What is your mental fitness routine?

What is your mental fitness routine?

What is your mental fitness routine?

The World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. This means we have to proactively enhance our subjective well-being.

We tend to prioritize physical health (going to the gym, eating right, getting enough sleep), but mental health is just as – if not more – important.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so if you don’t have a mental fitness routine, here are a few tools to get you started:

1. Find joy and cultivate positive emotions.

When you experience joy (social connection, laughter, self-care, gratitude, etc.) you send a signal to your brain that you are safe. If you’re getting chased by a tiger or feel the need to defend yourself in a meeting, your brain is in a state of protection. This creates a chemical chain reaction that weakens your immune system and makes it more difficult to regulate emotion. Choosing joy has the unintended side effect of reducing stress, but it also sends a signal to your nervous system that it can come out of protection mode. As an added bonus, when we attune our attention to the good things, we find more of them.

2. Let yourself experience every emotion you feel, even the crappy ones.

Most of us don’t like to feel anxious, sad, or bored (this is why alcohol sales have increased tenfold since the beginning of the pandemic). But here’s the thing about emotions, they are nothing more than information. We are the ones who assign judgment, so while it might be tempting to numb the feeling, sit in it instead. Not dealing with the emotion only serves to increase the intensity and duration with which you feel it. Take a few deep breaths, observe what you are feeling, allow yourself to experience it, and then move on.

3. Adjust your expectations.

Much of our unhappiness comes because our expectations and reality are out of alignment. You are not supposed to be happy all of the time. If you didn’t have difficult, uncomfortable moments, you wouldn’t appreciate the delicious ones. When you experience a great moment, savor it. This embeds the experience into your neural mind map and literally changes your brain! On the flip side, it is okay not to feel okay. Expect that you will have difficult moments but recognize that they will pass.

If you’ve made consistent efforts to improve your mental and emotional health and are still having trouble functioning optimally at home, work, or in your relationships, it may be time to seek professional help. I first got involved with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in 2007. My son Evan, now 18, was just four years old at the time and already on his first antipsychotic medication (I share our story in my TEDxTalk). I was a single mother, and I had no idea what to do or where to go, so I enrolled in a free class. The education, advocacy, and support I received changed the trajectory of my life and my purpose.

There is NO shame in admitting you or a loved one is struggling. Please don’t wait until you or someone you love is in crisis before you ask for or offer help and support. No one can do this alone.

Don’t forget to put your mental health on your priority list. Just like any other routine, these small shifts will become habits the more often you practice them.

Stay brave and resilient,

Anne

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Anne breaks down the daily habits and skills needed to grow and cultivate RESILIENCE.

One of my favorite quotes is by Nelson Mandela. He said, "The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."

It's a fact. Successful people fail more than unsuccessful people. Successful people take risks, they view failure as a learning tool, and they practice resilience. #mindfulmonday #mindfulness #mindset #resilience #failuretothrive #fearasfuel #fallandgetbackup #nelsonmandelaquotes #yougotthis
...

Today is #worldsuicidepreventionday - a day to raise awareness and address the stigma associated with this important mental health concern.

I have lost two people I love very much to suicide, and nearly 800,000 people die by suicide in the world each year. That means every 40 seconds, someone hurts so badly that they see no other way out.

If you know someone who is struggling, please be their lifeline.

I support @namicommunicate and @namicentraltx efforts to connect those who are hurting to the treatment and support they need. #together4mh #mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealthawareness #suicideprevention #suicidepreventionmonth #nami #togetherwecan
...

What is a special quote or song lyric that really resonates with you?

Mine is a lyric from "Mother Blues" by @raywylie, and it is one of my favorite ways to look at life. He sings:

“The days that I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations, well, I have really good days.”

Choose to be purposeful about your daily practices and create the habits that support the life you want. Be kind to yourself, savor delicious moments, and practice gratitude. #wednesdaywisdom #gratitude #deliciousmoments #resilience #favoritelyrics #mantra #quotes #raywyliehubbard
...

How many times have you said to yourself, "I’m just not a ______ person" (athletic, creative, etc.)?

Your belief in your abilities is nothing more than a mindset. A fixed mindset is the belief that you are who you are, that your capabilities and talents are set in stone, and you feel the need to compare yourself to others and prove yourself.

A growth mindset on the other hand allows you to look at failure not as a blow to your self-esteem but as a way to grow and improve. If you have a growth mindset, failure means you should try harder, stretch yourself, and continue to grow.

To combat a fixed mindset, try adding the word "Yet" to the end of your story. "I’m not good at it...yet." This helps you remember that this is not something you should already be good at, and it is enough to put your logical brain back in charge. #growthmindset #mindset #failureasfuel #resilience #personalgrowth #personaldevelopment #flipyourthinking
...

Heading back to school is always a big event (especially after 2020)! Which means many of you are juggling earlier wake-up times, morning traffic, helping with homework, and after-school activities.

When we are running on fumes, feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and exhausted, we inadvertently normalize this behavior for our kids. Here are two things you can do to manage feelings and emotions, while building your own resilience and modeling it for your kids:

1️⃣ Name your emotions

You may have heard the saying "name it to tame it". Labeling and naming emotions makes them easier to deal with by taking some of their power away. By putting feelings into words, you give yourself more control over them. 

Get curious about your emotions. Is it really anger you're feeling, or are you hurt? If so, why? We typically try to push uncomfortable emotions away, and that only serves to increase their intensity and duration, while undermining our ability to deal with them. When your kids are upset, sad, happy, insecure, etc., get them to start talking about their feelings. Help them name the emotion so they will develop a habit of doing it themselves.

2️⃣ Accept all emotions

Many of us have been conditioned from a young age to ignore or suppress emotions, especially the crappy ones, but we can’t begin to process our emotions if we don’t let ourselves sit in them. And while some of our emotions aren’t comfortable, they are all necessary. If we didn’t have the uncomfortable emotions, we wouldn’t appreciate the great ones. Rather than try to cheer up your kids every time they are upset, let them know that it’s okay to not feel okay.

Wishing you and your kiddos a resilient school year! #resilience #backtoschool #resilientkids #nameittotameit #emotionsareinformation #mindfulness #mindset #growthmindset #stress #overwhelm #burnout #parenting #childdevelopment #wellbeing
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ANNE GRADY IS A SPEAKER, AUTHOR, AND #TRUTHBOMB DROPPER!

Anne Grady is a Speaker, Author, and #TruthBomb Dropper.

Anne shares practical strategies that can be applied both personally and professionally to improve relationships, navigate change, and triumph over adversity. And she’ll make you laugh while she does it. Anne is a two time TEDx speaker, and her work has been featured in numerous media outlets, including Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Fast Company and Inc. magazines, CNN, ESPN, and FOX Business. She is the best selling author of 52 Strategies for Life, Love & Work and Strong Enough: Choosing Courage, Resilience and Triumph.

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