You’ve probably seen or heard the phrase “mindset is everything” a lot lately—and for good reason. Your mindset creates the lens through which you think, feel, interact, and behave. In that way, it really is everything—and science can prove it.
For example, recognizing how I perceive stress in my life over the past few years has been incredibly eye opening for me. Understanding when my mindset is coming from a place of lack, scarcity, overwhelm and helplessness allows me to shift to recognizing the challenge while also seeing the many ways in which I can tackle it or make changes to support myself. This has been a huge growth area for me and has made a significant impact in my life.
To help you embrace the idea that mindset is everything, let’s look at just how powerful your mindset actually is for creating a healthier and happier life.
Proof That Mindset is Everything
Your mindset shifts your perspective, which in turn impacts how you navigate circumstances, make sense of experiences, strive toward goals, learn from failures, and confront obstacles.
1. Feel Less Stressed (Yes, it’s possible!)
Feeling less stressed may come down to how you think about stress, according to psychologist Alia Crum, PhD, an assistant professor at Stanford University. In one particular study, a group of employees in a downsizing financial company were told that stress could help rather than hurt them in an effort to reduce their stress. It sounds crazy, right?
Well, turns out, it works! This group of employees reported fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety, along with an increase in optimism versus the control group. While we don’t believe empty mantras and affirmations can change your life, we do believe shifting your perspective does—and this is one great example of just how powerful that can be.
In fact, I know that when I’m stressed with an overwhelming workload and I remind myself that the stress about my job pales in comparison to the stress that others are facing, I immediately gain perspective. Similarly, when I focus on the fact that I am grateful for work that challenges me and helps me grow, I can embrace the challenge in a different way.
2. Be More Resilient
Growth mindset, the idea that you can change the way you think (as opposed to a fixed mindset, in which what you believe cannot change), is a key element of feeling more resilient and persistent as you manage the ups and downs of life. (Let’s be honest, we all have them!)
A study of 2,500 students found that those in the growth mindset group scored lower on “mental health issues” and “stress due to life events” than those in the fixed mindset group. As the research points out, this is because this mindset “encourages healthy and adaptive ways of facing and tolerating anxiety, frustration, and disappointment, which promotes resilience.”
So often, we feel we’re at the whim of life when we don’t have to. In fact, science says that our mindset can help us feel more resilient in the face of anything that comes our way.
3. Jump-Start Your Wellness Journey
How many times have you started working out just to stop days later? I’m very familiar with this back-and-forth dance; it’s one I did for many years before I found Pilates. Part of this back and forth may be about the way you set goals when you’re just starting out.
This research found that groups who were prescribed “low-and-liberal” exercise recommendations (vs. high-and-stringent) felt that their movement was more adequate. This meant that they were more likely to keep going and feel better about their health a week later.
This is the idea that Lindywell built upon—and what ultimately helped me create consistency in my workout routine once and for all. When you can shift your mindset from “I need to work out hard for 60 minutes a day every day” to something more realistic, like, “I’ll just move my body for 10 minutes in any way that feels good” you’re much more likely to stick with it.
At least that’s what I and thousands of Lindywell members have experienced!
4. Relieve Symptoms of Chronic Illness
Chronic illness is complex. What I’m not saying here is: it’s all in your head—and mindset can help relieve some of the symptoms experienced. A study from the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals that if you expect a healing outcome, the body will listen and even respond.
This research found positive correlations between a growth mindset and functional improvements in the immune, cardiovascular, and neuroendocrine systems. What’s more, patients with type-1 diabetes, who believe their health can change, have lower blood sugar levels. The power of the mind-body connection cannot be overlooked.
5. Feel More Connected in Romantic Relationships
Your mindset is playing a critical role in your relationships, especially romantic ones. This collection of research explains that mindfulness not only enhances closeness and connections with a partner but when measured on the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS), researchers found a positive association with relationship satisfaction.
While not everything can be “fixed” with your mindset, you can shift the lens with which to look at your relationship. Being more mindful might help you overlook the little things that aren’t quite perfect while creating an even deeper connection with your partner.
How to Work on Your Mindset
At Lindywell, we have two favorite ways to work on mindset: Pilates and breathwork. Why?
At Lindywell, we’re continually reframing fitness and our relationship to our bodies through the words we use in every single workout, email and video. While Pilates is inherently a mind-body style of movement, we regularly remind our members to shift their mindset around not just the way they exercise, but how they think about perfection, self-compassion, strength, and so much more.
Similarly, breathwork encourages you to slow down and tune in. When you close down all the tabs in your mind (I have a dozen open most times of the day!), you can understand what you’re actually thinking and feeling. That’s when you can begin shifting beliefs and perspectives that are impacting the way you live your life.
The reminder I always want to share, however, is that it’s not a one-and-done. Consistently showing up on your mat or taking time to breathe with intention each week is the only way to reap the long-term benefits in your life.
If you want to start working on your mindset (while moving your body, feeling more confident, and so much more!), start your 14-day free trial of Lindywell today. You’ll get instant access to hundreds of workout videos, dozens of guided breathwork sessions, and all of our Lindywell recipes!
Bottom Line: Your Mindset Matters
Mindset is everything. It impacts your mental, emotional, and physical wellness by shifting the lens through which you see the world. As such, your mindset influences how you overcome setbacks, embrace new opportunities, interact with others, and evolve as a human. Don’t overlook this important aspect of your personal development if you want to live a happier, calmer, and more connected life.