Why your Mindset VITALS® are the key to good mental healthApr 17, 2023
Summer Term for my children begins today. And after a week of Annual Leave for my husband and I, we also return to work. To tell the truth, I'm getting the sense from my children that they feel Groundhog Day is about to begin. We've all enjoyed pottering around this past week, days out together and having friends and family round for meals. There has been no time-keeping - no buses or trains to catch, no 100 minute lessons, no dashes to get to Clubs and activities on time.
I have loved us all being together but work and school beckon and you know, that structure is also good. It's all about the way you think about what you think about.
For me, the start of this new school Term is the perfect time to reflect and recalibrate and to get everything in order- in mind, body and spirit. Spring is such a great time to start a fresh chapter.
These are my focus points:
- Too much indulgence in Easter chocolate means it’s time to rethink how I maximise my hard work at the gym, by not off-setting it with allowing my sweet tooth to run wild.
- An earlier time to bed will ensure I get the required zzz to feel refreshed when I wake up.
- Hand in hand with that- no more mindless scrolling on my phone in bed. Reading a good book is far better for my eyes and filling my head with interesting prose more beneficial for my mindset.
- Most importantly, keeping my mindset in check by working on my Mindset VITALS® for 15 minutes each day.
Spotting the lighthouses
The key is knowing that you can run your brain, rather than allowing it to run you. You get to decide what you fill your head with. Unfortunately, many people think thoughts come flooding into their head and they are powerless over them. That’s simply not the case. That first thought might appear, seemingly beyond your influence but once you recognise it and the resulting emotion that’s not supporting you, you can take back the control. You can be consciously aware of where you are allowing your thoughts to take you.
For a thought is just a thought. It’s not fact. And you get to decide whether to continue with a thought, to perpetuate a loop which is not serving you well, or whether you intercept the loop and bring your thoughts back, back where you can direct them.
It takes work but you can reset your mindset to enable you to be resourceful and resilient. The single most important thing, standing between where you are today and where you want to be, is your thinking.
And there are the things you cannot influence in life – the lighthouses, and this quote is very apt here:
“When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening. That’s where the power is.” Unknown
For that is precisely where the power lies – it is within you. There is so much you cannot control – the weather, the passing of time, events, other people’s thoughts, feelings and actions. You are not responsible for them and can do nothing about them. But the one thing you can influence and have control over, is how you choose to respond. Sometimes that takes time, you might need to re-calibrate but the choice is yours. And that’s when you can put yourself firmly in the driver’s seat and navigate your way through life’s ups and downs.
Over the past almost four decades of the Winning Edge programme, we have had many participants who have severe anxiety, some have admitted to feeling suicidal. They have said that discovering they can choose the direction of their thoughts has been nothing less than life-changing; the epiphany that the power sits with them has been liberating and truly empowering.
Checking in on your MINDSET VITALS®
Just as when we go to the GP or the A&E department because we are physically unwell, our vitals are checked – such as our pulse, blood pressure and our body temperature, so too is it important to check in with your Mindset VITALS®.
By checking in on your Mindset VITALS®, you are then consciously aware of the nature of your thoughts and whether they are hindering or helping you. Because what you think about you become and if your thoughts are full of worry, frustration and negativity, that will be evidenced by your emotions and your behaviour will reflect this. Day by day, if you repeat these thoughts, emotions and actions, you build habits and over time, you find yourself in a set of circumstances created by what? All your own thoughts.
By taking just 15 minutes each day – that’s just 1/96th of your entire day, you can check in on your Mindset VITALS® and ensure your mental health is in check.
Visualise- who do you want to be, what do you want to do and what do you want to have? Train your brain into believing it’s possible by visualising it daily. Replay it so it becomes your new normal.
Intentional- by focusing your thoughts to ensure they support you, you’ll be able to move forward towards your goals. Ask yourself: ‘Is what I’m thinking helping or hindering me?’ Be more consciously aware of the unhelpful thought patterns that do not serve you well and rewire them. Easy? Not always. But it is possible with practise.
Take personal responsibility- when you take full ownership of your thoughts, feelings and behaviour, this is the pinnacle of adult maturity. You get to decide what you want and how you want to show up for you, and thus, you’ll feel empowered. You’ll feel more focused and committed to achieving what you want out of life.
Affirmations- repeated daily, assumptive affirmations realign neural pathways and boost self-belief. Try: ‘I know I have the resourcefulness, resilience and self-belief to overcome challenges.’ Your self-talk also plays a huge part – the way you talk about yourself to you, and to others. Your self-talk will either hinder you or propel you forward. Amplify the great stuff about you. Rid the self-doubt and build your confidence in you.
Let Go- because we cannot change the past or other people’s thoughts and actions. Recognise what you can and cannot change. And focus on the things you can change. Remember the Serenity Prayer:
‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’
Self-Image- by creating a positive self-image, you know you are capable, and worthy of going for the great things in life. Think about the way you think about yourself- what are you doing to ensure you feel great about yourself, to feel more resilient, to be able to face life’s challenges? Affirmations, visualisation, a Victory Log to celebrate your wins, a Gratitude Journal – all these things help to create a positive self-image.
A change of mindset is a fundamental prerequisite in order to make any positive shift in your mood and behaviour, in order to make that transformation you desire – to change the way you feel about yourself, to change what you believe you can achieve, to be the best version of you.
This isn’t about positive thinking – it’s about the importance of conscious thinking and being aware of your mindset, which can help you both personally and professionally. Your mental health is key to your quality of life, which is why understanding this subject matter is essential to leading the life you want to lead – an enriched life.
Let this week be the week you start to check in on your Mindset VITALS® daily and if you feel you need further support, if you are currently struggling and need someone to talk to, please reach out and speak to a trusted friend or loved one; sometimes when we can’t see the wood for the trees, simply downloading to a listening ear helps us to reframe our thoughts. Perhaps you feel it would be easier to speak to someone who doesn’t know you - there are many charities and organisations who are there to help such as Mind and the Samaritans.
Good mental health is essential to our wellbeing. And if you know yours is not in a good place, recognising that and acknowledging it is the first step to feeling brighter and happier times are ahead. And surely Spring is the ideal time for a mindset reset.
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Do you feel a mindset reset is needed but are not sure where to start? Does it feel like your brain runs you, rather than the other way around?
The Mindset Coaching Membership can help you understand the tools and strategies needed to be the best version of you. With Masterclass Teachings + Coaching + Accountability, we will help you to create the future you want. Find out more here.
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