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WD | 3 Skills For Better Mental Health

WD | 3 Skills For Better Mental Health

I battled depression for 4 years before making any progress.

In hindsight, what I needed to do was clear, but while I was in the thick of it, I couldn't see the path forward.

I tried sleep trackers, sporadic meditation, changing my workout program, keto, cheat days, vacations to Mexico...

When we think we have a problem, we focus on solving that problem.

But all that does is reinforce that we have a problem.

What clicked for me was understanding all of my 'problems' were created in my own head and weren't really problems.

Either fueled from my expectations, the story I was telling myself, or the 'lack' I was experiencing.

So if they were created, I could dissolve them just as easily as they came.

The narrative we deliver to ourselves every day comes from years of internalizing interaction + reaction... then our subconscious makes sense of it and codes it into our programming.

But what if we change our perspective on all our life's interactions at once?

If we choose to see things in a different light? That's a total fucking game changer.

Knowing that your inner peace & freedom are being suppressed solely by your own mind and how you internalize what happens to you is a powerful starting point.

We apply shame, doubt, fear, or other interpretations of things that happen to us, but all that nonsense is just made up.

Meaning the problems we perceive were created in our very own mind.

I'm sure you've had something happen in your life that changed your perspective which completely changed how you feel about something.

Did the event/circumstance change? No.

What change was what you thought about it.

Simple example:
Once you started earning money, paying bills, and filing your own taxes you probably gained a greater appreciation for all your parents/guardians did for you growing up.

You just learned how to view life through a different lens.

The quickest way to improve your mental health is to change your perspective.

Stop taking things so personally, choose a positive outlook, have empathy for people.

When you understand that hurt people hurt people, you learn that means happy people are kind people.

It gives you a profound understanding that people often seek love in unloving ways.

It's never a reflection of you, but a reflection of their own inner dialogue.

"Cool, Tim but how do I start?"

These 3 things completely overhauled my mental health.

1. Meditation 🧘‍♂️

Calm the mind.
If you've ever had a massage or taken a yoga class, you know the zen-like feeling at the end. The goal isn't to force the mind to think of nothing, but to allow thoughts to come, give them time on stage, and just let them pass (they will pass).

Calm = present, and it's impossible to be anxious or depressed when fully present.

Regain focus.
If meditation is on one end of the focus continuum, scrolling on social media must be on the other. We are so freaking distracted all day, we never allow ourself to come anywhere near getting in 'the zone'. I was as guilty as anyone with this.

I've found after 20 mins of meditation my mind feels like it's back on the train tracks steaming ahead in the direction I choose.

Where social media makes me feel like I'm getting tossed underwater in the white wash of a wave not knowing which way is up.

Own your narrative.
If you've ever woken up, grabbed your phone, and checked social media or email, you know how quickly your morning can be derailed.

Next thing you know you've been staring at your phone for 30 minutes reading about Johnny Depp, Ukraine, Elon Musk buying Twitter, and the price of gas going over $6/gal... no wonder you're irritable in the morning. Ditch the phone and find a comfy seat.

You get to choose the story you tell yourself, create your own feed of positive thoughts and ideas of the person you envision yourself becoming.

Be intentional with the direction you send your thoughts.
Setting intentions at the end of my meditation is something I started doing 6 months ago. I repeated the same 4 things every morning.

I looked at parts of my life in which I felt I could most improve and figured I'd do the easiest thing possible to start - just think about doing them.

I wanted to improve my kindness, compassion, patience, and doing hard things in the face of fear. I forced myself to think about these as I started my day and sure enough, they started to show up in my life.

2/ Journaling/Writing ✍️

I'm a thinker. And I love to think about my thinking. Sometimes to a fault if I'm honest, but it's helped me get to the root of thought patterns.

Ideas float in our brain untethered, fleeting, and partial in construction.

Intentionally examining your thoughts, their origin, and their meaning can expand your mind and what you think is possible.

As I said above, thoughts in the brain are partial and untethered, what I love about writing is it forces us to make those thoughts become real and whole.

When we grab on to a thought and force our brain to give us something to work with, we remove so much ambiguity and get clarity on what's actually floating in our mind.

Most of the time, especially when done for the purpose of improving mental health, writing negative thoughts down takes the sting out of them.

It makes them mortal and once on paper, our brain will actually start to give us reasons why they aren't true.

Every time I sit down to write these newsletters I have no idea what's going to come out. I might have a topic or loose thought in mind to start, but most of the time zilch.

It's fascinating to me to see my brain explore thoughts that might have been percolating in the background.

I've learned so much about myself by sitting with no agenda and just giving life to thoughts that cross. Similar to meditation, how you allow thoughts to come and get on stage, exploratory writing creates an open space without judgment.

Allow yourself the freedom to write whatever comes to mind... you'll surprise yourself.

Not sure why you feel like shit? Why you're not motivated? Why you feel lonely? Why you think certain things? Writing is here to help with that.

By continuously asking yourself WHY until you get to the root, you're activating a part of your brain that's not normally in use for everyday thoughts.

You're forcing it to dive deep and find you an answer. Clarity in the root of your thought patterns is massive for achieving inner peace and freedom.

When you're crystal clear on the origin of your behaviors, you can start to dissolve the root problem.

3/ Curiosity💡

Keep an open mind.
You have no idea what you don't know and that should excite you more than it scares you. An open mind is the foundation for expanded awareness.

And we really can only operate within the level of our own awareness.

What's the most recent thing you changed your mind about that you thought you knew with certainty? What's another area of your life where that might be the case?

You don't have to come up with an answer, but planting the seed to think that way creates an open space for new ideas to enter for consideration.

Seek to understand.
The best advice from my worst manager I've ever received was "Seek to understand before being understood." This simple tip changed how I view every single interaction.

Less judgment, less assumption, less jumping to conclusions.

Simply taking interest in someone else's point of view can teach you more than any book you read.

Learn a new perspective.
"Life is not about seeing new lands, but in seeing through new eyes." - M. Proust.

One of my favorite quotes and is THE BIGGEST KEY to improving your life and mental health. Imagine this... something that you once viewed as a HUGE problem, you now view as inconsequential.

The easiest example is to imagine if all of a sudden you didn't care what people thought of you. You were truly free to act and do as you wish, living a 100% authentic life not worrying about what your parents or society would think.

How fucking freeing would that feel?? Well, it's possible and starts with changing your perspective.

Challenge your limiting beliefs.
What is something you believe that isn't serving you or the life you want? Are you not good-looking enough to get the girl? Can you never leave your corporate job because your parents will disown you?

Could you never take a cold shower because it's too cold?? (I hear this one a lot 😎)

You're telling yourself a story every day, what part of that story is preventing you from doing what you want?

To summarize...

  1. Meditate daily
  2. Write/journal often
  3. Lead with curiosity
  4. And sunshine. Always get tons of sunshine.

Thanks for listening to my thoughts on paper.

Let me know what you think!

Tim 🖤

Want to work with me 1:1? Book a call

Podcast: Managing Your Pain In Your Body and Brain
YouTube: Improving Mental Health in Sales
Book: What Happy People Know

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