Importance of a Positive Mindset by Dr. Liz Yates-Horton DPT
I can speak from my own experience about mindset that if I go into an activity like training for a 5 k and tell myself that I am not going to be able to do it, well guess what I won't. On the flip side if I go into that same training with a mindset that with hard work and effort I can cross the finish line of that race I am training for I am much more likely to be successful. How an activity or an ability is framed by your mindset can really make a difference in your ability level. I have seen this in my clinical practice. When I was starting to work with individuals with PD we worked towards striving for independence and to return to a level of function from 6 months to a year. As I worked with more individuals with PD my mindset shifted. By engaging and focusing on big amplitude movements and higher intensity training I shifted my expectations for what someone was going to be able to accomplish during our time working together. The best part is with this shift in expectation they achieved more. I have seen this same shift occur with individuals I have worked with. By having an early "win" during a session, it allows for a more positive outlook and mindset on what can be accomplished. In the medical field, so often people are asked what they can't do or how PD has impacted their lives. Rarely is the conversation on what you can do. This can set expectations lower than they could be. Simply by believing something is impossible, makes it impossible. On the other hand believing something is achievable is much more likely to make it a reality with this mindset and practice. Rather than saying you can't do something, try saying — “it is challenging“ or “with a little help I am able to accomplish it.” The words we use both in conversation and to ourselves carry significant meaning. Try not to set your expectations for yourself too low!