Healthy Thoughts – Part 2

Last blog we discussed thoughts and began to draw some awareness to the mental narrative going on between those ears. As we bring attention to it and become more aware, we can then start to reshape this ‘self-chat’. The trick is having some tools to do so.

I hope you have had some success implementing the two positive changes we introduced last time round. Our aim now is to build on that momentum so we’re going to raid the aisles of the psychological trade store (‘Mindful Mega10’ if you will….ahhh lame dad joke! Im not even a dad yet! :{ ) and load up our mental toolbox some more.

 

This week let’s start with our environment!

 

There is a lot about our environment that sets our thoughts and mindset in motion. Just as other people and elements in your environment help shape it, so to can you have an influence.  So, this is our third point to address:

negative - positive mindset

  1. Help shape your environment Your environment influences you and you can influence it. Be aware of the negative exposures you have in your week and realise how these affect you and drag you down. Now put your thought/time/energy into the things and people that support you, uplift you, and leave you feeling fulfilled. See if you can remove some of the negative exposures and replace them with time you would consider well spent.

 

Being present is our next tool. I think most of us have experienced days where you feel like a passenger on the train as your mind is caught up elsewhere. When big life events occur, it can often be par for the course. However, this is not something we want to make a habit of. Life is going on all around us so let’s be aware of not standing at the window watching it go by. Being present in your day helps to remove that sneaky word ‘regret’ from your mind in those times that you do look back upon things and reminisce. Let’s centre ourselves in the moment and not let our minds run away with us.

Healthy mindset

  1. Be mindful in your day                                                                                                                                 Be present! Dwelling in the past or getting caught up in the worries of the future can easily mean you miss the gems of the present. You dis-engage with it. Before you know it, you’ve reached the end of the day feeling dis-satisfied and now you’re building a home on cynical street. How can you see the positive and build on it if you are not present to engage with it? To re-connect with the moment, re-assert your attention to your senses. All of them. The smell, the taste, what you hear and what you see. Take it in. This will help ground you.

 

The next point here is pivotal! It’s where the rubber hits the road with respect to how you respond when things take a turn for the worse (you’ll notice I used the word ‘respond’…not ‘react’!). The ‘Stop, Breathe, Re-focus’ rule is all about putting the brakes on when your mind is heading off the road and towards a cliff drop. Rather than testing out your base jumping skills, pull the car over and take a breather. Lets put this back in perspective, re-assess the goal, and find an opportunity within the situation.

 

  1. Stop, breathe, re-focus

Catch yourself when you are in a negative rant. Bring things back into perspective. Ask yourself “are these thoughts helpful to the situation?”. “Do I like how I am influencing the environment and the people around me?”  Breathe for a minute. Remind yourself of the goal and what has been going well. It may not be perfect right now, but its not all bad. Now ask yourself, what is one opportunity here?

 

Lets keep the headspace clear and constructive so it serves us in our quest to be the best version of ourselves. As the situation arises, draw on the right tool for the job and keep that positive headspace maintained.

 

(Please excuse the DIY theme that has emerged in this blog. I did not start out with this intention, but it seems to fit pretty well. And anyway, kiwis love their DIY right. It’s the Aussies that won’t “give us a hand with the job Saturday”. But “no surprises there”).