You might be really into eating organic food, hiking regularly, and using natural products on your skin. Wellness is a big part of taking care of our health, so more and more people are beginning to shift their lifestyles. One important part of getting and staying well also includes shifting your mindset.
At the IAWP, we consider all aspects of a person’s life when it comes to wellness. We take a holistic view that includes elements of life, such as relationships, nutrition, rest, and career. It’s important to understand how each part of your life affects the other parts, which can interfere with your wellness practice. We call this the Wellness 360 wheel.
In this article, we’re going to talk more about one of the elements in the wheel, the element of Mindset.
Importance of the Mindset Element
While it’s definitely important to eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep, there’s more to wellness. One of the elements that are crucial to living a life from a place of wellbeing is Mindset. What is mindset? It’s generally your frame of mind and how you move through the world in reaction to your beliefs.
Your mindset can have a perspective that helps you grow and transform. Or it can be a mindset that holds you back and makes you feel limited in your ability to achieve challenging goals. Mindset will cause you to make unhealthy choices or see yourself as a failure. Or it can help you feel more patience and gentleness toward yourself, as well as celebrate your successes.
Mindset impacts our perception, or how we perceive our lives and the events happening in our lives. The term is simply a descriptor of our thoughts, which are constantly moving and shaping our lives. Our thoughts are things we can’t escape as they are part of the human experience. Thoughts drastically impact how we approach our lives and the choices we make that impact our lives.
Our mindset can cause us to feel empowered or disempowered, depending on how we frame our thoughts and experiences.
Understanding the Mindset Element
At the most basic level, Mindset is all about our mind (or brain) and our thoughts.
The brain is the master controller of our bodies, our perception of self, and how we experience the world around us. The brain is the most complex organ in our body and the one we know the least about. Our brain is constantly changing as we learn new information, practice new habits, or simply age. Our environment and genes also play roles in how our brain develops and changes over time.
We grow new connections in the brain, we repair new ones, and we create and store memories. Just as we work to keep our bodies healthy, we can also work to keep our brains in shape. Having a healthy brain structure and balanced mindset can help us lead long, enjoyable, active lives.
The mindset side of our brain is all about our thoughts. We can’t escape our thoughts as they are ongoing and constant. They can affect how we feel and also how we respond to challenges. Thoughts can also determine whether or not we enjoy special moments or find pleasure in the present moment. They can also impact whether we are open to new opportunities and growth.
The element of Mindset encompasses both the physical health of the brain and the mindsets we use to shift our experience of being alive. Mindset is crucial to a robust wellness practice.
IAWP Student Feature
IAWP Certified Wellness Coach Gill Wall supports her coaching clients with their mindset. “When the mind is completely bogged down with overload, even thinking of the word ‘focus’ can send you into a whirlwind. If you find it difficult to focus on even a simple task, that can be a red flag the mind needs to unwind.”
Gill recommends learning to say “yes” to you and “no” to others without guilt in order to create the space in your mind and your life to feel more content, confident and at peace.
Balancing Your Mindset Element
At this point, you should be able to see just how important it is to develop a healthy mindset. Of course, that might sound like a daunting goal. It is something that will take time and patience. But the payoff is beyond worth the dedication. Having a healthy mindset will help you achieve physical health and also balanced experiences of relationships, finances, careers, and so much more. Your mindset really is everything.
To help you get started toward finding balance and healing in your Mindset, here are a few ways to begin to shape and support your mind.
1. Take good care of your physical brain.
If your brain is struggling to physically function, it’s going to be hard to work on improving your mindset. A sluggish brain can’t work on anything other than getting through the day. Start with working on improving your brain wellness.
Omega-3 fatty acids are very nutritious for your brain. Eat oily fish, walnuts, or take a fish oil supplement to get enough in your diet. Consume plenty of protein every day, as it contains all the amino acids your cells need to rebuild themselves.
Lots of fruits and vegetables each day give you antioxidants and the nutrition your brain and body needs. Reduce processed foods, sugars, alcohol, and caffeine. Your brain will thank you.
2. Keep tabs on your thought patterns.
Mindset shifts require understanding where your mind is producing useful thoughts and where it is falling into unhealthy cycles. The easiest way to do this is to keep a journal of your moods, thought patterns, and things going on in your life.
Over time, you’ll start to notice when certain life events happen and then you experience a cascade of thoughts. You’ll figure out where you’re going off track and where you’re doing really well.
Then you can start to notice these patterns in everyday life and make choices that will impact them for the better. Over time, you’ll be able to slowly shift your mindset and create new healthy patterns.
3. Empower your mindset.
Start to pay attention to the times when you are being positive and the times when you are being negative. Get curious about your negativity. Notice how it triggers a cascade of effects that don’t help with your mindset and life.
While affirmations can help you overcome negativity, they don’t necessarily get at the root of your negativity. Spend some time noticing when you’re being negative and then contemplating why you might be feeling and behaving that way. Is there something you want to be doing or saying to someone and you’re not doing it?
Sometimes our negativity is all about not allowing the energy of a feeling, experience, or relationship to flow the way it needs to. If it’s time for you to have an honest conversation with someone about your anger or frustrations, it might be a good time to do that. Figure out what you need to do to move the energy, then get to work doing it in a safe way.
4. Do a Wellness 360 check.
Take a look at the Wellness 360 wheel and spend some time thinking about how the other elements in the wheel might be impacting your Mindset element. Maybe your nutrition could use some improvement so your brain health is better. Or perhaps you’re in a toxic workplace that isn’t allowing you to take good care of yourself.
Find those aspects that need a little extra help, then work on balancing them. You’ll find that it’s much easier to improve your mindset when you’ve done foundational work.
Keep Working On Your Mindset
Mindset work is for life, as our thoughts, experiences, and health are constantly in flux. Be patient with yourself, as well. Changing your mindset is something that takes slow, consistent movement. You won’t shift it in a weekend or even a month. You’ll always find things going on in your mind that can be improved and balanced.
If you’re passionate about health and wellness, you might be a great fit for becoming a Health and Wellness Coach. At the IAWP, we offer an accredited certification program that trains you to be a Holistic Health and Wellness Coach. Our program offers unique systems and support options to help you find success in your new career for life. Reach out to an admissions advisor to find out if we’re a good fit.