How healthy is your mind?
We talk about having a strong mindset a lot...and about building up that mindset to help you navigate through life’s ups and downs with confidence, balance and grace. But I want to really shift the focus and examine how healthy our minds are.
Do negative thoughts continually come into your head throughout the day?
Do you spend a lot of your time criticizing and judging others?
Are you trapped by comparison and this need to appear “perfect”?
Do you have a short temper or sometimes say or do things that you later regret?
We can all say yes to at least one of those...maybe not every moment or every day, but those thoughts always creep in. And it’s not a coincidence.
There’s a reason why your mind gets to a place where it’s filled with more negative chatter. It stems from something. And that negative chatter connects to negative feelings, which in turn affects our physical health and our mental health. And the cycle continues. Everything connects together; you can’t have a healthy body with an unhealthy mind. You don’t find true compassion, joy, gratitude and love for life with an unhealthy mind.
So what does it mean to have a healthy mind?
What habits can we implement that are going to help you feel better, more vibrant and with the happiness, engagement and energy that you want for your life?
How can we be in control of what’s going on inside of us, instead of being controlled by what’s happening to us and the consequences of living in reaction mode?
Step 1 - Awareness
To really have a healthy mind, you have to take ownership of what’s going on inside your head. When you start to have that negative chatter come up in your head...WHY is that? What’s going on inside your head that is causing those thoughts to come up?
Start asking yourself those questions and start to become more aware. The next time you’re having negative thoughts, doubts about yourself, judgements of other people, not feeling good about yourself...journal on that. What is coming up for you? What are your triggers?
Everytime these thoughts come up for me, I always stop myself and ask WHY. What is going on with ME right now, that is allowing these thoughts to creep in? Take an inventory of all areas of your life; what’s going on within your relationships? Within your career? Within your own self-care and self love? How good are you feeling about yourself in these areas? Identify what those areas are so that you can start to move forward with some action. The more awareness you have, the better.
The key thing here is not be ashamed or embarrassed or try to hide this side of you. We’re all human and none of us are perfect; we all go through this. Hiding it from others, but more importantly from yourself, only creates an unhealthier, more toxic situation inside your head as the layers and layers of trying to protect yourself build up. And eventually, it all unravels. Let’s focus on healing, on acknowledgment and progress forward instead of shame, guilt and denial.
2 - Start with your self-care
You can’t have a healthy mind in an unhealthy body; it all connects together. And while it’s harder to change outside circumstances in our lives, it’s actually quite simple to make changes to our own self-care and our own physical beings. It doesn’t always feel simple, but when we break it down, it really is. Hydrate more. Sleep more. Eat better. Move more. Things we all know, but things that fall to the wayside when we get busy, overwhelmed, stressed. If you’ve fallen off track with taking care of your physical self, start here.
If you consistently are not getting enough sleep, your brain just isn’t functioning properly and you are not in a good mental state. And you may think you’re functioning just fine with the sleep you’re getting...until you actually get into a good rhythm and routine with sleep and you actually start getting 8-9 hours per night. That’s when you really realize how good it is and you’ll see your life start to shift in ways you never thought possible. Make some small changes: establish a good night time routine, turn off your devices 30 minutes before you fall asleep, try to get into bed a little earlier each night. Make sleep a top priority because without that time to recharge, renew and repair itself, the brain (and the body) just don’t work at their best. And when your brain is not working at its best, that’s when it starts to send you off track.
Did you know that your brain actually physically shrinks when you’re not drinking enough water? I won’t go into all the details of how important it is to keep yourself well hydrated...because you know it. But the question is, are you doing it? Check out the app “habitify” and schedule some reminders to yourself to drink your water! Keep your mind (and your body) working properly!
What are you fueling your brain with each day? I recently made a shift again where I had allowed a lot of sugar and carbs back into my life for the majority of this last year. I still seemed to have great energy, but my body and my mind were just not functioning well. I could really feel the effects of the food I was eating (more to come on this next month). I’m starting to shit back the other way right now, and I’m feeling the positive effects on my mind and my body almost instantly. Our bodies just want us to treat them well so they can function at their best and help us get those amazing results we want in our life, our business and our relationships. You want a healthy mind? You have to fuel it properly.
Each day, so some journaling and write about the positive thoughts in your head. What was great about your day? What are you excited for tomorrow? What are you most proud of? Doing this trains your head to focus in and think about the positive instead of always focusing in on the negative thoughts. Your brain is a muscle that we can train to behave in a certain way; it just takes time and discipline.
Meditation is another amazing way to build the muscle of the brain so that you can really control what is going on inside your head. When you start to meditate, and you start to feel your thoughts fluttering away, practice pulling those thoughts back and controlling them. Learning this control over your own mind is key; so that when you’re approached with a difficult situation, you can control and own your thoughts instead of just reacting and letting the situation control you? Not only that, but quiet time for meditation and time to really ground down and relax is so important, especially with how busy our lives are. Start with a minute or two. Close your eyes. Lay on the ground if you can. Just try it.
Yes, many of these are common sense. But just because they are common sense, doesn’t mean they are common practice. Are you actually doing any of these things? You might think they’re not necessary, but I’m telling you, as soon as your health is taken away from you is when you realize “Ahh, I wish I had done ____”. You have the chance to do it NOW. And you’re worth it. Your choices are a reflection of your self worth. If you don’t like how your mind and your body are operating, then it’s time to commit to making some different choices. And it starts with how this base foundation of self care. It’s time to implement. It’s all about action. One small step a day; pick your biggest area of focus to work on that will help you shift the thoughts in your mind.
How you know if you’re on the positive end of it and you really have a healthy mind?
You have genuine gratitude and love for life and people. It’s when you see someone else accomplishing something that you want for yourself, and you say “wow, good for them!” And you mean it. There’s no judgement, no jealousy, no criticism, no negative self talk. You find that you have genuine love and gratitude for yourself, your body, your life, your family and your friends. That’s not to say that negative thoughts never creep in, but when they do, you can acknowledge why they’re coming in, dismiss them and not allow any attachment to those thoughts.
If you want more training on this, come join us in the EDGE Insider! The theme and trainings for July are centered around Building a Healthy Mind. Click the link to join: