The Mind's Matter

From what I encounter, I feel many people associate the word 'health' with just their physical look and what they eat. With the busy lives we lead, we have to keep a close eye on the health of our minds as well. A positive perspective not only helps us maintain a great gym routine and healthy eating habits, but it provides man-hands-reading-boy-mediumus with the quality of life we deserve. Whether it is the news, social media or the people around you, they have the ability to make you anything from very negative to outstandingly joyful if you let them. They can also interfere with your health routine.

The news is so frustrating to me. I really dislike how the media feeds off of our fears in order to expose the next best headline and increase ratings. Yes, there are a lot of terrible things that happen on a regular basis unfortunately, but there are a lot of good things that happen too and many of which we do not hear about. This puts us in a position to assume the worst in each other rather than relate and empathize. Personally, I have to be aware as to how much news I watch. I notice that the more I watch it, the more afraid I am to step out my door. That's no way to live and if we perceive the world as a danger, we'll never be completely happy. Of course we should be aware of what's going on around us, but if you are selective in your exposure, how does your day change? Are you more lively and easy to be around? Do you feel light and positive? Are you more motivated to live a healthy lifestyle? I definitely am.

hand-apple-iphone-smartphone-mediumSocial Media is a wonderful tool. It's so easy to stay in touch with friends whether you're too busy to see each other or you live on opposite coasts. It's also a great way to be exposed to more negativity in our culture. In addition, people who may not have the best perspective on life will offer opinions and comments, potentially bringing others down. When you are busy perusing Facebook and see all the nonsense online, think about what would really motivate you if you saw it on a regular basis. If you unfriended or unsubscribed to those folks you are regularly weighed down by, would you feel relieved? What if you followed pages that posted health food articles and recipes? Maybe some workout and inspirational quotes on the home page from time to time? I must say, it's changed my world. Mold your social platforms into what you think you need, and see if your life follows along the path you're desiring.

Who do you surround yourself with? This was a rather difficult one for me. Personally, I am a people-pleaser to the core. I have had some pretty hateful things said and done to me just like most of us, and although I didn't ask for them, I had to realize I was putting myself in situations which were not benefitting me. I needed to change this. It's easy to think it's out of your control at times, but it's not. Sometimes we have to take a hard stance and prioritize this.... no matter how much it may confuse the people around us that we need to back away from or minimize our exposure to. Once some time passes, note if you feel any different. I've begun looking at the environments I socialize in and adjusting them to make sure I'm with like-minded people. Rather than a bar, I look up the newest healthy restaurant to try. Instead of a girls' night with drinks, I connect with my frounds in an exercise class where we take juice shots. Not only am I changing the people I'm around, but my lifestyle is seamlessly healthier and accepted by supporters.

Making these changes in exposure to create a more positive perspective not only prevents me from stressing out on a regular basis, but the love and understanding I have for others and myself is that much greater. Commitments like these which turn out successfully allow you to grow with confidence and encourage even more positive changes in the future. Understand your needs, create goals, try new things and keep looking at ways to improve. This keeps us happy and excited about life, and it's too short to waste time otherwise.

“To change ourselves effectively, we first had to change our perceptions.”

― Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change