There are many ways you can change your mindset. One approach is to cultivate your self-awareness. Self-awareness is the ability to attempt to see yourself clearly and objectively through reflection and introspection. Be careful because as the famous physicist, Richard P. Feynman said, “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.” It means you need to stop and take time for yourself. I know it is difficult in this age, but it is necessary if you want to grow and change your mindset. You want to be more conscious and create an opportunity to make changes in your behavior and beliefs. Some of the ways that you can be sensitive to your behaviors is to keep a daily journal, practicing mindfulness, or talk to a counselor regularly.
Take some time each day to write in your journal. When you write or record your feelings and thoughts in a daily journal, this process relieves your mind of unwanted beliefs or ideas and clears them up to make space for new information and ideas. You can explore your successes and “mis-takes,” what you did (or will do) for the day, how people interact with you, what you can do to help other people, and if you could possibly do more. What are your values, and what is most important to you right now? These themes are just a start to the journal. You can expand if you want.
The next method you can change your mindset is to begin to use mindfulness. It has been practiced for thousands of years in various religious and secular traditions. From Hinduism and Buddhism to yoga and even non-religious meditation, mindfulness has been around for a long time. People practice mindfulness both by itself and as part of a larger tradition. Mindfulness is simply the practice of being aware. Make a conscious effort to focus on the present moment, without judgment. Then do it again in the next moment. And continue over and over.
You do not have to focus on this practice for a certain amount of time during the day. Rather, you can choose to be mindful anytime and anywhere. You can even be mindful during a conversation with a friend. Done correctly, mindfulness will allow you to decrease your stress and anxiety, minimize the amount of time that you spend feeling overwhelmed, and help you appreciate each small moment as it happens.
If you can learn to watch yourself think rather than get wrapped up in the emotions of your thoughts, you won’t be carried away by negative thoughts. You can allow them to come and go easily. Or you can develop and use your “felt sense,” meaning that you know how to be fully aware of the processes of your body, your breathing, your heart rate, and the sounds that you hear. You can take a walk in nature. These are just a few approaches that you can get more aware of your mindfulness. There are tons of resources on the Internet. Check it out. Most of all, you will be more self-aware.
Last, the way you can boost your self-awareness and begin to change your mindset is with a counselor. Everyone will benefit from a session or two with a counselor. Counseling is a journey of self-discovery, as the counselor observes your own thought patterns and how they affect your mood and behavior. A stroke brings up plenty of stuff. I have learned much by reflecting on my “states” and meeting with a therapist through the years. The counselor offers new strategies to deal with issues from the stroke and before. You can ask someone you trust for a referral, search online for a reliable source, or reach out to organizations that help with the areas you want to explore, or use an online app (Talkspace and Betterhelp) to find out more options.
These three ways are just the tip of the iceberg as you develop your self-awareness and begin to change your mindset. As you get more involved with these methods, you will find other approaches that you can explore. Have an enriching journey!
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