Do you want to be mentally and emotionally buoyant, emotionally strong, able to manage stress proactively, embrace joy and be positively connected?
When it comes to mental health and wellbeing we often assume that it is something that happens to us. That we have little if any control of how well we feel. But, often, there are things we can do.
There is a lot we can do to positively manage our mental health and wellbeing, to make us less likely to become mentally unwell, and to bounce back better if we do experience mental health challenges.
Building Resilience and Mental Buoyancy
How do you start this process of developing your buoyancy and your mental wellbeing?
Firstly, you need to WAKE UP! You need to make conscious decisions and take deliberate action to create the life that you want. We don’t stop to reflect on how we’re going in terms of our broad life goals very often, the two days that we tend to reflect are around New Year’s and our birthdays. After which, we fall back into patterns of unconscious behaviour that may not actually be serving our goals.
There is a lot of focus these days on work-life balance. Lots of people get frustrated because it feels so elusive. If you’re modelling it on that old concept of 8 hours at work, 8 hours of play and 8 hours of sleeping, well it probably is elusive for most of us!
To spend the same amounts of time, energy and devotion to each of the areas in our life – vocational, spiritual, physical, financial, emotional, etc. – how could you possibly do that? Would you even want to? Balance is not necessarily about equal time. It’s more about the choices you make and whether they are aligned with your overall values.
What is the formula?
The formula, instead of 8/ 8/ 8 is to focus your time and positive attention in the areas of your life that are underscored by your values.
Grab a journal and reflect on the following:
- What are your most important values in life?
- Do you live by these values?
- When do you?
- When don’t you?
- Think over the last 3 months – were you living in line with these values?
- What we value may be family relationships, but that doesn’t mean you can spend 24 hours of your day in these relationships –how do you prioritise family time outside of your other responsibilities?
- What happened to stop you from living in the way that is most important to you?
- What can you do to keep your values in the front of your mind and in focus?
Steps to building resilience and mental buoyancy
Some ways to work on building resilience and mentally buoyancy are to get clear about your values; to decide how you will intentionally live aligned with your values, and to keep perspective on the blessings that are abundant in your life.
Follow this 4-step process and bloom!
1. Identify your values.
You can answer as a list, or as an explosion chart, or as sentences – whatever feels natural to you.
- What are the things that are most important to you?
- What things would you be most disappointed if you did not achieve or experience?
- What are the roles or relationships that are most significant to you?
- What personal and character traits do you wish to embody?
2. Define your values.
Take each value and write it as a heading, describing underneath it how you want to live this value. What will it look like and feel like? What influence will it have on you, and others, when you are truly living aligned with this value?
3. Set your daily intentions.
Each morning, before you get out of bed, write in your journal the intentions you have for the day that will help you to live your values. These may be how you will talk to yourself, how you will talk to others, actions you will take. They need to be things that you WILL DO, not things that you will avoid doing.
For example, if one of your core values is to have a healthy active life, you will have a daily intention around nutrition and energy. Stated this in the positive such as: “I will eat healthy food to nourish my body and give me energy” rather than “I won’t eat junk food”.
Or, if your value is to connect authentically with your family, your intention might be: “No technology at the table. We will eat together and be present rather than distracted”
4. Each night, write at least 10 things that you are grateful for.
These can be big or little things; relational; physical; material etc. Whatever it is that you are grateful to have in your life. The things that if you were to lose, you would miss.
Continue steps 3 and 4 daily until your journal is full. Then begin the process again at step one and re-evaluate your values and current goals.
This will help in building resilience and a mentally buoyant life. May you bloom!
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Image: Takahiro Taguchi (Unsplash)