As a part of my series about “How To Develop Mindfulness And Serenity During Stressful Or Uncertain Times,” I had the pleasure of interviewing Brandi Gregge, FNP-BC.
Brandi Gregge, FNP-BC is a licensed nurse practitioner, a certified meditation instructor and a small business owner — the founder and medical director of Mint & Needle medical aesthetics boutique in Middletown, Delaware. Brandi was drawn to aesthetic medicine to help women look and feel their best and takes pride in helping people put their best face forward by achieving natural aesthetics results with a variety of customized facial aesthetics procedures and treatments to address skin concerns in a minimally-invasive nature. Brandi was drawn to aesthetic medicine to help women look and feel their best and applies this principle throughout every area of her business.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
I came from a resource-restricted environment, so I learned the importance of hustle and looking your best to feel your best early on. My initial draw to medicine and becoming a nurse practitioner was closely related to the unfortunate health-related issues that hit my family throughout my adolescence. This career path helped me explore science and health more. My passion for aesthetic medicine grew as I saw the impact aesthetic medicine has — not just on the outward appearance of my patients, but also for the internal transformations as a result. This resulted in me opening my aesthetic medicine boutique focused on natural results with a wellness mindset.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
In my medical career, I have witnessed some incredible things. Those crazy stories that we’ve all heard of and some I’ve even been a part of, are the ones where the unexplainable happens. The miracle patient or all those little events that added up to the big one. These are the experiences that have humbled me as a healthcare provider and as a human, and I am so grateful I was there to be a part of them.
What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture?
I can sum up my advice in three quick phrases: Be open and honest with your staff, take care of your employees and believe in the value of your services.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
Yes. The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins is a book that has made a significant impact on not only myself, but every aspect of my life and my entire business. I have always been someone that is fascinated with the mind — how it works, how it makes decisions, and most importantly how to make it better. I always strive to better myself because when I’m my best, everything else around me falls into place and any curveballs thrown, I can handle. This book emphasizes mindfulness meditation, which is important to me and my business. I think we as people give into negative thoughts too easily and this book teaches how to avoid giving into negativity through a 5 second process. Instead of taking time to think about every little thing, this book teaches to give yourself 5 seconds before you act and then once you count to 5, concentrate on the task at hand and act on it. This has helped me with my business by allowing me to compartmentalize the myriad of tasks I consistently have to complete.
Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. From your experience or research, how would you define and describe the state of being mindful?
The definition of mindfulness is “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.” This is the attitude I strive for in my daily life and business. The key really is focusing on being completely present in the moment and giving a task or person your full and undivided, nonjudgmental attention. This makes them feel special and unique, but it also allows me to not let any outside source cloud my thoughts or judgment.
This might be intuitive to you, but it will be instructive to spell this out. Can you share with our readers a few of the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of becoming mindful?
There are many physical, mental and emotional benefits of practicing mindfulness.
Physical — with mindfulness the physical body goes from sympathetic nervous response to parasympathetic response. This sequence helps lower cortisol (stress) levels, blood pressure, heart rate, and the chemical balance of emotions within the body.
Mental — meditation, brings our mind and brain to a still place. It is almost like the snow in a snow globe settling. A sense of calm and stillness.
Emotional — mindfulness helps us achieve more awareness. A feeling of more emotional balance and less anxiety.
Ok. Here is the main question of our discussion. The past 5 years have been filled with upheaval and political uncertainty. Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the pandemic have only heightened a sense of uncertainty, anxiety, fear, and loneliness. From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to develop mindfulness during such uncertain times? Can you please share a story or example for each.
- Meditate for at least 10 minutes every day. Make it part of your daily routine. The ongoing practice helps promote less stress and more overall calm.
- Remove emotional triggers from your life. Perhaps you find that there is a specific person, situation or environment that is a triggering experience for you. Be aware of the triggers and remove or limit them from your daily life.
- Research on your own to gather and form your own opinion. It is so easy for humans to be reactionary — especially with the constant frustrations in our world. When we take a step back from the headlines we can do our own research and form our own opinions.
- Be open minded to everything you can find. Approaching the day-to-day with an open mind and heart, or acceptance, which is a key of mindfulness.
- Be mindful. The definition itself suggests that being mindful is being aware of our own thoughts, feelings and emotions. Acknowledging them and acceptance of them.
Applying this principle across the aspects of our daily lives can make a huge impact.
From your experience or research what are five steps that each of us can take to effectively offer support to those around us who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?
- Don’t dismiss the emotion — recognize it for what it is. Accept the emotion that is coming up for the individual.
- Be sure to actively listen and to be mindful and in the present moment.
- Ask the person whether they would like advice or an ear to listen. Understanding their needs in the moment can help them feel supported.
- If possible, get to the root cause of why the person is experiencing anxiety. Often times we find when we can get to the root cause we can overcome the anxiety sooner. Awareness can be powerful.
- Also, offer resources and information to those who are struggling with anxious feelings so they have more resources to seek out for future.
What are the best resources you would suggest for someone to learn how to be more mindful and serene in their everyday life?
The best resources I recommend are books, especially the 5 Second Rule by Mel Gibbons. I always recommend therapy because it can be so beneficial to just talk with someone or seek a therapist for cognitive behavioral therapy, so they can teach you a better, more helpful way to think. Exercise is such an important step in every aspect of life, but especially with mental health, so make sure to make time for working out your body — even just 30 minutes per day can make a big difference for individuals who are hoping to become more mindful.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
“To be a good leader, you have to be a good communicator. As a leader, you have to communicate your intent every chance you get, and if you fail to do that, you will pay the consequences.” — William McRaven
This is relevant to my life because I strive to be the best leader I can. My team relies on me and pushes me to be greater and that motivates me to be as successful as I can.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
Something I am very passionate about is making sure both men and women feel their best — confidence is key! When we feel our best, we can put our best foot forward and that is when we are successful. I am a firm believer in bringing this mentality to aesthetic medicine. Each one of us has beautiful physical attributes and aesthetic medicine should be about enhancing what we have to allow us to feel more confident. This is a movement I would start because I feel in today’s society there is so much of wanting to look like someone else, rather than be the beautiful person you already are.
What is the best way our readers can follow you online?
I can be found on Instagram at www.instagram.com/theblondeclinician. My business, Mint & Needle can be found on Facebook www.facebook.com/MintandNeedle and on Instagram www.instagram.com/mintandneedle.