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7 Steps to Improve your Mindset - Part 2



To improve the way life is experienced, the key is awareness added to a conscious commitment to implement some changes. Change Your Mindset by Rewiring your Brain - Part 1 explored how positive self-talk, self-compassion and gratitude improve the quality of your life. Part 2 describes other fundamentals to add to your routine to complete your journey into a more fulfilling life.

Act of Kindness

Everyone appreciates acts of kindness. However, an act of kindness should be completely selfless and done out of love and care.

Being kind to others can make us genuinely happy in many different ways. Deciding to be generous or cooperate with others activates the area of the brain, responding to things we find rewarding and pleasurable.

Even just reflecting on being kind in the past may be enough to improve one’s mood. Likewise, helping others has more impact on one’s spirit than focusing merely on yourself.

But how does kindness make us so happy?

  1. Kindness comes back around.

  2. Reduces sense of isolation

  3. It gives a positive sense of identity

  4. It helps make meaningful connections

  5. Improves sense of belonging

  6. It helps keep things in perspective

  7. Smiling is contagious

  8. Improves self-esteem

Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness.

Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.

Scott Adams

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on the present moment. You can practice mindfulness while you perform everyday activities, like cooking, cleaning, or walking. For some, mindfulness and meditation are the same, but mindfulness is the sensitive awareness that allows observing yourself non-judgmentally.

Mindfulness describes a specific way of living and enhanced attention to the present moment.

On the other hand, meditation is a practice, and through this practice, one can develop different qualities, including mindfulness.

Meditation is a method through which one may learn to live mindfully. We can also see meditation as a tool to develop mindfulness.

Therefore, one can live mindfully without meditating, but one cannot meditate without being mindful. Mindfulness practice is a way to gently train the mind to return to the present moment rather than letting thoughts randomly pop up and control you.

To understand why being mindful is challenging, one must know that it’s the mind’s nature to think and figure things out. That’s its job. The mind will always look for new things to think about and ways to be entertained.

By practising mindfulness over and over with patience and self-compassion, you can teach the mind to be fully immersed in the present moment. This is what’s known as actual presence. Below are only some of the many benefits of living mindfully.

  • Decreased depression.

  • Reduced rumination

  • Increased emotional regulation.

  • Reduced anxiety and stress.

  • Improved memory.

  • Stronger relationships.

  • Improved attention

The attempt to escape from pain, is what creates more pain.

Gabor Maté

Meditation

Daily meditation helps the brain’s ability to regulate emotions as it allows greater mental clarity, lower levels of stress and reduced anxiety. Practising mindfulness brings about positive changes; meditation makes the connection with the brain even more profound.

There are many ways to practice meditation, and most think they are not good at meditation because they cannot empty their minds. With time, meditation helps you get close to emptying your mind; however, getting there takes some time.

Meditation aims to teach your mind to be more aware of the present than removing all thoughts from your mind.

People practice meditation for a variety of reasons. For example, it allows you to become more aware of your surroundings and needs or gives you the break you need in the middle of a hectic day.

Meditation can provide many benefits, including:

  • lowering blood pressure

  • reducing stress

  • managing anxiety

  • controlling pain

  • improving attention

  • strengthening memory

  • improving self-image

  • enhancing self-awareness

  • improving sleep

If you cultivate the attitude of indifference towards the mind,

gradually you will cease to identify with it.

Annamalai Swami

Limiting worry and rumination

This practice is closely related to mindfulness. Worrying about the future or ruminating about past mistakes is unsettling. These thoughts tend to be very intrusive, time-consuming and draining.

Introducing the postponement exercise in our routine is an excellent way to become aware of how much we overthink. The postponement exercise aims to limit the time dedicated to worries and rumination.

This is how the postponement exercise works.

  • Schedule a daily “worry time” for you to do nothing except allow yourself to worry.

  • The “worry time” shouldn’t be more than 30 minutes.

  • Have something you can record your notes on, like paper or a phone.

  • When you find yourself worrying about something, decide if the worry is an actual problem or if it can be postponed.

  • If it can be postponed, write it on your notes and deal with it at the scheduled time.

  • At the scheduled time, take out your notes and begin to go through your worries. Is there something you can do about them? Can you resolve any of them? Are they still relevant?

  • Use all the time you have decided to invest, and remind that it cannot be more than 30 minutes.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Albert Einstein

Final Thoughts

These articles aim to inspire you to take action to improve your well-being by changing your mindset. Please remind that this kind of change is profound and therefore requires time. While improvements can be noticed quickly, don’t expect your life to change overnight just because you’ve read two articles. It will take a few months of regular practice to realise that this has become your new way of going through life. It will be a moment in which you realise that previously your reactions would have been different and recognise how much you have improved.


Feel free to contact me with any further questions.


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