Our mindset is one of the MOST foundational components to our overall health as a person. Many studies have confirmed that poor mental health can put you at greater risk for physical illness. And Mindset is one of the foundational pieces to mental health. So let’s look at some ways that we can renew our minds:
If you’re overwhelmed with negative thoughts try using methods such as walking, running and going to the gym to renew your mind! During your time exercising try clearing your brain by focusing on your movements or by listening to calming music.
Exercise naturally releases endorphins in the body so when you are finished you will feel more productive and even happier. Exercise also improves cognitive functioning, reduces anxiety & depression, increases energy, and improves sleep. Try different forms of exercise to see what works best for you!
2) Mindfulness & CBT techniques:
Unhelpful thoughts plaguing you? Try using mindfulness techniques such as enhanced awareness or asking yourself if the thought is true or helpful (part of CBT). When those negative thoughts are filling up your brain pause a moment to reflect on each thought. Ask the thought if it is true or not. Sometimes our negative thoughts are just incorrect assumptions we have made. I.e. – What evidence do I have that proves this thought is true, and what evidence do I have against it?
Next ask yourself if the thought is helpful. Some negative thoughts can be true but they are not helpful – rather they are hurtful. Those hurtful ones also need to be discarded from the mind. But it is not enough to just discard the negative and unhelpful thought we must replace it with a true and helpful thought.
For example, let’s say that I was trying to complete a project at work and I started getting anxious and thinking “I can’t do this” “I am not good enough” “This is going to be too hard” using my mindfulness skills I begin to evaluate my thoughts. Yes, it is true this will be hard but “I can do hard things” I may feel like I am not good enough but “ I am a unique person with skills and giftings and if I need help I can ask for it.” See that I did not deny the truth that things are hard but I reframed my thought with helpful truths that remind me of my value and worth.
Another mindfulness technique you might try is a visualization in which you “watch your thoughts ride by.” I like to picture unhelpful thoughts as if they were on a train riding in front of me on some railroad tracks. I envision my unhelpful thought being placed on the train, and I just watch it (observe it, and notice it) ride by on the tracks, and far off into the horizon. Observing thoughts does not mean denying them, it means acknowledging but also choosing to not attach ourselves to the thoughts by getting on the train with them.
3) Use Your brain
Rewiring your brain and mindset involves doing some new things and most importantly, using your brain! Try memorizing your favorite poem! Learn something new and share it with a friend! Begin using journaling prompts to reflect on your day and your outlook on life. All of these activities will help your brain function and ultimately will help your mindset. The important thing is that they become a consistent part of your routine. You can’t do them once and expect a new neural network to form. They must be done routinely and consistently.
4) Guided Meditations
Sometimes you might just need a peaceful and calm moment. Guided meditations are a great way to be led into productive stillness. You can use meditation books or for the full body meditation effect you can use apps like Calm that have guided meditations you can listen to. Try out meditations that make you aware of what is happening in your body and mind. This will help you be attuned to your body’s signals and help you have greater awareness for when you need a mental reset.
Renewing your mind can come in many shapes and sizes, the important thing to remember is that you CAN renew your mind. You have the power each and every moment to choose a new activity, a new thought pattern, or a new way of doing something in order to heal and renew your mind. So this spring, with the growth of new life/plants/and all living things, try springing forward into a new and more healthy mindset for yourself.
Your Holistic Health Coach