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How to Manage Weekend Binging…

You’re good all week, eating healthy food, having alcohol-free days and exercising.  Then (thank God) Friday comes along. Time to hit the pub with friends, indulge in pizza for dinner or have a few wines while watching a movie. Saturday morning arrives and you may go to the gym followed by a huge brunch at your favourite cafe and maybe a slice of cheesecake. By Monday morning you’re feeling sluggish, tired guilty and like you’ve gone backwards.  

Sounds familiar?

Most people want to let loose and unwind on the weekend, especially if they’ve been doing so well during the week. It’s a reward and a way to start relaxing. Let’s face, it’s about having fun in the moment. But the guilt, anger and regret that come at the end of the weekend isn’t helpful. So, what can we do to still enjoy the weekends without feeling like we’ve taken 5 steps back?

Most of us are unconsciously dictated by what day it is and this could be the answer to the weekend bingeing. If you are striving for perfection on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday then you are relying a lot on willpower. Willpower is like fuel in a car, it can run out the more you drive the car. Then you relax a bit on Thursday (afterall, Friday is looming) then let loose Friday, Saturday, Sunday because you have no willpower left so it’s all systems go!

What if you didn’t strive to be perfect during the week?  This is the thinking behind our 80/20 days. You don’t have to be perfect.  Eat real, healthy food 80% of the time, but if you do fancy a glass of wine with dinner or a bowl of ice-cream after dinner, then count that as your 20%. The only rule is you don’t go beyond that 20% and have the wine and the ice-cream.  Trade one thing off for another. Choose your daily treat wisely, have the best quality you can afford and really enjoy it.

If you take being ‘perfect’ out of the equation, it relieves the pressure and the need for willpower.  Our approach allows you to set your own food rules based on the 80/20 approach, so food choices aren’t difficult and best of all, there aren’t any ‘cheat days’ because you are giving yourself permission to indulge in that 20% if you want it.

This approach also allows you to be in charge of your own choices, providing they are within the 80/20 range.

If your weekend indulges are working for you, of course keep going. You know yourself what works for you. But if you find you’re feeling conflicted and don’t enjoy the feeling at the end of the weekend, you can experiment with the 80/20 approach during the week and see how that affects your weekend.

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Exercise, Nutrition & Sleep

Hugh Van Cuylenburg from The Resilience Project talks about 3 daily research-backed activities that have been shown to help prevent mental health issues in children and adults, and improve symptoms where there are existing problems.  These 3 activities are:

  • Gratitude
  • Mindfulness
  • Empathy.  

The research is showing if you practise these 3 things everyday for 21 days it will improve your happiness.

Sounds simple!  Although these tools are the focus of his talks, he did say they will not work without exercise, good nutrition and sleep – so in this blog we’ll explore why that is.

Exercise

Moving your body a lot (whether it’s sport or walking the dog) will release feel-good chemicals (hormones) in your body called endorphins.  You want endorphins because they make you feel happy and relaxed.  Exercise also releases other chemicals important for mood and motivation, called serotonin and dopamine – and if that’s not enough, it releases growth factors which help your brain to grow and adapt (a process known as neuroplasticity). Conversely, sitting for hours on end, on computer games, or computer or watching TV makes most people feel tired and grumpy and is disruptive to our brain chemistry.

Nutrition

Having a few treats every now can make us feel happy, but when we have too many it can affect our mood. There is a connection between what you eat and how you feel. Research is showing that if you eat lots of fruit, vegetables and whole-grains it can boost your mood.  Eating loads of sugar and processed food (ie ‘junk food’) may cause your mood to decline.  Although it’s complex, this could be related to the link between our gut and the brain (called the gut-brain axis) – for example, over 90 percent of the mood enhancing neurotransmitter serotonin is produced in our gut and not our brain. If our gut isn’t happy, it sends messages up to the brain and in turn affects our mood.

Sleep

Sleep is as important as nutrition and exercise. Nothing good comes from not getting enough sleep. Sleep affects mood, learning and behaviour.  It also helps us get better if we’re sick. When we’re sick, sleep produces infection-fighting proteins called cytokines, which also make us feel sleepy. That’s why when we’re not feeling well, we also feel tired.  It’s our body telling us to rest. Sleep is also the time when our brains flush out toxins and repair and strengthen our brain cells. It’s like sleep is the time our brains take out the rubbish.

So, in summary – practising gratitude, mindfulness and empathy along with eating well, moving a lot and getting a good night’s sleep are the keys to a healthy, happy life.

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Activate your Genes

We have all heard of exercise is important and that a sedentary lifestyle has been linked to diseases. Recent evidence has shown that an active lifestyle can increase your life by up to 9 years.

The World Health Organisation offer guidelines on physical activity which are detailed below but first it helps understand a little about the evolution of our species in order to understand why the way we move (as opposed to just doing any exercise at all) is so important.

Click here or scroll down to view the infographic

The way genes adapt to a changing environment is to mutate. Our species, ‘homo’ has been around for about two million years, with modern humans (homo sapiens) existing for around 200,000 years. The last significant gene that mutated (called the M168), occurred 45,000 to 50,000 years ago!

Since that time, there have been a few mutations, such as those to allow us to digest grains and dairy, but all in all, our genome hasn’t changed. However, our environment has changed (but we haven’t adapted to it).

Our ancestors moved a lot – today, however, many of us work in offices, call centres and due to our increasingly sedentary lifestyle, we move a lot less.

Steps

To be in line with our hunter-gatherer predecessors, we would need to take between 18,000 and 22,000. In fact, the average Australian and British office worker take just 3,000 to 5,000 steps per day. This is a significant shortfall and our health is suffering as a result.

Exercise is a powerful driver of gene expression and the famous American researcher and cardiologist Frank Booth once said,

We know of no single intervention with greater promise than physical exercise to reduce the risk of virtually all chronic diseases simultaneously’.

Incidental exercise

However, before you bring up lack of time to get to the gym, it’s important to understand that physical activity does not just mean an hour of sport/gym so many times a week or hitting a high step count. Both the global and Australian guidelines recommend those 18-64 years od:

  • Be active each day
  • Accumulate 15–300 minutes of moderate intensity each week
  • Accumulate 75-150 minutes of vigorous intensity a week
  • OR an equivalent of both moderate and vigorous
  • Do muscle strengthening activities at least 2 days each week

So, what does all this mean? Many of us are relying on 10,000 steps each day for health benefits, so where does that fit in with the recommendations? And what does ‘be active everyday’ look like for you?

To simplify things, we have created rituals around ‘Active Minutes’ to minimise the gap between 10k steps and vigorous exercise. We show you the reduction you achieve to your BioAge from movement in the shape of the ‘Active Minutes Ritual’ (this encompasses steps, movement snacks and high/moderate intensity activity) rather than relying on calculating your activity themselves.

A few ideas to help you increase your active minutes:

  1.  At a minimum, take 10,000 steps per day (or 70,000 a week). A great way to keep track is with a device such as a Fitbit, Garmin or Jawbone Up.
  2. Introduce quick bursts of movement throughout the day (what we like to call Movement Snacks). Use TV advert breaks to do squats, push-ups or 30-second sprints.
  3. Do three to five workouts per week – ideally a combination of vigorous activity and strength sessions. If you don’t view yourself as a ‘workout person’ don’t worry, workouts can be short and sharp and can be completed anywhere without equipment – our timed Ritualize workout videos are a great start!
  4. Don’t sit for prolonged periods, as this along is a risk for chronic disease. Ensure you get up and move a little every 30 minutes or so.

What’s your personal target?

See how many active minutes you need to hit to reduce your BioAge each day by clicking Active Minutes on your Ritual Board and you’ll find it at the top of the page (on both app and desktop). What’s important for many people is you don’t need to be going to the gym for an hour every day to gain benefits of physical activity – all movement counts!

 

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Acts of Kindness

When you do something nice for someone else, it can actually make you feel better too. This isn’t just something that happens coincidentally – it has to do with the pleasure centres in your brain. Doing nice things for others boosts your serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of satisfaction and well-being. Like exercise, altruism also releases endorphins, a phenomenon known as a “helper’s high” (1).

Being nice to others can also affect the actual chemical balance of your heart. Kindness releases the hormone oxytocin. According to David Hamilton, a doctor and best-selling author, “oxytocin causes the release of a chemical called nitric oxide in blood vessels, which dilates the blood vessels. This reduces blood pressure and therefore oxytocin is known as a ‘cardioprotective’ hormone because it protects the heart.” Oxytocin also helps reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation in the body can be associated with all sorts of health problems such as diabetes, cancer, chronic pain, obesity, and migraines. Kindness can actually help manage or prevent illness (2).

Not only that, but in our busy, always-on-the-go lives, we’re constantly looking for ways to reduce stress, and kindness may be one answer. Helping others allows you to step outside of yourself and take a break from the stressors in your own life, and this behaviour can also make you better equipped to handle stressful situations (3).

Acts of Kindness can be as simple as holding the door open for a stranger, smiling at people around you, donating money to a charity, or doing a work colleague a small favour. If someone thanks you, ask them to just “pay it forward” by doing something for others.

 

REFERENCES:

1 https://www.quietrev.com/6-science-backed-ways-being-kind-is-good-for-your-health/

2 http://drdavidhamilton.com/the-5-side-effects-of-kindness/

3http://www.readersdigest.ca/home-garden/giving-back/4-reasons-why-being-kind-is-good-you/view-all/

 

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Finding the Silver Lining

We all react to different problems in different ways. Ever noticed that some people can stay calm under adversity while others are obviously stressed out? One of the best ways to help change your emotional response to a bad situation is something called cognitive reappraisal.

Cognitive Reappraisal is:

1) attending to the emotional situation, which will elicit an automatic judgment of the situation,

2) a cognitive re-evaluation of the situation in a more neutral or positive direction.

What happens when you take a split second to cast a better light on an otherwise dark situation is that you can actually up-end your emotional experience entirely. What was once an idiotic, reckless driver, is now a guy just trying to get to work on time. What was once a bad interview, is now good experience and something to improve on next time. Studies have demonstrated that the use of cognitive reappraisal can change how you view the emotional experience very quickly and even decrease the physical effects of emotion on the body. For example, anger typically causes your heart rate, respiration, and skin conductance levels to elevate, but upon reappraisal, these responses don’t spike nearly as highly.

An effective way to do this is to create a Catastrophe Scale. Form your scale of how bad things are from 1 to 10 – 10 being the worst possible thing that could ever happen and 1 being something mediocre. Refer to this scale to get a bigger picture of how bad the situation currently is.

Here are some examples:  

  1. Getting caught in a rainstorm while on your way to work
  2. Kid fails a test at school
  3. Work presentation doesn’t go as well as you hoped
  4. Car breaks down and you’re late for work
  5. Miss a very important business meeting or job interview
  6. The doctor says that you have high blood pressure
  7. Broken limb and it interferes with work
  8. Losing a close relationship/marriage/friendship
  9. Someone you love dies
  10. The whole family dies in front of you and having to witness it in a war-torn country

Obviously, the circumstances surrounding all of these can be personal to you. But the point of a catastrophe scale is to step back and see the bigger picture and use it as a reference point whenever times call for it.

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Get Your Game Face On

Athletes regularly practise mental rehearsal, or what we like to call mental sculpting before a competition, and in little breaks during a competition. The top tennis players in the world use their mental strength to help them succeed. In fact, Serena Williams considers the game of tennis is 70% mental. Below is a list of positive statements which Serena Williams writes down and reads before and during the match.

  • “My good thoughts are powerful”
  • “My only negative thoughts are weak!”
  • “Decide what you want to be, have, do and think the thoughts of it.”
  • “Hang on to the thought of what you want. Make it absolutely clear.”
  • “Positive thoughts”
  • “You will look at balls”
  • “You will move up”
  • “You are #1 (No 1)”
  • “You are the best”
  • “You will add spin”
  • “You will win WIMBLEDON”

This approach can be used by anyone in their daily lives, not just athletes. One way we can do this is by thinking “what is my best self?” and presenting that version of yourself.  You can ask other people, friends or family, when they have seen you at your best and then create this best version of yourself. The You that is positive, the You that is open, friendly and welcoming to others, the You that is focussed and determined. You can also select a role model who has the traits you could benefit from in your own life. This could be a sporting star, an actor, activist or even your neighbour. Write down the traits you admire and if you are in a situation where you need them, ask yourself, what would they do in this situation?

The idea is to then use this lots of times throughout the day. Before you have a meeting at work or are one on one with someone, or a customer interaction. Just give yourself 20 seconds of space to say “Ok, what is my best self”, and visualise it. What are the emotions, the body language and the intention that you’re going to bring to the conversation? Emotions are contagious, so by doing this regularly throughout the day, you will actually improve your level of interaction and it will have a positive impact on those that you interact with. Plus you will notice that your performance level goes up.

The single most important time to do this Game Face or Mental Sculpting ritual is when you come home. It’s easy to bring the stress of the day home with you if you don’t consciously switch your mindset. Before you go into the house, just sit outside and for 20 to 30 seconds just say to yourself “What part of me does me or my partner, or my kids or my parents want to see?

Just do that visualisation, walk in with intention around your emotions and notice how that will impact positively on your friends and your family.

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Alcohol Free Days – Why Do It?

It’s very common for people to wind down after work with a drink. This may seem harmless enough, but the reality is that half of that bottle of wine or those few bottles of beer could be causing silent damage to your liver, with serious consequences.

It may surprise you to know that the majority of people who die from the alcohol-related liver disease are not alcoholics. Alcohol causes damage to the cells in your liver, which can lead to inflammation and scarring as it tries to repair itself. Even if you only have one or two drinks a day, your liver can’t cope and can’t repair itself, but you don’t have to become a ‘tea-totaller’ to fix it.

Your liver needs at least 48 hours without alcohol to repair itself.  Cutting back your daily intake won’t help your liver.  The 2 days have to be alcohol-free and it’s important they are ‘consecutive’. At Ritualize, we include an Alcohol-Free Day on our Ritual lists. By adding it to your personal Rituals, you’ll be giving your liver a break and bringing your BioAge down.

“The main advantage of  two alcohol-free days each week – as opposed to occasional alcohol-free days when you’re sick, for instance – is that it reduces your lifetime exposure to alcohol, which in turn helps lower the risk of both liver disease and alcohol-related cancers such as cancer of the breast, colon, oesophagus and mouth,” says Associate Professor Simone Strasser, a gastroenterologist and spokeswoman for  the Australian Liver Association. (1)

The Australian Government Guidelines recommends no more than 2 standard drinks on any given day for both men and women. (2). This can be confusing as it implies that drinking every day is safe.  The United Kingdom has recently reviewed their guidelines and now recommends that everyone should have alcohol-free days each week. (3)

Alcohol over time can cause also cause brain damage, heart disease, high blood pressure and increase your risk of many cancers such as breast cancer, mouth and intestinal cancers.  

Aside from reducing your risk of disease, there are other reasons to have a 2-day break from alcohol:


Your quality of sleep will improve.

When you drink before bed, you don’t fall into a natural slumber. It’s common for people to fall asleep quickly, so many think that glass of wine or 2 helps them get to sleep.  But then they wake up around 3am and are wide awake. This could be due to a sleep-inducing chemical in the brain called adenosine, which is increased after drinking. You fall asleep quickly, but the chemical is quickly depleted, which can cause you to wake before earlier than your body wants to. (https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/how-alcohol-affects-sleep)

Alcohol also blocks your rapid eye movement (REM) sleep which is imperative for growth and repair. Less REM sleep can cause you to be tired and lack in focus the next day.

You’ll lose weight

Alcohol contains empty calories, which means you are taking in calories that your body doesn’t need. A glass of wine can contain 120 calories and a beer about 150 calories. When you have a break from alcohol, you not only cut down on these empty calories, but you tend to make healthier food choices.

Your skin will glow

Alcohol dehydrates you, which can dry your skin and over time cause you to look older than you are. The increase in blood flow can cause a red pigmentation.

Your mood will increase

You may feel happier while you’re drinking, but the next day alcohol can make you feel down. This is because alcohol is a depressant and affects the balance of hormones in the brain. Having a few Alcohol-free days can make you feel a lot brighter.

It’s always advisable to drink alcohol in moderation on the days you do drink and know that you and your liver will enjoy your 48 hours without it.  Make it a weekly ritual and reap the benefits.

 

REFERENCES

(1) http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/why-your-body-loves-time-off-from-alcohol-especially-if-youre-female-20150129-1311rp.html

(2) http://www.alcohol.gov.au/internet/alcohol/publishing.nsf/Content/guide-adult

(3) http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-35252650

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Box breathing: The Military Secret

In 2012, the New York Times wrote an article, called “The ‘Busy’ Trap”, about how so many of us over-schedule ourselves in order to feel more important or to avoid being alone with our thoughts but our busyness can be self-inflicted. We often take on too much work and other obligations and can let our ambition or drive come before our health.  It’s not as if any of us wants to live like this; it’s something we’re collectively – albeit unknowingly – encouraging each other to do (1).

So, if being too busy – and not challenging ourselves to be more mindful of how we choose to spend our time – is ruining our health, taking time out of our day, even just 2 minutes, to relax, unplug and clear our minds can have enormous benefits.

Box Breathing, otherwise known as Four-Square Breathing or Controlled Breathing, is a great way to reduce stress and to give your mind a break for a few minutes. The Special Forces, public speakers, and surgeons use tactical breathing to help control their thoughts and emotions when faced with challenging situations that obscure their clarity. (2)

HOW DO YOU DO IT?

Box Breathing is a technique where you take slow, deep breaths while counting to four while you breathe in, hold for four, breathe out for four, hold for four.

  • Start by relaxing your whole body and be seated if possible.
  • Sit upright, and then slowly exhale, getting all the oxygen out of your lungs. Really focus on this and be conscious of what you’re doing.
  • Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose to the count of four, very slowly in your head.
  • Feel the coolness of the air you’re breathing in and the way it fills your lungs, one section at a time until they are completely full.
  • Hold your breath for another slow count of four.
  • Exhale through your mouth for the same slow count of four, expelling the air from your lungs and abdomen. Be conscious of the feeling of the air leaving your lungs, how the coolness has become warmth.
  • Then hold your breath for another 4 counts and repeat the whole process again (3).

If you have trouble clearing your thoughts, trying humming in your mind or really focus on the counting.

 

WHEN AND WHERE CAN YOU DO IT?

It’s almost like meditating, and so it works best in a quiet, stress free environment. However if you cannot find a quiet place, it’s something you can easily do with your eyes closed in a quiet spot with your eyes closed, at work or at home or anywhere in between. Give it a go while you’re standing waiting for your kettle to boil, or on the train to work, or in the bathroom before a meeting, or after you park your car, before you head into your office for the day. Repeat your mantra and count to yourself and no one will even notice that you are performing a stress-reduction exercise.

WHY DOES IT WORK?

According to the Mayo Clinic, a medical research clinic in the United States, there is a sufficient amount of evidence to suggest that intentional deep breathing can actually calm and regulate the autonomic nervous system, a system which regulates involuntary body functions like temperature. It can lower blood pressure and provide an almost-immediate sense of calm, and improve your mood. But the benefits of deep breathing also extend beyond in-the-moment stress relief. It’s an exceptional treatment for conditions like generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression. It can also help treat insomnia by allowing you to calm your nervous system at night before bed. Box breathing can even help with pain management (4).

References:

  1. https://www.wellandgood.com/good-advice/stop-glorifying-how-busy-you-are/
  2. https://thepreppingguide.com/box-breathing/
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/box-breathing#tips
  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/decrease-stress-by-using-your-breath/art-20267197?pg=2
  5. https://www.livestrong.com/article/225192-sudarshan-kriya-breathing-technique/
  6. https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/30/the-busy-trap/?_r=0

 

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Blue light casts a new light on sleep deficiency

Sleep is affected by many things. When you think of what affects your sleep, the usual suspects are things like caffeine, alcohol, stress, noise.  What has come to light (pun intended) is our increased use of artificial light which is affecting our sleep.  It may be time to question Thomas Edison when he reassured that electric light ‘is in no way harmful to health, nor does it affect the soundness of sleep’

Our body’s biological clockwork around circadian rhythms, which are affected by the amount of light and dark we are exposed to.  Our organs even function to these rhythms, which determine our sleep, feeding patterns, brain activity, hormone production and the effectiveness of cell regeneration. Sleep affects our lives in so many ways – mood, hunger, stress and energy which affects how much we move.

If we lived purely in natural light, our brain would signal the body to start releasing sleep hormones, like melatonin when it started to get dark outside. Our temperature would drop which would start the sleep process.  When it got light again, our temperature would rise and our body would start producing hormones like cortisol to wake us up (1). 

When our bodies are exposed to artificial light, such as LED’s and screen lights, we are confusing it and all these natural processes are disrupted. The body doesn’t know when it’s time to get ready for sleep and stays alert.

Studies have shown that melatonin is suppressed by approximately 85 percent when it’s exposed to room light during the night compared with dim light (2).

With more blue light in our lives emitted by room lights and screens, our quality and duration of our sleep is negatively affected (3). Although we are staying up later on computers, watching TV or on our mobiles, it’s also the blue light we are exposed to during the day that is impacting our circadian rhythm and therefore our sleep (4). Sleep deprivation has a powerful impact on our overall wellness and there is a lot of evidence to support it (5). 

We live in the modern world, so it’s not realistic to start living purely in natural light.  There are a few things you can do to limit your exposure and improve your quality of sleep.

TIPS ON LIMITING EXPOSURE TO BLUE LIGHT

  1. Turn off all your devices at least one hour before you go to bed. Try not to keep your mobile phone next to your bed to avoid the temptation to check it. Read a book, take a bath or have a no-screen wind-down routine.
  2. Turn lights off gradually at night, or use a dimmer switch.
  3. Use orange or red light bulbs in lamps (found in most hardware stores) instead of bright room lights.
  4. Consider red or orange tinted glasses while looking at screens.
  5. Use Nightshift if you have an iPhone and MacBook. This is a setting which makes the colours on your screen warm. Most smartphones have the night option – look for it under settings. Set a time for it to automatically switch on and off so you don’t have to always remember.
  6. Turn daytime lights off if possible and spend as much time as you can in natural light. If you can’t, there are lights that mimic natural light that can help.

Sweet dreams!

References:

(1) https://sleepfoundation.org/bedroom/see.php
(2) https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/96/3/E463/2597236
(3) https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170822103434.htm
(4) https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140203191841.htm
(5) https://academic.oup.com/nutritionreviews/article-abstract/65/suppl_3/S244/1911960

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Don’t Believe Everything You Think

Don’t believe everything you think. Thoughts are just that – thoughts” – Allan Lokos, author

Most of us want a mindset that helps us feel good and helps us be productive, kind, helpful and just all-around awesome. But our mindsets are not always an environment of roses and fluffy clouds as we’d like them to be. This is often hard to be aware of and hard to change.

Think of the set in mindset.  It’s rigid, stubborn …. it’s set.

Why does this happen?  It’s a cumulation of past experiences, previous thoughts, relationships, what others have done and said (even as small children), what we’ve seen in the media and what the most important people in our lives have said or done that make up our current mindset. The beliefs, opinions and attitudes that make up our mindset are pretty much hard-wired in us but this hard-wiring can be changed.

There are so many ways to look at a situation, so many different ways to think about the things that happen to you and around you. Remember the story of Pollyanna? She saw the good in everything, even in the worst situations.  The first step is to be aware of your thinking choices.  We have around 50,000-70,000 thoughts a day and many of these are repeated and many not logical.  

Cognitive bias, false assumptions, misinformation, ego and limited beliefs are just a few patterns of unhealthy thought that interfere with our judgement. With a rise in mental health issues worldwide, there are a lot of us out there with unhealthy thought patterns. One in 4 people worldwide are affected by a mental health disorder (1) and 4 million people in Australia are experiencing a Mental Health issues (2) with Tasmania ranking the highest for hospital admissions due to mental health issues.(3) Mental health can be a complex issue.  Having awareness of whether you have a positive or negative mindset can be a help.

If you tell yourself you’re a failure, you believe you’ll never be good enough, you believe that people in the street look at you because they’re judging you, you believe you could never get to where you want to get to – you may want to start challenging these limiting beliefs.  

Here are some tips for rewiring your brain to create a positive mindset – often referred to a ‘growth mindset:

  • Use positive words instead of negative ones. Words create thoughts which create a feeling, so try and keep them positive.
  • Be grateful. Research is showing us that a daily gratitude ritual makes us happier. Add the gratitude ritual on the Ritualize app and make a note of something you are thankful for each day.
  • When talking or thinking about something you’d like to have or do, use aspirational and positive language, for example:
    • Instead of “I can’t run 5km” you’d say “I can’t run 5km yet”
    • I can’t run 5km yet/however I can go swimming more often.
    • I’m not sleeping well YET but it’s something I’m working on.
  • Be empathetic to others. We are often so entrenched in our own beliefs that we don’t see others points of view.

Taking control of your thoughts is the first step to a more positive and happier mindset.  Listen to your thoughts before you react.

 

REFERENCES

http://www.who.int/whr/2001/media_centre/press_release/en/

http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4364.0.55.001

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-14/community-based-care-needed-to-curb-mental-health-hospital-admi/9049808