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11 Ways to Cultivate a Healthy Mindset

Updated: Jul 18, 2020

"Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most." Buddha


The idea of health is all-encompassing, you cannot lead a healthy lifestyle without cultivating a healthy mindset. In fact, there is a direct link between health and happiness. Health benefits come from positive emotions and induce longer lifespans. Unhealthy mindsets are consistently linked to poorer health outcomes and behavioral choices. Though, staying positive is not always easy and can be particularly hard during a pandemic; when there's so much uncertainty. However, intentionally working towards positive thinking can gradually and drastically change your life. Here are 11 ways to practice positive thinking and living on your journey.


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1. Make a Gratitude List: Each morning and/or at any time of the day, taking a few minutes to write a list of things you are grateful for can put a jump start on your day and improve your self-esteem. With the complexities of life, it can be easy to feel lack, and lose perspective on the blessings in your life.


2. Healthier Lifestyle: Eating healthy doesn't have to be an enormous dietary change. You can start small, maybe cutting out beverages and drinking only water or having 'vegan' Tuesdays every week. Each of these small changes can make a big difference in your mood, energy levels, and sleep which all contribute to a healthier mindset. Try implementing healthy foods into the diet you already have, instead of changing everything. Moderation is key.


3. Slow Down: Our minds can move at a million miles per minute, we can fill our schedules with an overwhelming amount of tasks, and simply forget to check-in with the most important person; yourself. The schedule overload can make you feel like you're improving but you may be on a metaphorical hamster wheel. No amount of tasks should be bigger than you and you'll find that changing the pace will produce better results than moving fast. Slowing down will allow you to be more intentional about your tasks moving you into a flow state.


4. Cultivate Positive Environments: The power of words and healthy environments can change your life. This idea can flow into more than your experience at home and also the company you keep. If you are unable to find it at home, travel to a nearby park, scenic area, and/or an interesting place you've never been to before.


5. Reduce Screen Time: The world is a complete advertisement, from social media ads to other people's input, billboards, music, radio infomercials, etc. We are bombarded with conscious and subconscious cues of influence on a daily basis. To reduce this influence, set a time limit on social media apps and screen time, watching less television, schedule in alone time, and take breaks w/ lyrical music. A clear mind is a pure heart.


6. Try Something New: Studies show that trying new things can make you feel more positive about the future. New activities and experiences also improve your thinking skills and increase brain cell growth. Plant a garden, listen to a new podcast, eat cultured food, explore new territory, etc. Expand your horizons, your brain will thank you later. :)


7. Exercise Regularly: Consistent exercise can regulate your nervous system and balance your hormonal response. Endorphins, Serotonin, Oxytocin, and Dopamines are hormones released into the brain and nervous system creating a pleasurable physiological response during exercise; followed by feelings of happiness, content, and optimism. Make an effort to make an exercise routine or plan daily walks in your neighborhood. You won't regret it!


8. Add Value to Those Around You: This is an easy task, although it doesn't always appear to be. Adding value to someone can be done through a nice gesture, holding the door open, giving a compliment, volunteering, or simply saying 'thank you' for their role in your life. It doesn't take much to make someone's day and by making the effort to do so, your feelings of value and self-esteem can increase. "If you want to be happy, get yourself off of your mind" - Joyce Meyers


9. Affirmations: Positivity is not only about what you do but what you think/say to yourself on a daily. Make a list of positive things to say about yourself. Try saying them out loud whenever you get a chance. Make post-it notes, place inspiring photos or words on your wall, read empowering books, and don't beat yourself up for making mistakes. Reframe the negative discussion you have in your head and make it positive/empowering. Nobody has it all figured out, don't be too hard on yourself. :)


10. Journal Daily: Writing in your journal can help clear your emotions, release tension, find solutions, and increase awareness of your wellbeing. More specifically, freewriting can improve creative abilities and empower you to express yourself fully. Having a sacred space to uninhibitedly express your inner feelings will give you more courage to do so in your daily interactions with others. Nonetheless, it will help to release stress and pent up energy that has blocked you from being your truest self.


11. Make The Most of Each Day: It is so easy to get caught up in tomorrow, two weeks from now, or even 3 months into the future instead of just being 'here'. Being present in everyday moments; instead of living in our heads can produce dividends of progress in our lives. Have you ever spent so much time thinking about what you have to do and ultimately, end up not getting anything done? It's sort of like that. Putting our lives, our happiness, our tasks, our ideas, our 'life' in the future, will only allow life to subtly pass you by. All we have is today and this is the youngest you'll ever be. If you don't do anything else on the list, making the most of the present can catapult you into a better future.


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