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The Starting Point For Success In Stress Management (& Any Other Project)

To be successful in any project you need to approach it with the right mindset - mindset being a set of beliefs, assumptions and attitudes, perhaps unconscious, that condition how you see things and how you go about things).

Positive psychologist Carol Dweck coined the term "growth mindset" to describe how people think and feel about learning and intelligence - her research documents its fundamental importance in determining success in all walks of life from an early age.

What Is Growth Mindset?

Fundamentally it's the view that change is possible, and achievable through application, effort and learning. Even intelligence is not cast in stone but can be developed. Growth mindset conditions your response to set-backs: you can overcome such temporary obstacles through application, commitment and persistence.

The opposite is fixed mindset, which sees set-backs as failure resulting from innate lack of intelligence, talent or ability.

Why Growth Mindset Matters

It matters because with a fixed mindset,  you avoid challenges, give up easily, fail to learn from experience, and generally miss out on developing to your full potential.

Here's a popular TED talk by Carol Dweck:

Do You Have A Growth Mindset?

You can test yourself using an online questionnaire such as this one from Professor Dweck.

In reality growth mindset are more like two poles on a spectrum. Moreover, we can show a growth mindset in some contexts but not others. For example you might have a growth mindset toward foreign languages but not using computers.

Stress Mindset

But what is your mindset when it comes to stress and stress management? Do you have a growth mindset there?

I find it remarkably common that clients who are very capable in so many walks of life, have yet to realise that stress resilience is a skillset that can be, and must be, trained and developed.

Actually it's not that surprising given the popular assumption in our culture that if you feel anxious, what you need is (i) brain-altering pills or (ii) to talk to a counsellor about how you feel and how you felt when you were little. (That might sound a little cynical - I do believe medications and counselling have their place - and please don't treat that as advice to stop medications.)

Indeed, a fixed mindset around anxiety makes anxiety that much more likely - a point I make in this article on stress mindset.

Stress Resilience Skills Training With Biofeedback & Mindfulness

My programme in stress resilience training with biofeedback is founded on the assumption that what is really needed when it comes to stress management is training and skills development. Biofeedback is an ideal tool for teaching the skills of self-regulation.

Click here to learn more about the stress resilience training programme.

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