Change Your Mind

If you’ve had enough
Of all your tryin’
Just give up
The state of mind you’re in

If you want to be somebody else,
If you’re tired of fighting battles with yourself
If you want to be somebody else
Change your mind

“Change Your Mind” by Sister Hazel

The band Sister Hazel has a lot of great music. Their messages resonate with me often, and the song “Change Your Mind” really stands out as a beacon of light for those who feel they are surrounded by darkness. Sometimes we need that gentle reminder to be somebody else when our current version isn’t serving us.

The band starts out with some “ooooohh, yeah; ooooohh yeah” lyrics to get you into the spirit of the song’s message, and immediately goes down a rabbit hole of how you’ve been dragging and need to change your perspective. My friend Dr. Melissa Hughes talks about reframing a lot and Sister Hazel has it nailed throughout their performance to stress that you are almost always in control of your state of mind. Reframing a situation is one thing; reframing your mind to fit the situation better is an altogether different approach.

But do we really have that kind of control over situations that happen around us?

I have always been a positive person; some might say optimistic to the point of danger to my own psyche. However, all too often I have seen others in my view take something personally and go down a negative spiral when they fully had the option to either brush it off and move on or find some positivity in the situation and keep their head up. Not every situation has an obvious pile of positivity within it, but even in the worst of times we can take pause and see something within the dust and ashes that brings us to a better mindset or teaches us something about how to react in a future similar situation. That “silver lining” thinking is commonly challenged, but I say it’s possible. All the time.

I have used music to solve a lot of my mental challenges in life. I made it through a rather serious medical season a few years ago using songs and positive affirmations, along with a spectacular support network, as my main therapy. At work when I am struggling, I click on my iTunes and find one of the bands that motivate and inspire me to action. Sister Hazel is in that category, with this song at the forefront. (We’ll talk about other songs of theirs another time).

“Have you ever danced in the rain or thanked the sun Just for shining?”

Expressing gratitude for nature and the world around us can be a big part of being naturally brought to a better place emotionally.

The next time you’re feeling down, look around at your surroundings and start a gratitude list. You’ll be amazed at how quickly the problems seem to diminish in your mind.

Thanking the sun for shining sounds so simple, but we often forget how fortunate we are for the basic needs to be met on a regular basis and bring our “first-world problems” to the table instead

“And yeah, you look much better, look much better when you glow.”

If you’re tired of fighting battles with yourself, change your mind. How will you glow today?

Here’s the song if you are not familiar with it:


Rich Gassen
Rich Gassen
Rich Gassen was born and raised in Wisconsin and is a lifelong resident of the Madison area. He supervises print production at UW-Madison’s Digital Publishing and Printing Services, focusing on empowerment and autonomy with staff, and process improvements. He came to the UW in 2010 after working in private sector print shops for much of his career. Rich also chairs the planning committee for the Campus Supervisors Network (CSN), a community of practice at UW-Madison with over 1300 active members. CSN supports other supervisors in their roles, offering training and networking events on campus, a weekly newsletter, and a website of resources. CSN facilitates group discussions, book clubs, and other events, and also mentors other leaders on campus. When not at work, Rich enjoys spending time with his wife and two adult boys in the outdoors and fishing the many lakes and rivers of southern Wisconsin are the main hobby of choice.

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