It’s true. There is no time like the present. But let’s face it – sometimes we find ourselves in situations where the present has become clouded with fear, detachment and bad habits. It’s now time to shed those negative thoughts and mental-clutter, and time to embrace a strong, empowered you.
Joan Miro, The Dance of Poppies, 1973, acrylic on canvas, 130 x 195cm
But with so many monotonous social media do’s and don’ts that we are incessantly told to believe, how do you know what’s right for you? The truth is, no article that you read online is going to be able to determine that for you. Every living thing is complex and different in their own right, and there is no one right way to go about becoming a better version of you. What might work overnight for you, might only work after twelve nights for your friend or colleague. Which is why a holistic approach is necessary, taking into account individual needs and personality. We all deserve the occasional helping hand that can get us started on a path toward long term mental stability. Here are some steps in the right direction:
1. Ditch the Fear
Fear can be good and bad for us. The good variety is the one that inspires us to excel, plan for the future, and mentally prepares us in situations where we need to suddenly switch on. The bad kind is one of our biggest set backs. It not only causes a stuck-in-the-mental-mud scenario, but if we allow it to overwhelm us, we may eventually lose control of our own true thoughts and desires. Essentially, we forget who we are. It can also take a physical toll on us, causing unnecessary stress which can lead to poor health.
So how to overcome this? One of the most effective ways is to not only recognise fear when it is happening, but to actually identity what is triggering that response in you. Once again, everyone is different, and some of your fear may be related to anything from a past trauma to a small concern that evolved into a fear. If your life is dominated by fear, it is essential that you take some time and try a previously unexplored method so that you can begin moving forward in life. By using positive psychology, creativity, and meditation, you can filter out the clutter and determine why the fear response keeps returning.
2. Connect at Work
Human connections are great for your mind and mood. Nowadays, so many of us are too busy with our heads down in our phones reading ‘The 5 Easy Steps to Connecting At Work’ to have any spare time to put those words into action.
One practical solution is a personal or team development program in the workplace. By incorporating a workshop into the daily grind, you are allowing yourself and your team members to grow and heal mentally, meaning a happier, more connected work place. Make the time to connect and truly bond with your team – you’ll feel insurmountably better for it.
3. Clear Your Head Space
Sometimes this means letting go of an emotionally unavailable friend, an unhealthy habit, or physically clearing out old material items. This is much easier said than done when we don’t feel mentally strong enough to even know how to begin doing any of this. The thing is, you need to be in a strong place before you can sustain healthy patterns. How? Try getting creative.
Your job might require creativity from you, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are achieving it for yourself. When was the last time you created something ‘just because’? Whether it’s a self portrait or a creative experiment, the brain is a muscle that needs working-out, and you are your own personal trainer.
4. Try Something New to Shift Old Perspectives
Sometimes no amount of fresh air, yoga, or hiking of the Himalayas will make you ready for work the following day. When we are struggling internally with something that we feel we cannot shift, our issues and triggers will come back to haunt us until we work out the root of their existence.
Meditation is perfect for this, as it allows your mind to take necessary time out to process recent, current, or past events. Once you been trained on how to do this effectively, you will be able to gain a refreshed approach to problem solving, shift old and negative perspectives, know how to sustain positive work morale and can-do attitude, and actually want to go to work in the mornings. Who knows, you might find yourself in a fit of a laughter with colleagues that you may not have even spoken with before.
5. Change Your Mental Conversation
Would you talk to your friends and colleagues the way you talk to yourself? If not, it’s time to re-learn how to think positively about yourself and others around you. This can be a difficult one, but you can make the shift and make a huge positive impact on your life in general. By participating in creative and fun team building activities, it can empower you to explore your own creative potential and imagination, providing a fresh and confident sense of self.