Do you have your own definition of good mental health? Have you ever thought about this? What are your guiding principles?
According to the UK Mental Health Foundation, good mental health is:
- The ability to learn
- The ability to cope with AND manage change and uncertainty
- The ability to form AND maintain good relationships with others
- The ability to feel, express and manage a range of positive AND negative emotions
In which of these areas do you excel? And which one needs some development? Does this resonate with you?
I’m a big fan of wellbeing personal audits since all of these ‘abilities’ once brought to your conscious awareness, can be trained, and refined. Accountability helps balance the current trend of victimhood.
You probably know how important it is to get clarity about the future you are aiming your brain towards. Aiming your mind and body towards better mental health seems like time well spent, don’t you think?
With that in mind, I’ve adapted the MHF definition into an easy exercise to help you do review your own needs. I suggest you write out your answers as it has a stronger imprint on the sub-conscious mind.
- Is learning new things important for you? Is it easy? What would make it easier?
- How adaptable are you to change and uncertainty? Where in your life, would you like to grow more flexibility and how would the ‘future you’ benefit from doing this?
- Do you easily form new relationships? And how do you nurture longer term relationships? Where could you better connect with others?
- Are you comfortable with your full range of emotions? With which emotions do you need to get more comfortable? Which ones do you want more of and which ones do you need less of?
- Are you being the best you can be so that any time, any place anywhere you shine? Which aspects of your personal growth do you prioritise?
Is your ‘north star’ shining from the constellation called thrive?
Means “I don’t know what to do”?
Which implies “I need to know what to do”?
And therefore “please help me to avoid this feeling of uncertainty.”
TIME is the commodity and EMOTION is the currency; when we have time, we want to fill it will good feelings. And we can.
Yet a cruel outcome of fast-fix good feelings is ‘learned helplessness (“I’m bored – fix my feelings”)’ nourished by passive feel-goods like TV, social media, sugar, alcohol …
Anxiety is dissolved by passive feel-goods. But not for long because we never resolve the nagging feeling that we dislike ‘that boredom space’.
Such a shame!
So many people feeling miserable and trapped within the solutions of quick-fixing profiteers.
Our brains are so easily trained, wired and re-wired.
Rewired by passive learning (the less aware we are of the boredom programming, the easier the acceptance).
Rewired by active learning and creative engagement with boredom to experience new and novel handling of uncertainty:
problem solving – how will I make that old sofa more comfortable?
creation – what kind of meal can I make out of these ingredients?
imagination – what will my garden look like if I dig up the flower bed?
experimentation – which windowsill has best suited my house plant?
exploration – let’s visit that woodland walk I heard about.
discovery – which food upset my digestion?
role play – how does it feel to pretend to be like my favourite calm person?
learning – which thoughts motivate me most?
Provides training ground for THRIVING through adapting and adjusting to difficulties and disappointments. Thriving brains know more conscious CHOICES.
Also provides training ground for SURVIVING through having our attention controlled by someone else. Surviving brains revert to auto-pilot and can’t make conscious choices.
Is a curious description of a state of human consciousness where there is space to be trained into helplessness and survival behaviour, or it is a space to build resourcefulness and resilience for a thriving future.
Let your children – and your own inner child – handle boredom actively …
“If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.”
Does that make sense to you?
Where are the ‘problem-repeats’ in your life?
You know it’s often easier to notice those patterns in other people’s lives, but when you cast your your mind back through your timeline, which problems keep repeating?
Did you ever try to change them?
Did you ever find a really good coach to help you harness the superpower of imagineering?
Your future starts in imagination – whether you are imagining what you are going to do later today, tomorrow, or next year – you’re setting your brain’s GPS.
We walked on the moon thanks to someone’s imagination. Yet some people terrorise and limit their future selves with wayward imaginineering! And so it needs to be harnessed and handled with precision. NLP is an amazing tool to help you do this easily.
For now, you could start by imagining what would happen if a mysterious force extinguished ‘problem-repeats’ from your world and breathed new life-energy into your life. What differences shine through? What does not change at all?
Imagination is a super skill, learn to use it with super precision. Isn’t it time to shine?
Have you ever found yourself saying to a colleague, something like ‘please read this report’ when what you really want to say is, ‘just read the (damn) report!’
You added the ‘please’ because you’re trying to find that balance between politeness and authority, but it still sounds like a request when you’d rather it was an instruction.
Adding the word please certainly keeps you in the polite zone, but it may not succinctly influence the receiver or truly enhance the effectiveness of your communication.
So how can you remain polite while sounding more authoritative?
Here are three quick wins for maximising face-to-face influence:
- Breathing from the diaphragm instantly makes you sound more confident by lower your vocal pitch.
- Ensure each message ends in a commanding downward inflection
- Use clear, illustrative gestures that mimic the request
Combine these to stack the odds of your influence, in your favour. And add this gem which quite literally has you minding your Ps and Qs by replacing ‘could you please read this report’ with ‘could you read this report (pause) thank you’.
By adding a ‘thank you’ at the end of that request, you’ve already got them thinking about having completed the polite request! Saying ‘thank you’ is a mind trick that suggests to the listening ear, completion is a certainty.
Top tip! It’s a playground out there, have fun experimenting with these skills for more effective communication!
September always feels to me like a fresh start, a throwback to new socks, shoes and pencil cases and a renewed enthusiasm for structure after the carefree summer holidays, do you know what I mean?
This September I found a renewed enthusiasm for social media and a decision to do less, yet be more precise, with a clearer purpose of why I want to be engaging with strangers. But that world is a mire! A maelstrom of emotions driving each platform’s algorithms! And an omnipresent pressure to be popular (school day thinking again) through dramas, chaos, and vanity posts. It’s got me wondering about the challenges to stay in integrity and post with clear purpose.
Purpose is a word I like to add to my daily life anyway and encourage my clients to do the same. Great questions soon habituate such as ‘what’s the purpose of that post’?
- You want to be liked and have lots of (virtual) friends?
- You like the feel-good sense of validation when people (often strangers) agree with you?
- You are focused on driving a sales funnel?
- You get to be that ‘popular’ person?
I ask my clients:
“Who are you trying to influence and why?”
“Who is trying to influence you, and why?”
I like making new connections through social media. The world is full of interesting people doing fascinating things, but I loathe the mindless blitz of inbox pitches that arrive seconds after each new connection, especially on the business platforms.
Mostly I ignore the inbox bombardment but earlier in the month I ‘actually’ responded to an unsolicited pitch. Why? Because that person and I had previously established a business rapport through another social group that clarified our respective interests which for me, co-created permission to attempt to influence each other on said topic.
But, being connected or ‘friends’ is not a free pass and I’m staggered by the number of ‘marketing experts’ who bombard by scattergun … thus selling themselves (to me at least) as a brand of little integrity. Worse still so many blanket offers don’t even fit my world, playing some law of averages in that game ‘you’ll do’ ….
Our social media personas define our brands, and whether we like it or not, we live in a marketing web. I’m looking for authenticity and integrity, are you?
In NLP for Business, John La Valle (President of the Society of NLP) calls out ‘earning the right to influence’ and that works for me – have I earned the right to try to influence this person/these people – are we on an agreeable wavelength? Are we in rapport?’
In our Work Well model, we coach Clarity of rational thought and conscious decisions that drive the rest of the brain (emotions and actions).
So, this month’s Clarity Tip is to contemplate this key question: What are you trying to convince the world of, and are you pushing on an open door?