In recent times, more and more people struggle to maintain a healthy positive mindset. I know why that is. Unlike the past generations before us, our time seems to be very demanding. We are swamped with loads of expectations both within and without our selves. There seems to be a lot going on and we are just too busy. Our minds are constantly racing; making plans, chasing dreams and ambitions etc, and slowly but surely sacrificing our mental health to measure up to all these things.
The mind is very powerful, everything you can possibly do in life starts and ends there. The power of the mind is not to be underestimated. So why don’t we spend more time taking care of it? My guess is because the mind is intangible and on the inside, it’s easy to neglect. Sometimes, we pay more attention to what other people can see because we do not want to be judged.
It may be challenging for some people to create and maintain a healthy mindset while easy for others. However, with constant practice, you will be the one controlling your mind and not the mind controlling you. I am listing below the five things I do to achieve a healthy mindset and lay the best foundation for your day to day activities.
I started meditating over a year ago and I wonder why I didn’t start sooner as I can’t see myself living without it. This is an act I practice at least 3 times a week, either mornings or night time. Absolutely soothing for my mind. Whenever I meditate, I feel 10 pounds lighter. That shows me how much mental weight (baggage) I accumulate and log around.
We can’t really control how much information our mind absorbs but what we can control is how to process it. Meditation will help you achieve that.
There’s a huge misconception that meditation means clearing the mind of all thoughts. That’s absolutely impossible. Meditation is about coming into oneself and finding a balance with all there is within. During this act, you are nurturing your mind by ridding it of negativity and drawing positive energy in using sounds and/or visualization techniques.
You can choose to practice meditation all on your own or listen to a guided one. Youtube is a great place to start if you want to give it a try. I doubt you’ll stop once you start.
This is another practice I can’t live without. Affirmations made all the difference for me in strengthening my mind against negative thoughts. When you affirm something to yourself, you are choosing to believe in things as a fact whether it appears so or not. Affirmations are positive mantras we repeat to ourselves as a reconditioning technique.
Sometimes, people think negatively of us to the point that some people start to believe what others think of them. You have to learn how to speak, think and believe positive things about yourself. This is where affirmations come in. Repeat a few positive affirmations as often as needed. Thoughts become things. I have a dedicated post on this topic you can read here.
Mindfulness is another practice that benefits the mind. To simply put it, mindfulness is an act of intentional living. Intentional living in the sense that it requires you to bring consciously bring your attention to the present and focus with all of your senses on all that is occurring at the present moment. This state of mind can be easily achieved through the practice of constant yoga and meditation.
An example, I recently took a trip to England and during my time away, I left all worries and concerns behind the moment I stepped on the plane. Lived every day for the moment literally with no care in the world soaking everything in and actively staying in the present moment with my friends and family. That was a trip I needed to get my life together. I love this article on mindfulness, I’d suggest you read it if this topic interests you.
I started doing yoga about two weeks ago. I never took yoga seriously because I believed in gym workouts and thought it (yoga) was too easy and all about stretches and swaying movements but I was wrong. I worked and flexed muscles I never felt in my body before. If you are looking to build lean muscles, this is the way to go. Anyway, my sister has a great influence on me and she had been practicing yoga for over a year now. Always invited me to join but I couldn’t see the point. Eventually, I tried it and I fell in love with it.
For me, what I love the most about yoga is that I have a poor balance and with yoga, I can fix that. I also realized how much focus and intent yoga required. When you are on that mat, there is no room for negative thinking or hyperactive mind. It is a time to be calm and connect your soul to your body and the moment you are distracted, you lose balance (note that losing balance is very normal for beginners).
The benefits of yoga are vast. I describe it as a physical and mental workout. To get started, I’d recommend you get a very good non-slip yoga mat for the best support and practice this 30 min Yin Yoga class by Travis Eliot. It’s amazing, you’ll love it.
I am also in the process of cultivating a good reading habit. I used to read a lot. A lot of fictional and non- fictional books but not anymore. I lost interest in such books when I started my soul searching journey and my interest grew for self-help books that focused more on spirituality and self. I’m always up for anything that can benefit my soul.
Reading helps you take your mind off things that may have a burdening effect on your mind. It’s a way to escape and exercise your mind as you paint the pictures of the story in your mind. Reading is also very healthy for our minds and it supposedly strengthens our memories and prevents/delay diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
I am currently reading Living In The Light by Shakti Gawain, this book was lent to me and I can’t believe a book like this existed all this while and I’m just reading it. This book is so amazing and if you are someone who has ever questioned your existence, wondered what your purpose might be in life or simply just curious about the concepts within spirituality then you must give this book a read. I’m definitely buying my own copy to grow a collection.