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SessionThe Mindset Reset

The Mindset Reset

It’s possible to find clarity in overwhelming situations. Jannell teaches us how to trigger our relaxation response through a simple breathing technique that activates our parasympathetic nervous system.

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Better mental health starts with Headspace. Unrivaled expertise to make life feel a little easier, using guided meditations, mindfulness tips, focus tools, sleep support, and dedicated programs.

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Better mental health starts with Headspace

Here's a fun fact. Did you know that not all stress is bad? Sounds crazy, I know, but hear me out. Have you ever prepared for a test or presentation, yet when the moment arrives to perform, you find yourself excessively stressed or overwhelmed? Or maybe you've found yourself on the receiving end of cumulative fatigue throughout the day. Things start normal, but then you check your social media as you rise out of bed, and you immediately feel judged. Then you have a grumpy teenager that doesn't wanna wake up, and a preteen who can't find his shoes. Follow that up with two kids bickering all the way to school as you hit every red light on the way. Somehow you manage to barely keep your cool until you pull up to the school and proclaim, "Get out of the car, but have a great day!" Does that sound familiar to anyone, or is it just me? Stress is a perceived emotion in our brains. When faced with stimuli in our environment, our brain makes a calculation as to whether we have the mental resources to meet the demands of the given moment. If our brain sees the stressor as a threat, it defaults into survival mode, and our perception of stress increases. This is commonly known as distress. And our performance becomes degraded. On the other hand, if our brain sees the stressor as a challenge, which we are mentally equipped to handle, we rise to the occasion and experience eustress, the beneficial stress that helps us keep our edge and can even feel motivating or exciting. In these moments, we need a regular practice to reset our minds and regulate our stress response as our nervous system drives us toward distress, thus redirecting our experience toward eustress, which is a beneficial kind of stress, and rational decision-making so we can perform at our best as we take the test, give the presentation, or just manage the daily school commute. This is called a mindset reset, and it's the final technique in our mental strength training. It's like putting on your oxygen mask, resetting your nervous system, resetting your mind, resetting your stress levels, and ultimately optimizing your performance. Since our mind and body are so well-connected, we can trigger our relaxation response through a simple breathing technique that activates our parasympathetic nervous system. So, how does that mechanism work exactly? Well, when our ancestors encountered, say, as saber-toothed tiger, it would trigger their sympathetic nervous system to go into full fight-or-flight mode. In most circumstances, they'd choose flight, and once they found themselves out of danger, they would take a nice, long exhale that signified, "Phew, I'm safe. "I can now find calm." Nowadays, we might trigger that same intense sympathetic nervous system distress response while driving in traffic or dealing with an unpleasant situation at work. But in those situations, we can use a mindset reset, deep, long exhales to energize our parasympathetic system, signifying safety...


Duration7 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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