTM0MzEwQjZCMTY5

A Thanksgiving gratitude reminder!

November 22, 2021 11:19 pm

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
2 days ago

We are entering the holiday season, and as magical as it can be, this time of year can also be a source of stress.

Remember to give yourself and others grace, practice self-compassion and kindness. It's okay if...👇
... See MoreSee Less

We are entering the holiday season, and as magical as it can be, this time of year can also be a source of stress.

Remember to give yourself and others grace, practice self-compassion and kindness. Its okay if...👇
4 days ago

I credit my support group and my teachers at NAMI Central Texas for helping me survive some of my roughest times. The education, advocacy, and support I received changed the trajectory of my life and my purpose. 💙

A portion of all my book proceeds go to them and I am honored to have the opportunity to give back on #GivingTuesday.#GivingTuesday is a worldwide day of giving, and we have an amazing opportunity to fund mental health programming with a generous $10,000 matching gift. By donating today, your gift will be doubled...and so will your impact! Give today at namicentraltx.org/donate.
... See MoreSee Less

I credit my support group and my teachers at NAMI Central Texas for helping me survive some of my roughest times. The education, advocacy, and support I received changed the trajectory of my life and my purpose. 💙

A portion of all my book proceeds go to them and I am honored to have the opportunity to give back on #GivingTuesday.
5 days ago

Our connections shape the way we see the world.

Harvard researcher Shawn Achor found that if you were to look at a hill by yourself, you would believe it’s 10-20% steeper than looking at a hill of the same height while standing next to someone who would climb the hill with you. Social connection changes what your brain sees. #MindfulMonday
... See MoreSee Less

Our connections shape the way we see the world. 

Harvard researcher Shawn Achor found that if you were to look at a hill by yourself, you would believe it’s 10-20% steeper than looking at a hill of the same height while standing next to someone who would climb the hill with you. Social connection changes what your brain sees. #MindfulMonday

Comment on Facebook

Thanks for sharing!

1 week ago

There is literally no downside to practicing gratitude.

➡️ Journaling for 5 minutes a day about what you are grateful for can enhance long-term happiness by 10%.
➡️Write a letter, send a text or email thanking someone. Give a compliment.
➡️Create a gratitude jar, or simply recount the best parts of your day when you fall asleep at night.

I am incredibly grateful for you! Thank you for being a part of this community. Happy Thanksgiving! Wishing you and your families all the delicious moments.
... See MoreSee Less

There is literally no downside to practicing gratitude.

➡️ Journaling for 5 minutes a day about what you are grateful for can enhance long-term happiness by 10%.
➡️Write a letter, send a text or email thanking someone. Give a compliment.
➡️Create a gratitude jar, or simply recount the best parts of your day when you fall asleep at night. 

I am incredibly grateful for you! Thank you for being a part of this community. Happy Thanksgiving! Wishing you and your families all the delicious moments.

Comment on Facebook

Happy thanksgiving to you & your family!

Happy thanksgiving, Anne!

Grateful for you! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

1 week ago

Thank you for being on this journey with me over the last 31 days. I hope you've found your courage, reset your resilience, and stepped into your greatness.

I hope you take this week to spend time with your family and focus on what's most important.

Day 31: Give yourself permission to rest. Life is not a sprint. It requires rest and recovery.
... See MoreSee Less

Thank you for being on this journey with me over the last 31 days. I hope youve found your courage, reset your resilience, and stepped into your greatness.

I hope you take this week to spend time with your family and focus on whats most important.

Day 31: Give yourself permission to rest. Life is not a sprint. It requires rest and recovery.
1 week ago

It is Day 30 of the 31 Days of Letting Go Challenge!

Look within yourself.

What are you really afraid of?

How much is anxiety and emotionally driven fear?

What are action steps that you can work through instead of being afraid?

It’s helpful to distinguish the emotional from the logical. Redirect your thinking to become the best version of you.

Day 30: Question any thoughts that limit you. How can you reframe it so that it serves you?
... See MoreSee Less

It is Day 30 of the 31 Days of Letting Go Challenge!

Look within yourself.

What are you really afraid of?

How much is anxiety and emotionally driven fear?

What are action steps that you can work through instead of being afraid?

It’s helpful to distinguish the emotional from the logical. Redirect your thinking to become the best version of you.

Day 30: Question any thoughts that limit you. How can you reframe it so that it serves you?
2 weeks ago

It is Day 30 of the 31 Days of Letting Go Challenge!

Look within yourself. What are you really afraid of?

How much is anxiety and emotionally driven fear? What are action steps that you can work through instead of being afraid?

It’s helpful to distinguish the emotional from the logical. Redirect your thinking to become the best version of you.

Day 30: Question any thoughts that limit you. How can you reframe it so that it serves you?
... See MoreSee Less

It is Day 30 of the 31 Days of Letting Go Challenge! 

Look within yourself. What are you really afraid of? 

How much is anxiety and emotionally driven fear? What are action steps that you can work through instead of being afraid? 

It’s helpful to distinguish the emotional from the logical. Redirect your thinking to become the best version of you.

Day 30: Question any thoughts that limit you. How can you reframe it so that it serves you?
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