Having a healthy mind is just as important as having a healthy body. Build your resilience and mental wellbeing using these five simple life coaching tips.
There are many new ways of thinking and ways to change behaviours to improve mental wellbeing... it's just a matter of finding the best ones to suit you. Life coaching techniques and neuro-linguistic programming (or NLP therapy) increase your resilience and mental health, motivate you to live your life how you want and increase your confidence. These result in improved mental wellbeing and a higher level of happiness and satisfaction.
What is mental wellbeing?
The WHO share the following mental wellbeing definition: 'a state of wellbeing in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.'
Use these five tips to be your own life coach, to help you cultivate a healthy mind and improve your mental wellbeing:
1. Practice being present and mindful to improve mental wellbeing
Spending time in your head, dwelling on past experiences or guessing future moments, does not serve or help you. It is much more valuable and productive for you to use your powerful brainpower to focus on the present moment; on how you are existing right now and experiencing the now.
Use mindful techniques to bring yourself back to the present moment; notice what all your senses are experiencing right now; what do you see, what do you hear, what do you smell, what can you touch and taste?
The mind often defaults to the past as it hasn’t yet lived the future. By becoming aware of your thought patterns and self talk, you can steer the mind away from the past and future and into the present. Keep trying; all there is is now.
2. Spend your time and energy wisely
To improve life balance and mental wellbeing, I regularly ask clients to audit how they spend their time and energy. This involves considering how they spend a typical week or month and how many hours on different activities.
After an audit, they frequently admit to spending anything between three and ten hours every week doing activities or with people that either don’t fulfil them or bring their mood down, or could be delegated out.
They recognise that this time could be better spent with their family or friends or on personal development to get them closer to their goals or on self care.
Take control to improve your life balance
Do you have activities which you can either cut out, delegate or pay someone else to do? These may be home- or work-related. Are there people in your life that are negative or unhelpful? A friendship that may have had its time? Be true to your Self and think how you can kindly extract yourself to improve your mental wellbeing.
By freeing yourself up, you will create a better life balance with more happiness and peace of mind.
3. Prioritise your values
People around you will freely tell you what is important (to them), as does society and the media… but does this honestly match what is important to you?
Knowing what is truly important to you enables you to be authentic.
Understanding your own values is a powerful process to give you motivation and a renewed determination to successfully reach your goals.
Ask yourself these questions to reveal your values: What is important to you? How do you (like to) spend your money? Where are you most reliable? What topics do you love to study, read about or research? What do you talk about a lot with friends?
4. Invest in your physical wellbeing
One of the NLP Beliefs of Excellence is ‘the mind and body are systemic’. Look after your mind and your body will benefit. A healthy mind encourages a healthy body; and vice versa.
As a life coach, I help you look after your mind but as I tell all my clients, it is imperative that you take care your body with healthy eating, regular exercise, stretching and watching your alcohol consumption. Then the mind and body can continue to look after each other.
A regular walk, fitness class or a secret dance at home all contribute to your wellness. Body brushing is superb for boosting circulation and easy and free to do at home. Three circuits of ten squats, lunges and press ups takes less than ten minutes. Drinking warm water and lemon in the morning aids digestion.
If you need support to implement a physical wellbeing routine, visit Hollie Hill PT, an online personal trainer and wellness expert (and my little sister).
5. Take a weekly artist’s date to cultivate a healthy mind
The concept of the weekly artist date is a key element of Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way, a program and guide to reigniting your creativity and inner artist.
Creativity is positive fuel for a healthy mind and builds confidence and self esteem.
When we are inspired, we feel brighter and more optimistic about life and our future. It builds our resilience and mental wellbeing no end.
Cameron prescribes booking time out each week to take yourself on a date, alone, to fuel your inner artist. This may be to an exhibition or film screening, to the local stationers to buy colourful pens and drawing tools, to a poetry event or performance. It may be for a walk in a forest, a trip to the garden centre, a swim in a lake. Try this for a minimum of six weeks and see how different you feel.