Winter is traditionally the roughest time of the year. The shortened days and chilly weather make it challenging to stay motivated and maintain a productive mindset, increasing the stress your everyday tasks might place on you throughout the day.
You may not even be aware of the effect this has when communicating and interacting with those around you. And if left ignored, it can lead to problems and missed opportunities in the longer term.
This “polluting” of the mind initiates a stressful and negative mentality, and we are bombarded with it from many sources. Media, Hollywood images, social groups, and even our own collective mindset, can make you believe that your own goals and achievements are inadequate compared with others. The result is you begin to place little value in your own potential as an individual.
Stop making comparisons. Flick the switch off. Put down the technology and please, do yourself a favour and stop trying to live another person’s life.
You are unique in the fact that no one’s life has played out exactly as yours has. There is nothing wrong with seeking advice, help, or following the career path of someone you admire, but you are not that person. Your experiences and current situation are going to be different. You need to respect that, and give value to that.
You are the protector of your mental space. No one else can make you feel or think a certain way. It is up to you to toughen yourself mentally, control your emotions and keep a positive mindset. Doing this can help you to stay motivated, decrease stress, increase productivity and, most importantly, maintain happiness.
Research shows that not only does positive thinking improve a person’s mental and emotional health, but also physical health. Your mind and body are intricately linked, and the feelings and thoughts you have will be mirrored and expressed physically.
How does the saying go? “Strengthen the mind, and the body will follow.”
I have started a course recently in Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP), which is a study in communication, personal development and psychotherapy. I have learned a lot about what makes people tick. One of the focus topics is visual imagery, which can be used to easily and effectively disrupt a person’s current mindset and change it, according to the visual imagery used.
When you find yourself in a negative mind space, here is a simple technique which can be used to quickly relieve stress and improve your mood. Start by recalling a happy memory — mine, for example, is a day at the beach. Once the memory is visualised, immerse yourself in it and take note of the sounds, smells and feelings of what you are experiencing in the image. The more in-depth the image, the greater the effect it will have on you.
Finally, lock onto the feelings this visual image has given you before wiping it from your view. This exercise may take only a brief couple of minutes, but can result in a complete change in mindset and give you a positive outlook for the day ahead.
Affirmation of the day: “I’m doing the best I can with what I have”.
Your mind is a powerful ally. Make sure you use it. ☐