Taking a proactive approach to holistic health means looking at all aspects of health simultaneously.
These components are:
Here, we’ll talk about pillar seven: Psychology due to its association with our October wellness challenge of Mindfulness.
No journey is sustainable without the focus and determination of the mind. You have to ask yourself, who do you want to be? What do you want? Let’s touch on the very basics of getting your mind in the game.
Asking these questions to yourself in a structured way will unlock the answers you need, let’s call them goals.
If you don’t have goals, then you don’t have something you are aiming for, and you can’t measure your own progress or see yourself moving towards something you value.
This is essential to maintaining motivation. As when you see progress towards a valued goal, your brain releases a whole lot of feel good chemicals that keep you motivated. This creates a positive feedback loop that spirals you upwards.
So you have to set some goals.
You must have an aim in order to do something. So aim high. When you have an aim; it sets up a world around you. Your life takes on a different form. Your thoughts and emotions organise themselves. After-all, your entire living experience is all happening inside your head. Your world IS your mind.
Create an aim that excites you to achieve equally as much as it terrifies you to fail. Meaning is derived from the pursuit of valued goals. So this aim also has to be something that is important to you emotionally.
Find the next step
Ticking off micro-goals that move you towards achieving a goal that you value is rewarding. It is literally built into your brains biochemistry. You get a dopamine buzz when you see yourself moving toward a valuable goal. The next micro-goal should be difficult enough to push yourself yet have a reasonable chance of success. You create a positive snowball effect and feel good incentive reward system in the brain.
Create a schedule
Negotiate with yourself like you are someone you care about. You are not your own slave and tyrant. Make a schedule that you are happy with. You need responsibility and effort to achieve what you want in life, that’s obvious. Plan out the tasks you need to do to achieve your valued goals into a time frame. That way you know exactly how long it will take you to achieve what you want. Watching this unfold daily excites and drives you.
As part of your schedule, trying journalling if you don’t already. Each morning or night just write down your thoughts and see what you take from it.
Be kind to yourself
You must have a balance of discipline and play. The trick is to reward yourself with things in your day that please you but are not detrimental to the results you are achieving. Aim for progress not perfection. Unless you are an android built to be flawless; you will trip up. Recognise when you do, forgive yourself for being human, analyse “what can I do to have a better outcome next time?” and continue forward. It’s an art of refinement.