5 Simple Mindset Shifts for a Healthier & Happier State of Mind

Mind, books, fuel, man

The way that we sometimes think of ourselves in such a powerful situation can either lift us or it can drag us down.

Our mindsets affect how we think about everything. Because we’re not always completely aware of the quality of our thoughts, they can sometimes take on negative or self-defeating rates.

So, we’re going to explore five different habits we can adopt just to make our minds feel like healers and happier places to be.


Enjoy the Journey to the Fullest


My family and I took a few days off a little while back, so naturally, I had no place to be. I was free to spend my time as I wished, but I still noticed that I was walking as if I had someplace to be like my state of mind was constantly looking ahead and never completely satisfied or content with where I was.

And I think this is something many of us struggle with, right?

Because in work or life, we’re often taught about the importance of having a results-oriented mentality.

It’s a mindset that prioritises having a goal or a sense of direction.

Of course, that’s important, but it’s a habitual way of thinking that comes at a cost.

It often means relinquishing our current needs to satisfy our future needs.

And if everything we do is results-oriented, our existence starts to feel purely functional.

The psychologist Robert Holden once said;

“Beware of destination addiction until you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else. It will never be where you are.”

And while reaching our goals does feel amazing. It’s fleeting compared to the time it took to get there, right?

If we were to consider doing a day-long hike, it would take 99% of the time to get to the peak, but we only spend about 1% of the time at the top, at which point we’re probably also exhausted.

You’ll enjoy the mountain top; sure, it is incredible.

The views are amazing, but it’s just a tiny part of the journey. So why only enjoy the 1% when we also have the opportunity to enjoy the 99%.

Why not shift our mindset to become a little bit more process-oriented.

So, one thing I try to get into the habit of asking myself as often as I can throughout the day is how can I enjoy how long this will take?

We’re allowing ourselves to slow down and enjoy the journey by asking ourselves this simple question.


How Our Thoughts Control the Outcome?


Consider a scenario in which we are having a bad day, and someone asks us why. We tend to usually say that our unhappiness is a result of the circumstances that we’re in.

Like we got caught up in traffic, the weather was terrible, or we went to a store but could not find the item we were looking for because it was out of stock.

We don’t as often tend to dissect our thought patterns as a potential cause for our unhappiness.

So, let’s explore that with a simple equation by Jack Canfield, where event plus response equals outcome. Now we don’t always have control over the event, but we can change the outcome by changing the one thing we control, which is our response. And I find that a lot of our reaction comes down to our thoughts about the event.

So, let’s say, for example, that we see a friend walking by the market, but he doesn’t stop to say hi. Is your first instinct to think that was rude of him, or do you think that he ignored you? He must not like me. Does that mean that I’m unlikeable? Or can we get into the habit of exploring other possibilities instead? Maybe he didn’t see me. Perhaps he did see me, but he just doesn’t have time to chat. Maybe he didn’t see me, but he didn’t feel ready to talk.

We’ve all been in that situation before, right?

It was Shakespeare who once famously said;

“There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so.”

So, although we cannot change the situation, we’re in, we are in charge of how we interpret the event, and our perception determines how we feel and the outcome.


Words Rephrasing Makes a Huge Difference


We’re going to quiz ourselves for a second here. I’m going to show you a list of words, and I’m curious to know which ones you use more often, whether you’re saying them out loud or just telling them to yourself mentally.

Do you often say frustrated, stressed, overwhelmed, irritated, stupid, afraid, Annoyed, anxious, unhappy, or sad?

Or do you often use words like love, Fun, confident, grateful, excited, hopeful, wonderful, enjoyed, proud or possible?

Even just saying this list out loud is a bit of a reality check for me because I know I use the words in the former list more often. And I think it’s because, like when I’m interacting with people in my personal life, I tend to highlight the things I’m having difficulties with. After all, I feel like it’s our shared human experience.

We tend to bond over the complicated stuff in life, but what can happen over time, especially for the unconscious, with these word choices, can have a very profound impact on how we view ourselves and the world.

So even when no one is around, we still use these words in our internal dialogue.

And we tend to limit our emotional joy with our choice of words.

So, whenever I remember what I tried to do to get into the habit of just rephrasing how I’m feeling, the difficulty, the struggle of what I’m going through into something positive that I’m hoping for instead.

So instead of saying something like I’m afraid I’m not going to make the deadline for this assignment, I could rephrase it to “I hope I can finish this assignment on time.”

If we can make it a habit to shift our vocabulary to include a few more encouraging words.

So, shifting the balance towards that instead of the negative words whenever we can, can make such a huge difference.


The Right Way to Comparing with Others


If there’s one thing that can quickly drain my happiness or what I’m feeling, it’s when I compare myself to others.

It is pretty well known by now that it is essential to take some time off social media; it can be a relief or make sure that we unfollow sources or people who might be triggering.

I also don’t think we can stop comparing entirely; it’s hardwired in us.

So, I sometimes struggle when people are like, don’t compare, because then I do compare, but later on, I feel bad that I’m doing that, and it’s just like a double whammy.


I think what can help instead is if we develop a habit of shifting perspective to allow for a healthier sort of comparison. So first and foremost, comparing often falls outside our awareness, and we don’t usually even know that we’re doing it, which can be dangerous because that’s when self-doubt in there can creep in.

So, if we can get into the habit of just bringing about some awareness, we can also do a quick reality check. We can take a moment to realise that what we’re seeing is what that person deemed worthy of sharing.

We do not see the difficulty it took to get there; we do not see the hardship. And so, when we humanise it in this way, we can choose to connect just by mentally cheering on the other person.

It shifts the feelings away from envy and jealousy, which can be pretty crippling. And instead, we move towards feelings of admiration, inspiration, and maybe even motivation. It just makes our headspace a better place to be.


Emotional Hygiene Comes First


The psychologist Guy Winch has a brilliant TED talk on emotional hygiene. He shares how we tend to care for our physical hygiene much more than our emotional hygiene.

Like we all have the habit of brushing our teeth each night because we know that if we don’t, we’re going to get cavities, or if we cut ourselves, we’re quick to clean and sterilise our wounds so that it doesn’t get infected.

But we don’t always apply the same level of care to our psychological wounds, even though our emotional injuries can be as crippling as physical ones.

We tend to either brush them off as being unimportant to deal with, or sometimes we can make them worse by putting ourselves down. So first and foremost, we must become aware by talking to an experienced, better health therapist.

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