Hi there! Remember me?
I’m the one that took a quick break to re-brand her business…….
I’ve come to realise nothing is ever quick with children in tow (except maybe their nap time. Ha ha ha!). So, it has taken the better part of 2019, but the re-branding of my business is complete. The Dr Jennifer Hacker Pearson website is live and the Tough Mothers programs are here!
This is just the beginning of the change that is coming to support women during pregnancy and motherhood. And I am excited!
Actually, excited is an understatement.
But, it wasn’t all rainbows and fairy floss. There were (and still are) times when I am absolutely terrified. My mind goes into overdrive – what have I possibly done wrong, what might I do wrong and what if this is all wrong…
It’s often quite stressful. But then most things outside our comfort zone are, aren’t they?
Did you know that the feelings of excitement and the feelings of fear originate in the same region of the brain, the limbic system?
In particular the hypothalamus, which controls the body’s stress response.
More on that fascinating topic in an upcoming blog.
The stress felt when we are outside our comfort zone is usually in the form of eustress.
Eustress is beneficial stress, that is either psychological, physical or biochemical in nature. It causes a chemical response that gives the brain the ability to create new connections. These will wire your brain in new places, strengthen your brain in new areas and even grow it (by increasing grey matter)!
The brain is like a muscle, it works on the same “use it or lose it” principle. That means, if you do the same things you already know, and feel comfortable with, you are only using the same areas of the brain that are already “strong” and neuronally well-connected. It’s like only doing a right arm bicep curl as your workout, every time…
Now that scientist have found the brain has the ability to change itself (this is called neuroplasticity), we literally have the capacity to change our brain on purpose. We just need to exercise different areas of it. An easy way of doing this is by stepping outside our comfort zone.
It is outside your comfort zone where true growth occurs. Not just neuronally but in all areas of life. So, it’s important to step outside our comfort zone often. It might be scary at the time but the reward is so worth it. Not only are you changing up your brain, but the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine will leave you energised and feeling great, as well as give you a feeling of achievement and bliss. New neurons are now wired together and will propel you to achieve again, creating a wonderful feel-good loop.
So, I’m just going to hang out here for a bit longer and enjoy the eustress. I hope you can join me on this journey by stepping outside your comfort zone too. Your brain will thank you for it, and I bet you will be delighted with the benefits too.
PLEASE NOTE: It is important to not create debilitating stress (i.e. distress). This can make us very sick. So, don’t step outside your comfort zone too far.
Think eustress as creating butterflies in your tummy. Cute, little, beautiful butterflies. You don’t want vultures in your tummy! They’re bad news and will activate your fight, flight or freeze response leading to distress and anxiety.
And don’t forget to forward this to a friend you think may benefit from it.