Our mindset is what what guides our mental program. What we will do? What we are thinking to perform. What we will do to achieve something, particularly our goals, objectives, and purposes. Borrowing the famous quote of Rene Descartes: “We think, therefore, We exist [I am]”.
Our cognitive pre-disposition will dictate our priorities, movements, and resolve. Consequently, our mental health will also depend on our mindset at a given time. Healthy and productive mindset will result into fit mind, capable of thinking with reasonable clarity.
Changing mindset, therefore, must be towards positivity in order to promote mental health.
How changing your mindset can help with your mental health?
Our brain, the most complicated organ in our body, is associated with how our mind works and processes things. Even scientists and researchers do agree that there are still some mysteries surrounding how our brain works.
It bears stressing, thus, that our brain processes information, stores memories, and carries out series of commands just like how a PC does. Yet, unlike computers our brain is a living thing that is dynamic and the same changes depending on how we view our reality.
And the most surprising effect of them all is how we create and forge a powerful mindset which contributes or says a lot over one’s wellbeing–be it physically, mentally, or spiritually.
Mind over matter
You have probably heard of this line a dozen of times from people around you. Having a strong mindset is a trait that sounds too easy to achieve but hard to maintain. Often times, you will hear from successful people that they all started with poor backgrounds, or they are underprivileged initially.
Despite that, they were able to persevere and attain success due to dedication and at the same time wielding strong mindset. However, a strong mindset does not necessarily mean pure dedication at its finest nor refusing to quit.
A strong, positive mindset is not something that you can have in a snap of a finger. It can be achieved through your various experiences, your own beliefs, your unique encounters with people from the outside world.
Strong mindset is also influenced by the responsibilities you carry and the challenges you surpassed in life.
Likewise, dark and traumatic experiences make our minds weak and vulnerable to internal and external stressors. Moreover, having a weak or strong mindset also influences how you perceive what reality is.
Having power over your mind or the ability to control your mindset is connected with your mental health status.
Your psyche now can be weak but it can change over time. Your experiences and assumptions in life will help you further master having a strong mindset.
How and why mindset matters when it comes to mental health?
Your mindset came from a collection of your beliefs, experiences, accumulated thoughts over time. It shapes how you view reality and your perceptions about life.
Whenever you encounter something similar, your body reacts on your thought’s memories or recollection that is similar to your encounter.
Likewise, mindsets change over time most especially when you encounter or experience something new. Our brain works in wonders, that can be good or bad for you, that is why having the right mindset matters.
I can personally attest that nourishing a powerful mindset will have long-lasting positive effects not just on your body but on your life as well.
5 years ago, I was at the lowest of my lows. I lost my best friend of 20 years to suicide due to depression and anxiety.
Am I traumatized with the incident? Definitely. It was a very dark and tragic experience that I don’t want anyone to experience.
I was not aware of what he was going through and did not even see any red flags. I never thought that a close loved one of mine is going through something heavy and negative and eventually leaves me at such an early age.–Writer, Personal Experience
How to surpass and accept
My best friend is your typical happy-go-lucky guy who is always smiling and who is ready to lend a helping hand even to people whom he just met on the street.
The guy who was one call away when you need a shoulder to cry and lean on. That’s why when he suddenly left us, it took me a very, very long time to process and eventually accept what happened.
I underwent several counseling sessions. I researched a great deal of materials about mental health. I became a mental health advocate within my family and circle of friends.
His sudden death was an eye-opener for me that mental health matters and no matter how physically healthy you are it does not mean that you are truly well even inside.–Writer, Personal Experience
Truly, depression and other mental health issues are silent killers that doesn’t have any specific target. It all boils down on how strong your mind is to overcome negative thoughts and ideas. Resilience is the key to strengthen your mindset.
You have the power over your mindset
Yes, you are the only person who can change your mindset and how to perceive things in a lighter, positive way. A famous quote from Mahatma Gandhi said “a man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes”.
Our mind is a powerful being that can empower us and take us to the skies of success or it can plunged us to the deeper depths of misery and hell.
Going through that traumatic experience made me mentally stronger and be more accepting that people who are dealing with mental health issues is not something you can brush off.
The counseling sessions I attended just to accept and moved on helped me understand how powerful our mindset is. It can make you or break you.
I never belittled how important our mental health is but I only realized its true importance during my firsthand experience. Honestly speaking, working on your mindset can do wonders and you will thank your self for it.
However, never ever blame yourself if you are currently dealing with mental health issues, whether you are clinically diagnosed or not. Having a weak mindset does not mean you are weak.
I’ve mentioned this that our mindset is a collection of our beliefs, experiences and memories. We react to things based on what our mind commands.
Hence, you must always remember you have the power over your mind and not other people nor outside factors. Feed your mind with positive thoughts and it will attract positive outcomes.
A powerful mindset comes from a combination of awareness, focus and resiliency. It allows you to stay focused on your intentions and aim in this life, instead of dark, disarray thoughts.
It helps you understand that whatever struggle or challenge you are experiencing right now is not permanent. Lastly, it keeps you from making self-destructive decisions which you will definitely regret later on.
Understanding fixed vs. growth mindsets
Changing how your mind works and building a strong, powerful mindset will help improve your overall mental health.
Researchers and psychologists alike affirmed that when it comes to building a strong mindset, people approach it either with a fixed or growth mindset.
These two mindsets will change how you think and what other ways can be done to improved your life. You will know when you should stop and when you must continue.
People with a fixed mindset tends to think that no matter how hard they work at something, if they are terrible in it in the first place, nothing will change.
Meanwhile, people who has a growth mindset are those who believe that everything can be developed through time.
According to Carol Dweck, a Stanford University psychologist who did a study on these 2 mindsets, “a fixed mindset can be limiting, but a growth mindset can be liberating”.
Thus, people with different psyche or resolve will actually think and react to situations and information differently. Even confronted with the same stimulus, their reactions will be distinct from each other.
In laymen’s term, a person with a fixed mindset will only allow success or failure to define them. When they are faced with situations or challenges which are hard to achieve or conquer, they wholeheartedly admit defeat without even doing anything.
It is a kind of mindset wherein you are stagnant. You can’t move forward since you are already admitting defeat without even trying.
On the other hand, people with a growth mindset gives themselves some room for growth. They are the kind of people who will never let failure define them.
They have this notion that effort matters and small steps taken will eventually lead them to their destination in life. For them it is more challenges creates a road for learning rather than a testament for approval.
In connection with mental health, people who possesses resilient minds are those who has a growth mindset.
Having a growth mindset is very important since learning from failure or mistakes will help you developed critical thinking and will make you understand that it’s not the end of the world yet.
Nowadays, webinars about mental health are abundant. I can see a lot of importance being given to mental health matters most specially during this pandemic wherein a lot of people are stuck indoors and can’t socialized nor mingle with their friends or colleagues.
With how crazy and tough the world is now today, with the growing number of cases everyday during this COVID outbreak, it is very important to have a strong, powerful mindset. Doctors and psychologists alike often say that having a healthy mind equates to having a healthy body.
Whether you are currently dealing with anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, a lot of emotional stress in your life, always remember that you are not alone.
There is nothing wrong in reaching out to people when you think you cannot handle things anymore. It pays to have a good relationship with your family and circle of friends.
Lastly, having healthy thoughts is more than just positive thinking and feeding words of wisdom to your brain.
Our values, beliefs, culture, the environment we grew up in and the challenges we encounter everyday affects our mental health and mindset in ways we can never imagine.