Jan. 24, 2022

E189: Rewiring the brain after Chronic Illness through Neuroplasticity with Lindsay Mitchell | CPTSD and Trauma Healing Coach

In this episode, we have guest speaker Lindsay Mitchell, and we talk about rewiring the brain after chronic illness through neuroplasticity. I have my own experiences coming through chronic illness. I had asthma as a child had massive terrible...
See show notes at: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/e189-rewiring-the-brain-after-chronic-illness-through-neuroplasticity-with-lindsay-mitchell-cptsd-and-trauma-healing-coach/#show-notes

In this episode, we have guest speaker Lindsay Mitchell, and we talk about rewiring the brain after chronic illness through neuroplasticity.

I have my own experiences coming through chronic illness. I had asthma as a child had massive terrible debilitating migraines as a child; by the time that I was in my mid-20s, I developed sibo, I've had e coli, then I got diagnosed with PoTS postural tachycardia, the list goes on, I was from 26 to 30. I went over 45 doctors and spent probably well into the six figures on my medical expenses and needs. One of the things that happened that were fascinating in my journey was, coming across the research and literature around the ACE Survey and how adverse childhood experiences and development in the cortisol state which happens for a lot of people who come through trauma and that's whether it's trauma as a child or a trauma as an adult at all kind of leads down the same pathway where suddenly you're in your sympathetic nervous system the fight will use freeze or fawn response and your brain is only trying to do one thing to survive.

Lindsay Mitchell is a super passionate human, lover of all things neuroscience, and the founder of Vital-Side. She works with people with chronic illness & chronic symptoms retrain the chronic stress response in the brain to find freedom in their lives. Her training in medicine, work as an NLP practitioner, and experience with having recovered from Lyme disease helps her give people the tools they need to shift & change their symptoms in an empowering way.

How do you heal the body when the brain is only focused in the body is only focused on what autonomic functions must be present for survival?

Rewire your brain
Reclaim your health
Reconnect to your vital-side

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Michael: Hey! What's up, Unbroken Nation! Hope that you're doing well, wherever you are in the world today. Super excited to be here with my guest Lindsay Mitchell today from my vital side. Lindsay, how are you, my friend? What is going on?

Lindsay: I am doing very well, you know, just enjoying life here in Austin and feeling good.

Michael: Good. I'm glad you're feeling good, that's such a great way to think about the world, especially in the state of how things are today. Before we get started and dive in for those who do not know tell us a little bit about you, your story, what kind of brought you to where you are today?

Lindsay: Sure. So I am the founder of Vital Side, which is a virtual brain retraining platform. So I work with people who have chronic illness and chronic symptoms like – anxiety, fatigue, brain fog and then chronic diseases like fibromyalgia, chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome. And what I do specifically is help people to regulate their autonomic nervous system, or maybe you've heard of the fight or flight response, which can often be something that people experience when they're going through a chronic condition or they have chronic symptoms. So, I got really interested in this specific niche of medicine after going through my own illness. I had chronic lyme disease and before that, I was working as a physician assistant and internal medicine. So I was trained in Western medicine, I am trained in Western medicine and I was working as a travel PA traveling all over the world, treating really rural populations and ended up getting bitten by a tick and contracting Lyme disease. So within a year, I went from being super active, traveling, very independent to basically bedridden for a couple of months, chronic pain, fatigue, anxiety, sensitivities to food and chemicals migraines every day and couldn't work had to have my family moved next door to me, my husband had to take a job working from home so he could take care of me so my whole world changed.

And that experience really gave me a new perspective on living life with a chronic illness and what that meant and how that really changed things for me. So at the time sought every avenue to figure out what the hell can I do? What is something that I can change in my lifestyle, add to my treatment plan, in order to see, changes to my life. And I saw so many different treatments and I started with the Western route of medicine and then I quickly had to expand my really perspective on what medical treatment looked like and tried many different avenues and detox and treatment.

What I did was I came across this idea of how the brain changes this concept of neuroplasticity, which basically just means the brain can change. And I learned more about it that when you have a chronic illness your brain changes, so it's operating from this fight or flight response that is sympathetic response day in and day out basically communicating, hey dangerous present, you need to respond and the body responds with inflammation, pain, basically survival in your body. When I came across this on a blog post, and when I was reading about it, I was like, okay, this makes so much sense because I have tried so many things and I have detox and I have treated the bacteria, but I'm still sick and symptomatic and that's where I went down this deep dive into, okay, let me calm this fight or flight response. Dictate a new reality, a new signal to my brain so that I body can respond and that's exactly what I did and I tried every program out there that's Offered, I read books, I read everything by Dr. Joe Dispenza, I studied the research by Dr. Candace Pert, molecules of emotion. I started to really learn about this brain and body connection and within that year, period, I did end up making a full recovery from Lyme disease, and I went from being bedridden, not being able to lift my hand, to my arm up to feed myself to eight months later back to doing headstands and eating the foods I wanted to eating gluten and dairy without a bloating or inflammatory reaction, being able to travel again and that's when I realized like this is incredible and more people and more medical practitioners really need to start implementing the brains natural healing properties into treatment plans. And so, that was kind of my goal after I did make that recovery so that's what I did. I Googled how to start a business when I became trained in neuro linguistic programming and the emotional freedom technique and I started vital side and that was about five years ago.

Michael: I love it. And that's quite the story. I have my own experiences coming through, chronic illness. I had asthma as a child had massive terrible debilitating migraines as a child, by the time that I was in my mid-20s, I developed sibo, I've had a coli, you know, then I got diagnosed with pots postural tachycardia, the list goes on, I was from 26 to 30, I went over 45 doctors and spent probably well into the six figures on my medical expenses and needs. And one of the things that happened that was really fascinating in my journey was coming across the research and literature around the, ACE Survey and how adverse childhood experiences and development in the cortisol state, really, which happens for a lot of people who come through trauma and that's whether it's trauma as a child or a trauma as an adult at all kind of leads down the same pathway where suddenly you're in your sympathetic nervous system the fight will use freeze or fawn response and your brain is only trying to do one thing to survive. So, how do you heal the body, when the brain is only focused in the body is only focused on what autonomic functions must be present for survival? And when I learned this, I started understanding and I got deep into this process of yoga, meditation, journaling, NLP, a lot of the same things that you're talking about I started to see this profound change in my life and it's not that there wasn't a benefit to Western medicine because I think that there is to some extent but often the even when we are faced with things that I would dare, dare call a death sentence, like Lyme's disease, like e-coli things of this nature, people just kind of go, all right well, hope you enjoyed life up to this point, Godspeed.

We have the opportunity, even though we go through these very terrible, emotional physical ailments, right? Because I would argue that the illness is more emotional than it is physical at times, the feeling painful, things of this nature. What was really the precursor to the catalyst for you deciding to take back your life by learning, by getting educated, by trying, literally what it sounds like, everything, what was that like for you?

Lindsay: I think that stems back to a core belief that I developed in childhood, that I am strong and I need to advocate for myself. And I know a lot of times we hear about core beliefs and a lot of times they can be negative pore beliefs, right? I am not enough, I don't deserve healing, all of these things that we can kind of be stuck with. And of course, I have my fair share of those that I've had to learn an address over the years but this was a core belief, that really helped me and guided me throughout the process.

So I remember, during some of my deepest darkest moments, a point where if you've had Lyme disease, or you've had like a parasitic infection, they can be similar in the fact that you can have hallucinations, and I was having one and if you've ever experienced a hallucination, it's like – you're not yourself your somebody totally different and it's horrifying. And I remember experiencing that I'd never experienced anything like it and I was lying on the ground and I was crying and I was like, I just want to die like this is horrible, I'm not myself, you know, and looking back, like, okay, that was my nervous system that was my limbic system in overdrive, the emotional feeling reacting brain just firing and firing and firing surviving, I was like, I don't think I can survive this.

And I remember having a moment where I thought, this can't be it, this can't be all that there is and I think that core belief of, I am strong and I am my advocate it did shine through even in that moment like that was probably the worst moment of despair, just very, very vividly remember lying on the ground and what that felt like even though I didn't feel it, even though I didn't really believe it, it was there. And then the fact that I became aware of, it made me realize and other situations when that core belief came out.

So then I went to see a therapist who told me how your story is the worst story, this was an 80-year-old therapist, and she your story is the worst story I've ever heard just with your childhood trauma and dealing with this chronic disease, and I was sitting there thinking it can't be, I was like, there's no way, this is the worst story she's ever heard. I want to prove her wrong, I'm strong and I am my advocate and I would go see practitioners and they would say oh, you know, just like you probably experienced Michael of going through pots and e-coli and these types of conditions. You know, my practitioners, most of them that I saw would say something along the lines of well, you're just going to have to make yourself comfortable and live with this for the rest of your life and not core belief that was there was like no, I am not, I'm gonna prove you wrong. I thought was my motivator for change my catalyst for change of I'm gonna prove these people wrong, who supposedly, they know best, right? No, I know best, I have healing properties within me, I believe in my body and I believe in my immune system. And luckily that neural pathway in my brain related to strength and resilience was strong despite my circumstances, my internal environment my body, my external environment, what was going on around me that neural pathway was still strong and that just strengthened and strengthened, and strengthened.

And when I read about neuroplasticity and I learned that we can retrain our brains to basically communicate a signal of resilience, a signal of health through accessing our natural resilience, which is our parasympathetic rest and digest or growth and repair response. And when we operate from that response, more often than not and our autonomic nervous system response is the balance that fight/flight response, that freeze response, that growth and repair response when we can kind of easily bounce back between all of those responses that's when we start to feel better, blood flow gets sent to our GI tract to digest food, we actually communicate through our cells and through our genetic expression a new way of being we actually can change the way our genes expressed through releasing feel-good neurochemicals like – dopamine when we laugh or oxytocin when we give somebody a hug or we give to somebody in need. So those are very small tangible examples of how we can change our neurochemistry to help us to feel better and to even shift our health and put focus on our immune systems.

And so, when I read about this, I had learned about it in PA School, a very kind of small snippet of what I know now, but it was so empowering to me and at that point after dealing with this condition for a year, I was like, I need something empowering, I have out sourced so much of my ability to heal on external resources, right? Other practitioners, other people, other things, supplements even other tools, that may help a little bit and may have got me gotten me to a place where I could use these Neuroplastic tools, but I'm so tired of outsourcing my healing. I wanted at that point to tap into my natural resilience and to me learning about brain retraining was really empowering because it followed that same trajectory of one of my favorite neural pathways, one of my favorite core beliefs of I am strong and I am my own advocate.

Michael: I love that. And I think that we do have to be our own advocate. I recall just countless conversations with doctors where they were just like just do this prescription, just do this and I was like – there's gotta be another way, there has to end like call it my stubbornness, right? Which has been a trait that I acknowledge, well, many times in my life, being the catalyst in the precursor for me, taking control and being the advocate for my own health and if not been for that I don't know that I would be almost 10 years removed from initially getting sick and being on no prescriptions and it's not that like, I don't have flare-ups and and pain sometimes when things like that, but I do have the ability to just call my nervous system because I noticed like if you've ever had which I'm assuming you have the body keeps the score, you can look at so much research that points to an indicates the fact that our body stores our emotions, our traumas, our experiences, our pain, our suffering, our hope our joy, our happiness, like whatever that thing is. So why you feel giddy and lit up like on a date or with a partner that you love and care about or the same reason why your stomach hurts really bad when you know that you've made a mistake or that you're in trouble or if you are super anxious, your body is such a beautiful indicator for what is actually happening because I've thought about this a lot, your brain and your body are not interchangeable, they are connected. You are a human being because the two of these things work in the synchronicity though, it's dispelled that somehow they're separate, I don't agree with that. So, thinking about that and understanding them, what do you think is the best way for somebody to really like, listen to their body, understand the indicators of, is there something going on and how to honor that in their journey? Because I found myself, I had to learn this as a trait and as a skill, how do you start that process? Because it's one thing to, like, lay on the ground and be like, I want this over, and it's another thing to listen and honor that and go, you know what? I'm going to push through it anyway, let me listen to my body, let me do what I believe, I need to do to heal. So how do you start listening to your, to your, not even only intuition but to the physical responses that you have to stimuli?

Lindsay: Yeah, so I think you brought up a good point of how we are generally conditioned to believe that the brain and body are separate and even up until 20 years ago we believed in localization in the brain. So each part of the brain, had a specific purpose and worked in a specific way. Well, then people were born without half of their brains, but they could still talk and they could still walk and it looked a little bit different but they could still do it and so we started researching how the brain changes and how what happens is if you're born without part of your brain.

The brain actually is neuroplastic and can birth new neurons called neurogenesis and neuroplasticity is something that happens on a day-to-day basis our brains are always changing listening to this podcast episode is making changes to your brain, our brains change within milliseconds, but they form and create new neural pathways over time. And if you strengthen neural pathways through your thoughts and through your actions, it actually creates new neural networks in your brain, which takes about six months to achieve but it's why you see things like, Dr. Todd's University, where he works with stroke patients, who maybe have had, you know, left brain injury stroke and their right arm isn't working properly and something that he does is this process of incremental training where he actually will bandage up your left arm and have you work on using your right arm day in and day out every single day for a certain period of time, and it takes about six months to form those new neural networks in the brain, but eventually the brain fires and wires in a new and different way, in order to use that arm again, in order to help you thrive and I think that's the key thing here, that your brain and your body are always trying to protect you, they're always trying to help you to survive. You can see it in yourself, you can see it in your pet, I know my dog is always, if he hears a firework he's on alert because he thinks that there's something dangerous present and he wants to stay alive and it's just natural for animals to have that survival instinct, that survival response.

So I will say to kind of then I wanted to mention that but then to answer your question, Michael. I'll present this in a little bit of a different way because somatic experiencers, somatic therapists, they have a little bit of a different take on this than I do.

Michael: To identified that quickly, for those who don't know, can you define somatic, please? I want to make sure people don't have this go over their head.

Lindsay: Sure. So somatic in general, just refers to the body, so how emotions show up in the body, how trauma is stored in the body and somatic practitioners can kind of help walk you through this process of where does that emotion feel, when do you feel that in your body and help you to process it in that way? So it can be like a really wonderful modality for people who have that stored trauma may be as a result of a psychological traumatic experience, a mental emotional, trauma, these types of things and can help you work through processing that. So my training is a little bit different when I start working with somebody, it's typically because they're nervous system is so dysregulated, they are in that chronic state of fight or flight.

And a couple ways you can identify that yourself if you're in that is if your heart beats really fast randomly, if you notice that you breathe fast, if you have inflammation, that comes and goes pain, that comes and goes, if you experience food sensitivities, but you've weed it out all the foods, and you're eating healthy and your gluten-free dairy-free, all of these things, and you're still having food sensitivities, you get random rashes, you experience chemical sensitivities or your sensitivity to EMS electromagnetic frequencies. So these are all just kind of indicators that, may be my autonomic nervous system is dysregulated.

Now, at that point, the way that I kind of added have a different spin on things and what I do is so niche, is that we can no longer listen to the signals that the brain is telling the body. So, if you want to, I'll explain a little bit of the Neuroscience behind that.

Michael: That sounds really good. I'm fascinated by this and I would love you to explain the science behind it and then also, I assumed this was going to happen move into understanding how you start to reframe around this.

Lindsay: Sure. Yeah. So those are good things to be aware of, right? If maybe you're kind of in that state of a chronic fight or flight response, the next thing I'll point out is the HPA access the hypothalamus, pituitary adrenal axis and basically what happens is you can do detox, you can do all the things to treat the condition the pots, Lyme disease, whatever, you're dealing with to make you feel better, do the change the diet, change your lifestyle, and then still be symptomatic. And it's kind of this result of your brain communicating to your body, dangerous present, dangerous present, dangerous present, and it goes back to our past experiences of at one point being in danger, but the brain can get stuck in a state of fight or flight. So that, even if you remove the initial threat, the virus, the bacteria, the abusive situation that you were in the brain can still be communicating to the body that threat is present and we're going to respond. So the hypothalamus is located in your limbic brain, that feeling and emotional and reacting brain and the hypothalamus basically communicates to the pituitary gland, which is very responsible for releasing hormones to the rest of your body. And the hypothalamus says, hey dangerous present, we need to respond and the pituitary glands has, oh my goodness, dangerous present respond and then the pituitary gland sends a message to the adrenal glands, which sit on top of your kidneys and that's through (ACTH) the adrenocorticotropic hormone and the adrenal glands say oh, yeah, there's danger present we got this message from the pituitary gland, we need to respond, so adrenaline is release, cortisol is release, norepinephrine is released as a response of this communicated signal.

So again, we go back to the start of this, the threat doesn't necessarily have to be present for the brain, to be in this negative feedback loop that the thread is present and we need to respond and this is dangerous. So that's kind of an interesting thing because a lot of times we think okay, you know the very first thing to think about if you have those chronic symptoms, is what's going on in my life, how can I eat better? Do better? Feel better? Address any virus? Address any bacteria? While now, fast-forward to this place, where we've done those things, and we've detox the best that we can and we treated the issues that we have, but my body is still symptomatic. My brain is still responding in this threat response and that to me, I'm like, oh my goodness this, when I found that out, that was such an aha moment for me because I'm like, oh, this is part of my brain, this is my autonomic nervous system responding to a threat. It's not because of a certain condition, though it's important I want to stress, it is important to address the virus, the bacteria, all of these things, but when you set your physical body up for success and your autonomic nervous system is still responding, like there's danger present, that's a disregulated nervous system. And then we can take time to pay attention to that dysregulation and then shift it and so that's what I teach and vital side and so, you know, I give tips all of the time to stop my Instagram and about ways to kind of shift out of this spider flight response and I can go through a couple ways to do that now but I also will say that though I kind of go through on my Instagram, some very quick tips that you can use in the moment to shift out of that fight or flight response. There is this sort of structured pretty intensive approach to making those long-term sustainable changes to your nervous system because think about all of the experiences that brought you to this room dysregulated on anomic nervous system, the chronic illness maybe the trauma from your childhood and experiencing abuse as a child, the little traumas throughout your life, you know, those times where you got called out in class because and you didn't know the answer and you felt traumatized in that moment, right? So, trauma, there could be the physical trauma, mental, emotional, psychological trauma, and all of those experiences have led you to this point where the bodies like, I just can't handle it anymore now, I'm symptomatic.

So it does take a strategic and structured approach to shifting that and it does take a minimum of six months, that's pretty much what I've seen in my own practice and just working with other practitioners who do something similar. But you can daily make these changes and those consistent changes through mental exercises, through visualization techniques, through shifting becoming aware of certain thoughts and actions you take, habits you have and shifting them it's all about those incremental changes, every single day to then create habits around those new positive changes, how you can benefit your immune system, your health, change your brain for the better and then making it a sustainable practice.

Michael: Yeah. I love that and I am such a proponent of this. I tell every one of my clients, I talked about on the podcast, all the time in order to get to where you want to go you have to first, understand how you got to where you are. And I believe that we are the sum total of all of our experiences leading up to this moment and so to discount or negate, any of those would be dismissive to your own experience because the even though we don't want them to all of the things that we've ever experienced in our life, play a role in the moment that were in today and I'm such a huge proponent of this idea of these small incremental granular microscopic shifts that ultimately over time, build momentum. And I think about that like this, all of this action, all this movement, all the things to create the change in your life that you want to have starts with your mind and the way that you're thinking about it because what you think becomes what you speak and what you speak become your action and your action on a long enough time line becomes your reality. And here's what I want people to understand, and not to misconstrue this, or a misnomer that even at three months, or six months, or even a year, depending on what's happening in your life that you will magically be better, this is a process that takes time, there are things that you must do, their, I say ad nauseam to the point in which they becomes habitual in a way that they are now autonomic. So, one of the things that I would love for you to talk about is if you are in this place, you're noticing some doing all the things, I've done all the things, I gonna therapy, I got my trauma coach, I've read all the books, I've done the healing, my body feels better to an extent, but I still am symptomatic and suddenly mixing, I feel like I'm regressed and I'm back to where I was six months ago. Someone listening right now is in that place were like, damn, I done all the things, what am I supposed to do next? Where do you actually start? What's a practical tip starting point for someone where they are in this place where they feel like, they've tried everything, but they're still symptomatic, where do they begin?

Lindsay: Yeah. The very first step is you have I've never tried everything and I know it sucks to hear that because you feel like you have and you're like, no, I'm at my wit's end this is the last thing, there's always more, there's always another method, a different modality, another practitioner that will offer you something a different approach, so it's just inspiring because I've been they’re feeling like I've done everything. And when I was there and I had extended all the resources I knew through my medical training through the practitioners that I knew and I went through that and found that I was still symptomatic, it was horrifying to think like okay, but I don't know what else is there. So it helps to be your own advocate and to know that even if you feel like you're at your wits end and you feel like you've done all of the things, I've been in EMDR for three years, and I've also read all of the books and I've also addressed all of the root causes and I've been on this diet and I've had bone broth for two weeks and I say all those things. And it's so true that you haven't done all of the things there is more for you because there's going to be someone else out there who has another version of maybe some of the things that you've learned and it is going to present itself to you in the right way at the right time, because that's kind of what happens in this healing process. You seek, you see, can you see, can you find the connections, the people, the modalities that work for you? But if you're here today and you're also like, okay, I'm having this, aha moment that's exactly where I am, I've plateaued and how I feel and it sucks. The first thing to remember is, yeah, that suckiness, you can take note of it and totally understand that it does suck; that being said, if you stay in that pattern of feeling like things suck, the rest of your thoughts, the neural pathways that you take will start to recognize, okay, we're in a pattern of stuck and suck and we'll just kind of continued in that pathway again and again and again. So if you're feeling that way today, the first piece of advice would be awareness of that state and awareness of where you are, the second piece here would be break and change your state break and change your daily patterns. Yes, maybe you've been doing all of the things that EMDR, seeing of the practitioners and doing them a certain way and now you're at this point where you've plateaued, you have to do something entirely different.

So one of the very first things that you can do is if you've been in this house and you've been recovering for a couple of years and you've been in this house and doing the same going to the same appointments, rearrange your house entirely, rearrange the furniture, give it a new paint job, different colors, go through your closet, get rid of those old sick clothes that you've been wearing, even if they're super comfy, get some new ones, have new colors, bright colors can stimulate joy and vibrancy even if you're not feeling that right now, change your environment and that does change your internal environment, that's something very tangible that you can do, and I know a lot of people will say well, but like my apartment is 800 square feet I can't really do that, yes, you can, you can take off that picture on the wall that you've been looking at day in and day out and waking up after an insomnia night and looking at the picture and saying, oh, another day, break the pattern, change the painting, throw it away, put it on another wall, do something entirely different and then that's something like a very first easy step that you can take I guess that was my step to the awareness was step one and then step three is these the incidental training calling yourself out throughout the day when you notice yourself going down the pattern of stuck, sick, suckiness, symptomatic, whatever it is that you're experiencing and an easy way to do this is setting a timer on your phone I say like a sweet timer rather than a very jarring timer, maybe like a wind chime, or a little bell that goes off maybe once, twice, three times a day and when it goes off, just stop. What am I thinking about? Is this beneficial? Or is this causing that negative feedback loop of stress and feeding that negative feedback loop? We want to do everything we possibly can to break that negative feedback loop and gain evidence for change. So simply changing your environment can do that, oh, it's breaking a pattern, oh, I'm not experiencing life in the same way as I was yesterday, that’s a pattern breaker state changer.

Well, the third thing you can do is active neuroplasticity, which is what I teach and so, that's breaking your thought cycle, breaking that negative feedback loop. So, in the moment, maybe you're at your computer and you're working and you're like, I'm stuck, I'm sick or you get that email and you're like, email from your boss and you're like oh, what is that? Oh my gosh, like I don't know what to do, that's freaking me out, I'm getting anxious. Get up walk outside. Get up, put a song on your phone and dance it out for a minute. Something that I'm a big fan of is just through movement, changing your state, so shaking your hands out, shaking your arms out, shaking your feet and legs out, even sitting at your desk, shaking your face out, one of my favorite like O2's in the moment is blowing your lips out and going as long as you possibly can and something that's really cool about that is specifically the lips is that stimulates facial muscles, which can stimulate the vagus nerve which is the longest cranial nerve it's the tenth cranial nerve that connects from your brain stem all the way to your belly and innervates, all these organs in between and when you stimulate that vagus nerve, it actually sends the message to the brain that you are safe, that you are okay in this moment. So, anything to stimulate that gargling can stimulate that coming happy birthday twice through can stimulate that, I'm a very physical kinesthetic learner if you can't tell with the way that I use my hands, so I'd like to incorporate an immersive experience, any sort of bodily movement that I can use, you know, being able to stimulate that vagus nerve and visualization techniques can be extremely helpful as well.

But first those three steps are just ways to keep in mind that awareness changing of your environment, breaking your pot on through your external environment and number three is those incidental training tools, recognizing that you're having that old belief pattern, or you're having that symptom in the moment and being able to shift and change and break your state.

Michael: I love it. That is all and it's incredibly practical to. I say all the time this journey always starts with awareness everything that you're going to do in your life starts with making meaning and notice of it and that's such such practical advice and the other thing I need to say it but I'm going to pinpoint it is looking at this from the perspective of being solution-oriented. So often we're trapped in this idea of only ever looking for the negative, looking for the bad, looking for where we're stuck, looking for why we can't and I'm over here like, how can we do this shit? Like the only thing I'm ever thinking about is like what is the solution, not giving up knowing and understanding that it literally might be the 37th thing that you try that becomes the solution that you're looking for and it might take you ten years, but my thought is like, I'm going to do it anyway, so I would love people Unbroken Nation, take this with you today, like think about solutions. My friend before I ask you my last question and I could talk to you, I feel like we were just starting to get in the crux of this but before I ask you my last question today, tell everyone where they can find you?

Lindsay: Sure. So you can find me on Instagram @myvitalside. I have a lot of free content, free tips there. You can also find me on my website, vital-side.com, you can find a lot of great resources, programs all that on there. And then I also have a podcast, Rewire The Podcast where we talk all things, rewiring the brain to better our health and you know, really help us to live a life full of purpose.

Michael: Thank you so much and Unbroken Nation will put all that information in the show notes. Lindsay, my last question for you, my friend is, what is it mean to you to be unbroken?

Lindsay: Unbroken to me, doesn't mean never feeling broken. Being unbroken to me means during those tough times, those crappy times, those times where we do feel broken showing up anyway and tapping in to our natural resilience, and I've had clients I just know so many people who have had these terrible stories of living with a chronic condition, chronic symptoms, being able to then, focus and shift their mindset, focus and regulate their nervous system to tap into their natural resilience, and it's muscle memory, the more that we're able to tap into our natural resilience our brains, very own healing properties, the more we're able to access this again and again and again. Life situations are always going to happen traumatic events, loss of friends, family members, pandemics these types of things are inevitable as part of our Human Experience. Being Unbroken is when you can show up to those experiences with that built resilience and your brain and your body and be there and feel that resilience tap into that, being able to show up in a way that maybe doesn't always feel the best, doesn't always feel strong can make you feel vulnerable, but that's also part of being unbroken, that's also part of that resilience pathway.

Michael: I literally have goose bumps right now; you're speaking my language.

Unbroken Nation, thank you so much for being here, listening.

Please as usual, like, subscribe, comment review.

Tell a friend.

And Until Next Time.

My friends, Be Unbroken.

-I'll see you.

Lindsay MitchellProfile Photo

Lindsay Mitchell


Lindsay Mitchell is a super passionate human, lover of all things neuroscience, and the founder of Vital-Side. She works with people with chronic illness & chronic symptoms retrain the chronic stress response in the brain, so they can find freedom in their lives. Her training in medicine, work as an NLP practitioner, and experience with having recovered from Lyme disease helps her give people the tools they need to shift & change their symptoms in an empowering way. You can find free tips & tools on Instagram @myvitalside or join her Membership today at www.vital-side.com.

Michael UnbrokenProfile Photo

Michael Unbroken


Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, speaker, coach, and advocate for adult survivors of childhood trauma.