We can train our brains to do just about anything. At a minimum to deal with the demands of modern day life. We have this facility, I like to use the term ‘psychological fitness’ to remind us that, just as with our physical fitness, we can train our brains to better meet the needs of our lives.
If there is one thing that we can be sure of in life, it’s that the next challenge is always around the corner. On top of this we all inhabit a highly mediated world in which we are bombarded with vast amounts of information, much of which can be disconcerting. We rely on our psychological health to help us process and manage these complexities, and to do so in such a way that allows us to continue to take care of ourselves and our loved ones regardless of what life throws at us. Below are some tips on how to achieve this through what I call the ‘Building Blocks of Great Psychological Health’.
I often refer to self-awareness as the ‘I within you’. The key to developing this is becoming attuned to the thoughts and emotions you are experiencing, as well as the results these feeling are producing in your life, because you can be certain that they have a great influence on the direction of your journey. By actively processing your thoughts and feelings intellectually, you can avoid being ruled by your emotions, and gain much more agency with regard to your interpretation of events around you. This is an invaluable approach to life and a wonderful gift to pass on to your friends and family. The quality of your thinking, otherwise known as your psychological fitness, can actively influence the choices you make and indeed, the person you become. It is within each of us to manipulate the lens through which we view our lives. We can view failures as opportunities for growth, and obstacles as productive challenges. Healthy self-awareness can literally change how you perceive every aspect of your life.
We can view our brains as sophisticated computers, running programs and performing functions, many of which were embedded in our psyches at a very young age. These programs, or beliefs, greatly affect who we are and collectively make up the way we interact with the world around us. Seemingly innocuous embedded beliefs about our own abilities, or limitations, often create invisible binds which hold us back from realising our full potential.
Becoming aware of our embedded beliefs, and questioning them, can be the key to becoming empowered, energised, and open to the endless possibilities that each of our lives represent.
Like Pavlov’s dog, we are all creatures of habit, and through repetition we often condition ourselves to repeat destructive behaviours or even thought processes. Thankfully, it is well within our power to use this power of conditioning to improve our lives. We must first understand that we are all inclined to continue thinking, feeling, and doing that which we have always thought, felt, and done. Armed with this knowledge we can introduce beneficial behaviours into our lives, re-conditioning ourselves to create better lives for ourselves and those around us. If you want to change your life, change your habits!
‘An Investment in Knowledge Always Pays the Best Interest.’
It is an unfortunate reality of life that many people, as they get older, tend to become entrenched in their ideas and beliefs. It is hugely beneficial for our psychological health to maintain a spirit of openness and curiosity to the world around us. This openness to learning, translates into a greater ability to forgive, and to a greater ability to let go of, and move on from, difficult periods in your life. I believe passionately in the potential of education to improve your psychological health, increase your potential for happiness, and provide you with the tools to transform your life.
If you answered ‘No’ to any of these questions, it may represent an opportunity to enhance your physical health and wellbeing.
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