health

5 signs you need a mindset refresh, according to Petrea King.

Quest for Life
Thanks to our brand partner, Quest for Life

Remember when iceberg lettuces didn't cost an arm and a leg? When a year would go by with not so much as a lockdown, let alone a global pandemic to interrupt your flow?

Remember when constant disruptions to daily living were... unprecedented?

If there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that the last two and a half years have been a lot. 

And maybe you've noticed, that for many, lack of stability has taken quite the toll on our minds and bodies. 

It's something author and keynote speaker, Petrea King has noticed in her work as the CEO of the Quest for Life Foundation, particularly as we find our 'new normal'. 

To help us adapt to these changes, the team over at Quest have created three new online courses, incorporating the latest research in neuroscience, epigenetics and evidence-based lifestyle habits, to provide students with self-help strategies to help them restore and replenish.

"When people are feeling anxious and fearful about what the future might hold, or what's happening around them, our amygdala, which is the fear centre in the brain, becomes enlarged," she tells Mamamia.

"Whenever that's enlarged, we don't have access to our critical thinking in our neocortex. So people probably have found high levels of anxiety, and maybe feeling overwhelmed, or like they're not managing change very effectively."

If that's something that resonates with you, it might just be time for a mindset refresh. 

From the physical to the existential, here are five more signs Petrea King recommends you look out for, and exactly how to fix them.

You're feeling more anxious than usual.

Feeling uncertain about what might happen next is fairly common, now more than ever. But staying in an anxious state for an extended period of time is exhausting and frankly, unsustainable.

If you're feeling beyond stress or worry, chances are, you're feeling anxious. And the first step to resolving anxiety, is understanding it. 

Programs like the Quest for Life's Befriending Anxiety online course help you to "understand the various forms of anxiety and the pathways towards managing that more effectively."

Do yourself a favour. Don't sit in long-term anxiety.

Image: Getty.

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You're losing sleep.

Feeling... off? Chances are, your sleep (or lack thereof) has something to do with it.

In particularly heightened periods of anxiety, it's common to lose sleep over daily stresses and concerns. Which makes things difficult, given how important sleep is to overall health.

But a lowered sleep quality isn't something you just have to accept. As Petrea explains, there are plenty of aids available to help.

"We do a lot around getting to sleep at Quest, because it seems such a common problem that people have," Petrea says. 

There's Quest for Life's Healing Sleep program, with modules, meditations and personal plans, all provided to help people get a full night's rest. 

"You need to make a deep commitment to yourself that you do not think things through in the middle of the night. Because we know that the brain is literally in two separate functioning patterns in the middle of the night. 

"If you wake-up and you start thinking about your worries and your concerns, that's held right back in the primitive part of the brain — your survival part of the brain — and in the middle of the night, you have no connection to your neocortex, which is your executive functioning brain," she explains.

As you're not thinking with the 'right' section of your brain, this can impact the decision you make or the rationalisation of your concerns can be a little... off.

"So if you wake-up and decide to think things through at 3am, you'll always come up with an answer that doesn't stand up to the light of day and to clear reason and logic, because reason and logic are part of your executive functioning brain."

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That's why Petrea urges us to make a commitment to ourselves to not think things through at 3am. If you are having trouble sleeping, she suggests you get up and read something or make a cup of tea. 

"And also, maybe not eating in the hour and a half before you go to sleep so that your body can focus on going to sleep rather than being still caught up with digestion, and maybe create a bit of a ritual in that hour before you go to bed," she shares.

"Maybe you have a bath or shower and wash off the day. Maybe use some aromatherapy so that you develop an association between that particular perfume or aroma and going to sleep. Make sure that there's fresh air in the room, and that your bedroom is kept in an orderly way. So that it's a restful space for you to find that deep, refreshing sleep that we all badly need, particularly at this time."

You're breathing is becoming more shallow.

Believe it or not, the signs you might need a mindset refresh aren't all related to your mind.

Physical manifestations of burnout and stress are a lot more common than is talked about. So let's talk about it.  

Petrea King says shallow breathing can be a sign of stress that shouldn't be ignored.

"We need to deepen the breath, bring it right down into the belly." Petrea says.

It's something she touches on in Quest for Life's Beyond Burnout online course. Breathing is one of the most important things we do, every single moment of our lives. Make sure you're doing it right.

Image: Getty.

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You're holding tension in the body.

According to Petrea King, another physical symptom of stress is holding tension in the body. 

Feeling a little more tight and sore than usual? Chances are, your muscles are tightening to safeguard you against injury and pain.

Only it is probably causing more pain than it's saving.

First, get rid of the root cause. Releasing emotional or mental stress is crucial to resolving your pain long-term. Activities like massage, yoga, and light exercise are your next step to help.

You feel like you're at a crossroads.

After plenty of disruptions to our lives for over two years now, Petrea says it's no wonder so many people are questioning their future.

"Many people feel that the workplace has changed, and they don't want to go back as before. People may have found working from home has brought up some deeper questions about their own existence," she says 

"Am I living the life I want to live? Do I want to continue in this work? Do I want a different career? Do I want to move out of the city? So a lot of these questions about who am I and how am I living my life are likely to be present for people as well."

And while looking at an unknown future may feel daunting, Petrea King says it's an opportunity for shaping a new life that suits you.

"There is no going back — we're not going back to how things were [pre-pandemic]. But this time of great change on the planet is not just in our own personal life, but in our community life and in our national life, too. This change is happening on a global scale.

"Change is always a little bit traumatic for most people, because we're leaving the familiar. But it's also a little bit exciting because we're stepping into the unknown. And it's at moments like this, those deeper questions of our own existence, often surface, who am I? What am I doing on the planet? Am I living the life I came here to live? If not, why not? And what am I going to do about that now?"

Feel like you're ready for a change? Sign up to one of the Quest for Life courses for $99 or complete all three for $250. 

Feature Image: Getty.

Quest for Life
The Quest for Life Foundation is a not for profit organisation providing programs and workshops based on the latest scientific research on health, healing, epigenetics and neuroscience. Long-term research on the impact of Quest programs found that over 90% of participants improved their quality of life and felt more in control of - and able to make changes to - their life. More than 125,000 people have utilised Quest's services since 1989.

CEO & Founder Petrea King is a well-known author, inspirational keynote speaker, teacher and facilitator.