Having The Right Mindset
You probably see this statement imprinted on just about every self-help book that you come across. The reason is because it actually works when it comes to sustaining good brain health. The type of mindset you have will affect the thoughts you have; the thoughts you have then affect the way you feel; and finally the way you feel affects your actions which once again starts the cycle over. There are a few ways that we can always maintain the correct mindset
- Live in the present moment. This allows you to not be dictated by thoughts from past experiences and worries about the future. The best way to practice this is through the process of mindfulness and meditation; which are psychological processes to bring one into the present state. Mindfulness and meditation are a great way to calm the mind, de-clutter and visualize the future you want
- Change your actions. If you are feeling sad thoughts then do something that would make you happy. Your brain will then be forced to shift to a happier mood.
- Practice Gratitude and positive affirmations. Gratitude helps you remember everything you have and should be grateful for while positive affirmations can help amp you up for the day.
Anxiety and worry is prevalent in everyone’s life; however the defining difference is how people respond to it. If left unchecked; worry and anxiety can lead to health problems like premature ageing, heart disease, ulcers and even tooth decay. Some of the main reasons for anxiety are:
- Anxiety over something that you think may go wrong. The funny thing is that we tend to worry even if the probability of its occurrence is minimal
- Holding onto guilt, resentments and ill feelings – in the words of Elsa from “Frozen” – Please “Let it Go”
- It’s a habit which you need to break- do this by keeping busy every time something gets to you
- You fear the worst is going to materialize. It helps to note down the worst that could happen, accept it and decide what you will do if this materializes. Then forget about it until the time comes.
- We worry when we are trying to be like others and keep comparing ourselves to everyone but ourselves. The key here is to define your own happiness and live by this instead of chasing after being someone you are not.
- We worry about things that are out of our control instead of focusing on what we can change
- Anxiety can also be caused by external validation. If we don’t have strong enough values then our feelings are often swayed by what other people think or say about us
- We don’t choose what to give our time and attention to. The result is that we will often be affected by trivial things because of the free time on our hands. Find your purpose and live it; then you won’t have the time to sweat the small stuff
- We worry about the decisions we make and what people will think about them. This needs to stop; gain the confidence in making decisions by yourself. Always filter the opinion of others. Where is the info coming from and what are the values and beliefs of the person that is giving the advice. Also make a few bad decisions to gain the confidence of making decisions; even if you get it wrong – you can always change things down the line.
Rest And Relaxation Is Key For Brain Health
The last part of this article is focused on rest and relaxation. As much as we would like to spend the extra hours working or having fun; sleep is equally important. Healthy adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep every night to function at their best. This means practicing the correct sleep hygiene
- Staying away from technological devices which emit blue wavelengths that suppress your body’s production of melatonin(sleep regulating hormone)
- Staying away from alcohol or caffeinated drinks before bed
- Not oversleeping during weekends (no more than 2 hours)
- Have a comfortable bed
- Have the perfect bedroom temperature (not too cold and not too hot)
Apart from sleep, rest and relaxation is of equal importance. Spend time doing things you love. Dopamine inducing activities in moderation is not a bad thing. It never hurts to take up a mind stimulating hobby like learning a new language or playing a musical instrument.