Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present and aware of our thoughts, feelings and surrounding environment in a gentle nurturing way. It involves accepting our feelings and thoughts without judgment and what we are sensing in the present moment rather than living in the past or imagining the future. There is a powerful connection between our mental health and our physical health, a true mind and body connection. It is important to gain techniques to build, sustain and maintain a strong mindset.
“Mindfulness Roadmap is beneficial to help shift, reflect, and sustain your mindset.”
Dr. Carol Dweck has conducted over 30 years of research on the potential of growing and shifting our mindset. Her research discovered that we can retrain and reframe our brains to grow and develop stronger brain cells through Neuroplasticity. Her research spanned children, adolescents, and adults and found that although we cannot change our IQ or personality traits, by shifting to a growth mindset, we can increase our emotional intelligence (self-awareness, social awareness, self-management, and relationship management).
Building a Growth Mindset
There are tangible mindset tools that anyone can implement to develop a growth mindset and lifestyle changes to manage our mental health.
- Address self-limiting beliefs
- Replace Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs)
- Focus on the present
- Practice self-reflection by journaling
- Use guided imagery
- Build principles of resilience
The first step in building and sustaining a growth mindset is to recognize how self-limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns can affect the way we think, feel and behave.
Self-limiting beliefs are thoughts about yourself that keep you from living your best and most authentic self. They are not your reality and are caused by negative thought beliefs and patterns that are brought on in different ways. These can be caused from past beliefs and behaviors that were told or taught to you as a young child or teenager by parents, authority figures or friends (and often may not be intentionally done).
As you eliminate self-limiting beliefs and blocks, you begin to evolve your true belief, value and moral system that has a positive impact on your self-esteem but most importantly, your self-worth. This involves how you perceive yourself (your reality), how you perceive those around you, and how you perceive yourself in the world.
Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTs)
As we develop a positive mindset, it’s important to rid our brain from automatic negative thoughts (ANTs). ANTs are automatic negative thought patterns about something we tell ourselves, something others tell us, or thoughts that are not true or may be self-limiting.
ANTs can come from all angles including what others tell us, what we hear on the news or read, and what we are telling ourselves. This can put our negative thoughts in a looping pattern in our brain. When we rid ourselves of ANTs, we are retraining our brain (like retraining a muscle) to shift negative thoughts to positive thoughts and to what is true and real.
Begin to think about what negative internal talk that you want to change. Start with: What are you telling yourself? Why are you telling yourself this?
Focusing on the Present
Focusing on the present keeps your mind in a good state and allows you to experience gratitude for what you have.
If you find yourself thinking about the past or worrying too much about the future, then bring yourself back to the present and ask yourself what you are grateful for.
Having a “gratitude journal” will help you capture good thoughts and what you are grateful for in the moment.
Ask yourself what three things you are thankful for, then say them and write them down every day or weekly. They can be big or small. At night ask yourself, what went right today and celebrate your successes for the day.
Journaling and Self-Reflection
One of the most impactful and powerful ways to get to know yourself is through journaling. Journaling helps you connect to your inner self and find wisdom to help figure out who you are, what you want, and what you need.
Journaling prompts to help with self-discovery and self-reflection:
- How would you describe yourself in three words?
- How would others describe you in three words?
- What are your best qualities?
- What are the five most meaningful lessons you have learned recently?
- What are some of your favorite memories with family and friends?
- Your favorite way to spend the day and night is?
- The two life events that you will never forget are…Describe them in detail and what makes them so memorable.
- What five things make you smile the most?
- When you are feeling mental or physical discomfort, what things can you do to make yourself feel better?
- Write down compassionate and kind ways you have supported yourself and others.
Guided imagery is visualizing yourself being in a certain environment that relaxes you. Your guided imagery could be any activity or place you enjoy and resonate with that reduces your anxiety and stress.
When you are in a stressful place, whether it be professional or personal, use guided imagery and visualization to take you to a relaxing place.
Relaxation Technique #5: Guided Imagery – Bing video
Principles of Resilience
A resilient person works through challenges by using personal resources, strengths, and other positive capacities like hope, optimism, and self-efficacy.
Seven Principles of Resilience are:
- Positive self-image
- Problem-solving skills
- Positive outlook
- Skills and talents that are valued by self and community
- Faith (understanding the meaning of one’s purpose
When applying the Principles of Resilience, an effective way to start is by implementing and practicing one or two principals at a time. For example, start by taking a self-image inventory which is a list of your positive qualities and then you lean on these strengths when dealing with challenges. If you are struggling to identify these on your own, reach out to a friend or loved one and ask them to help.
Then continue to self-regulate, which is practicing self-reflection on thoughts and feelings during a situation and how you control and manage them. You can’t control what happens to you, but you can control how you react and respond.
Growth Mindset Tool
180 Shift Tool
The 180 Shift Tool works by shifting and changing our brains to grow and develop stronger brain cells.
The 180 Shift Tool shifts negative thought patterns (or self-limiting beliefs) and reframes them to positive thought patterns (or your truth). The goal of the tool is to turn thoughts of non-reality to reality. This begins the shift to a growth mindset.
The shift to the positive thought needs to be done habitually for 21 to 30 days by saying it and journaling it in the morning, at least once during the day, and before going to bed. Best practice is to record these thoughts and listen to them before going to bed, so the shifted thought is in your subconscious before going to sleep. It may take the first few days for your mind to accept this positive pattern shift.
An example of this would be taking a self-limiting belief such as “I am afraid of trying and failing or falling” and shifting to “I can do anything I set my mind to do.” This is shifting from your non-reality to reality.
As you habitually practice this new positive thought pattern, your brain will reprogram and reconstruct that positive thought.
Roadmap Mindset Formula:
Mindset + Thoughts + Beliefs >> Action = Reality
“Our mindset truly determines our reality. Our Mindset (thoughts and beliefs) leads us to take action for what we value in life that leads to our reality empowering us to reach our true potential and live our authentic self.”– Kristin Durney
Check out more information about Diversity Crew Partner Kristin Durney, and book her for your next event or executive coaching today. Kristin focuses in HR Development, Mental Wellness, Leadership Development and more. You can also get a preview of her course, Mental Health and the Importance of Neuroplasticity.
For more information on mental wellness in the workplace, how your organization can start conversations about improving mental wellness in the workplace, or to complete a mental health assessment, contact us today at LetsGo@DiversityCrew.com.