People with MCI have their bad days, but they have good days, too. Some days, they get a win. Take Ellen, for instance. She had a big win recently, and she contacted me to tell me all about it. She was so proud and excited, and I was excited for her. It’s a great story — one I want to share with you today.
How about you? Do you have a win that you’re proud of and feeling good about? Please share it. Send me an email at email@example.com or leave a comment below.
Here’s the full transcript of today’s video
I have an idea that I’ve been toying around with in my mind for quite a while now, and I figure the time has come to put it out there and see if it’s a worthwhile idea and if we can make it happen.
It’s a concept that, in my mind, I’m calling Wins Day.
Not Wednesday, as in the day that falls between Tuesday and Thursday. This would be Wins Day, W I N S Day.
Because people with mild cognitive impairment have bad days. They have struggles and frustrations and disappointments. But they also have good days. They have days when they have a win.
If fact, a woman with MCI reached out to me a few weeks ago to tell me about a special win that she had just had. And for her, it was a big win. I could tell how happy and excited she was about it, and I was happy and excited for her.
And I thought, why wouldn’t we want to celebrate something like that? We ought to. So let’s.
Hi, I’m Tony Dearing of GoCogno.com, the website for people with mild cognitive impairment.
There are a lot of things that I enjoy about doing these brain health videos every week, but the thing I enjoy most is hearing from the people like you, who watch them. So I was thrilled when a woman named Ellen reached out to me to share a success that she’d just had.
“I did quite a big event,” she told me. “I invited 11 female friends for an outside lunch.”
He’s a photo of the event, which she sent me, with her face and her friends blurred out, of course. I always protect the privacy of the people I deal with.
Because Ellen has mild cognitive impairment, she approached this event with a lot of trepidation. She knew it was going to take a lot of planning, and she wasn’t sure she was capable of it. Finding a day when everyone could attend. Making all the arrangements. It was a lot to deal with.
But you know what. She pulled it off. The weather was prefect. All her friends showed up, and everyone had a wonderful time. Especially Ellen.
She told me: “I worried that some friends would not like the food, that some wouldn’t be able to come. But once everyone was there and talking and laughing, and enjoying the food, I almost forgot I had MCI!!!”
Then she asked me: “Do you think that pushing oneself for things like that are a good idea?” I told her I thought what she had done was fantastic, and I that I would want to share what she had done in one of my videos. And as we talked about it, she ended up answering her own question.
“Tell them that the work was worth the effort,” she said. “Tell anyone that my energy and worry actually got me doing better.”
What this illustrates so wonderfully is the concept of good stress, and how the right kind of stress can actually be one of the most powerful ways to improve cognition.
When we think of stress, we tend to think of bad stress.
But back in July, I had Drs. Dean and Ayesha Sherzai as my guests here, and they explained that there’s both good stress and bad stress, and good stress is something you want more of in your life.
And the perception and differentiation between good stress and bad stress is very important. Because good stress is the type of stress you want to increase. It’s the kind of classes you take. It’s the kind of complexity and challenges you bring into your life. And people who are cognitively in a complex and challenging activity that’s theirs, they tend to do much better than the rest of the population who are under bad stress.
When the brain is stressed with good stress, the kind of stress that is driven by your purpose, has direction, has meaning, has steps of success, it actually builds the brain. Good stress is I want to get to learn, you know, some sort of dancing. You can see, I’m so bad at dancing, I don’t even know any names, I was about to name some dance, I was going to say mumbo or something, but in any case, some dance in six months. That’s clear. It’s enjoyable. That’s why you came up with it and it has a clear goal and direction and means and that’s going to create good stress. It challenges every part of your brain. You’re learning. That distinction is important.
So yes, putting on that party was stressful for Ellen. But it was the right kind of stress, it was the good stress, the kind that actually builds cognition. And the event went wonderfully. And it was a big win for her.
Which brings me back to this concept I’ve had of a Wins Day. So today, I want to declare this to be my first official Wins Day, in honor of Ellen and what she was able to accomplish. And I know that we all want to celebrate that with her.
What I’d like to try is to make the first Sunday of every month Wins Day. If you’d be willing to share with me some win that you’ve had, that you’re proud of and feeling good about, I will share that win with my viewers.
I really like this idea. I hope you like it. I hope that we can work together to make this a regular feature for GoCogno.com.
If you’ve had a win recently, tell me about it, so I can share it with others, and they can celebrate your win with you. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.
I hope to hear from you, and I look forward to seeing you again next week. Until then, as always, be kind to your mind.