It is a fact that, if you are human, at some point in your life the sh*t will hit the fan. If you’re a parent the odds are even higher. And if you’re a mother, let’s be honest, sometimes the shit will hit the fan more than once a day. #truth
While the sh*t hits the fan in our house quite regularly (I have 3 young kids after all!), something happened a few weeks ago that involved one of my children, that was a little more serious.
It caught me completely off-guard. Mama Bear came out in full-force. But first I had a cry, put on my pink fluffy dressing gown over my clothes (it was a cold day but I was feeling particularly cold after the news) and opened a can of condensed milk.
When the sh*t hits the fan, a situation suddenly causes a lot of trouble
(sorry about that!)
I sat there spooning the condensed milk into my mouth (it was the only sweet we had in the house ?) and felt all the feelings.
After a short while I realised I had two choices:
- I could shovel the whole can of condensed milk into my mouth (NB: I have done this once before and DO NOT recommend it. You have been warned!)
- I could utilise the brain training techniques I know, to navigate myself through this sh*t.
In case you have never heard of me or ToughMothers, our whole work is dedicated to supporting women during the transition into motherhood and beyond (or matrescence, as it is officially known). We teach mothers about their own brain and mind, and help them create strategies they can use to change their own brain and wiring, to create a fulfilling life.
At Tough Mothers neuroscience and psychology meet philosophy and spirituality (in the true sense of the word) to support mothers holistically during matrescence.
I have a PhD in Medicine (Neuroscience and Pharmacology) and a degree in Psychotherapy, but most of all I am a mum.
I was feeling lost and unfulfilled in motherhood. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my kids and my husband, but I didn’t particularly like my life, or the person I became during my transition into motherhood. I was stressed and anxious all the time. I had lost my sense of self, and I was scared that life would just be like this forever: challenging, exhausting, relentless and unfulfilling.
Unsatisfied with this, I used my 25 years of brain and mind research knowledge and set off to learn more and change my own brain.
It sounds so much more sciencey and nutty than it actually it is. It is simply understanding your brain-mind-body-life connection and getting them to work for you rather than against you ?
You may have heard of the term neuroplasticity?
It’s the amazing ability of the brain to change itself and its wiring.
For example, how you can train yourself, i.e. your brain, to ride a bike.
Similarly, you can train your brain in other aspects of your life. For example, to change your thinking and reactions to certain situations. This is exactly what we do at Tough Mothers.
But I digress. Back to my can of condensed milk.
I had to dig deep that day (pun intended), but I used strategies I had previously been practising to change the situation. Don’t get me wrong, the news I received hadn’t changed, just my reaction and subsequent actions changed. It was a massive win!
So, I posted about it on Facebook (as you do, of course!) and ended it with:
“When the shit hits the fan make sure your neural (brain) foundation is stronger than ALL the shit. #TrainYourBrain”
You can read the whole post in our private Facebook group The Tough Mothers Village
I had so many enquiries from our wonderful members about what training your brain involved, that I decided to share 5 strategies I used in this instance, in a free series called 5 Ways To Train Your Brain For When The Sh*t Hits The Fan.
Because when the sh*t hits the fan, the best thing you can do is make sure your brain is prepared.
Train your brain.
You have to think of your brain as being like a muscle. Your muscle has to be strong in order to be ready to lift. You wouldn’t walk into a gym without having lifted weights, and pick up a 40kg dumbbell, would you?
Instead you would start with a much lighter weight and increase it as you get stronger and stronger, until you feel you can lift a 40kg weight without trouble. It is the same for the brain.
The 5 simple exercises I outlined in this series are small steps to start growing and strengthening your brain. By practising these techniques you will create and strengthen neural pathways that are imperative in remaining cool, calm and collected during times of stress.
With enough repetition, over time, you will literally change your brain. So, when the time comes and the sh*t hits the fan your reaction will be noticeably different compared to if you hadn’t trained your brain.
When I say noticeably, I mean you will literally notice that your reaction is different to how it used to be, or how you would have expected it to be.
Over the next few weeks, I will share each of the 5 strategies in this blog, so be sure to check back in regularly or sign up below to get the exercises straight to your Inbox.
Please do them. They have the potential to change your life!
PS. I’d love to hear about your experience, so please comment below.
I will share each strategy one at a time, so you have plenty of time to implement each one, and start training your brain. So, be sure to check my blog regularly, or sign up to get priority access.