MENTAL EXERCISES TO RADICALLY CHANGE YOUR LIFE
Your diet isn’t just what you put in your body but what you put in your mind.
What your mind repeats is what your mind believes.
complain, compare or criticize.
Today was a double exercise day. Not only was I smashing 25 miles on my bike but my mind was working out as well. I’ve never really focused on my mind as much as I’ve focused on my body and that is actually very concerning for me.
It’s funny how we buy healthy foods, green smoothies, vitamins, skin care and whatever else to have the best body we can have, but what about our minds? What are we actively doing to keep our mind in shape? I love what Jay Shetty says about our minds, “what your mind repeats is what your mind believes.” What an incredible thought!
Just now I looked on my phone at how many apps are geared toward my physical body verse my mind. I don’t really have anything that is geared toward my mind and even when my apple watch asks me to “breathe,” I defer it to the next day. And, of course, the next day I never do it.
Here’s some questions I started to think about even more. Why do I count calories for my body but not for my mind? Why do I workout 5–6 hours per week but not work out my mind? Why do I eat healthy foods for my body but neglect what my mind needs?
This is why today was so important for me. It’s not enough for me to “hear” about mental health and those struggling with it, but instead, what am I doing about it for me? In my mind I look at mental health and say, “that’s too bad for them. So weird why they would be struggling mentally.” The truth is, that could be you or me. We could be struggling with mental health and not even realize it.
When it comes to your body, it’s easy to figure out what is going on. When you eat garbage foods, you feel bad, you may be overweight or even worse, causing physical harm. I think because we can see it — we can better control it.
Today was a wake up call for me. A call that says, “wake up Anthony, you’re not invinicble.” It got me to think consciously about what steps I am taking to ensure my mind is strong, able and courageous.
One of the ideas Jay Shetty shared was this idea of keeping score when you “complain, compare or criticize.” He shared how he first did this exercise when he was studying to become a monk. He would track and created a game out of it. The game was putting money in a jar every time during the day when he would complain, compare or criticize. When he first started, he put lots of money in the jar. However, as he became more self aware, the funds in the jar lessened and he became mentally stronger in those areas.
I love that exercise and what an incredible practice. Another idea regarding your mind is keeping a journal of key thoughts throughout the day. This is something I do quite often as I gauge where my best energy comes from. For me, when I work out in the morning, my day is better. Everything around me is better. It’s so much better, I become addicted to it and don’t want to take a day off. Ha! But try it, write down the things you watch, listen to and are around, then journal down how your energy is after. It’s another incredible idea to keep your mental health strong.
My final idea today is to lean into discomfort. As I get older, I’ve noticed my lack of risk and adventure. Sometimes I like the idea, but more often than not, I don’t go through with it. The days are long gone when I would run from house to house ringing door bells or egging houses. Even the other day, I was with some friends on a boat and they jumped in for no reason — they just jumped.
Looking back, I know exactly what they were doing — they were leaning into discomfort, they were having a good hug with fun and that’s something I’ve just grown cold on. I need to face discomfort more and be better at just having fun with no agenda. I need to relax more and take care of my mind. My mind needs a break too but it also needs fun. It needs to laugh and not care, feel young again.
One more thing, breathe during the day. Be more present in everything you do. Ha! This is a sticky not for myself. Here’s a great exercise to becoming more present.
- Pick out 5 things you can see around you.
- Find 4 things you can hear.
- What are 3 things you can touch.
- What are 2 things you can smell.
- What is 1 thing you can taste.