Mattie is a counselor, brain coach and CEO of Cerebrations, LLC, with over 25 years of experience in social work, counseling and coaching for people with anxiety, chronic pain, neurodiversity, and other life transitions. Mattie guides people on a journey to harness the power of brain science and body awareness to master the art of thinking, and begin thriving, instead of just surviving.
Mattie has a bachelor and master's degree in social work and her varied experience in nonprofit leadership, system advocacy, program development, brain function, and counseling provide a unique perspective on resilience, creativity, and how to empower people to tap into their own inner strength, beauty, and experiences to calm their internal chaos.
Selected Key Takeaways
Mindfulness is about being present and aware of your body and emotions as much as possible throughout the day:
(7:19) “We do a mindfulness practice around breathing or visualization to calm down the brain so that you can then begin to, to hear what's happening in your brain so you can actually change the cognition.”
There are a multitude of factors that influence mental and physical health in a PwMS, some that are directly related to multiple sclerosis and others that aren’t.
(8:21) “There are all these layers of the reason why we live in chaos. And that can be lack of sleep. That can be grief from the MS. That can be just changes in our relationships because that happens too. And that's going to affect the way that we feel.”
It’s important to have a variety of strategies and tools to deal with stress and life changes.
(11:54) “Life changes anyway, I mean, but when you have autoimmune disorders, life changes drastically sometimes at the drop of a hat. You have the, like, I call it a toolbox. You have a toolbox that you go, Hey, life's got more stressful. I'm going to pop open the top. I'm going to pull out the tools that work for me. And we're just going to add in some different tools for this particular situation.”
No one is perfect and self-compassion is vital to reducing stress and embracing the unexpected.
(17:24) “Thriving to me is living in the joy of life and being present. When we have the capacity to be present, understanding when we don't have the capacity to be present, but that we actually walk through every day with a calmness that today is going to be whatever day it is.
• OMS blog by on tips to reduce stress-related inflammation
• OMS resources for managing anxiety
• Check out the Art of Anxiety class online
• Join the Calming the Chaos Collective, a free group experience
• Dig deeper into Mattie’s thinking by reading her blog
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