It is a simple fact that people change and grow over time. Have you ever been aware of your personal change, and jettisoned beliefs about yourself?
These changes can be something simple and straightforward. For example, later in life you might grow to like a food that you couldn’t stand before. Your belief about yourself (i.e. “I don’t like tomatoes”) might need to be amended, or even dropped.
But sometimes, the belief in question might be quite abstract, or even key to your concept of self. As you age, cornerstone beliefs, like political party, religious affiliation, or career aspirations might need to be tweaked. Some might even require a complete overhaul.
Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What beliefs do you have that might be wrong?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What makes a place feel like home?’
An extreme example of this would be a belief that you felt was central to who you are, one that you swore repeatedly would never change. And yet, over time, as your experiences increase, you attitude might shift subtly at first, and eventually become completely different. Has this ever happened to you?
Introspection can be a valuable tool in your mental health tool kit. Knowing what you believe in, and periodically reviewing those beliefs, can lead to your being honest with yourself. It might also lead to a mo0re fulfilled life.
Do you have any beliefs about yourself that have changed over time?
We tend to think about our mind as something apart from our body. In truth, the two are linked. Can you think of examples?
It seems natural to separate the mind and the body. If you fall, say, and break your leg, your mind is not overly impacted. You still have your full range of cognitive abilities.
Similarly, as we age, our body and our mind often do so at different rates. A ninety year old who can barely walk might be mentally sharp, while an otherwise healthy older person may be unable to remember the names of people he or she has known for years.
However, this division is arbitrary at best, and actively harmful at worst. The brain is a part of the body. They use the same blood supply. They are impacted by the same hormones. There is every reason to believe that what happens in one has an impact in the other.
This is obvious in certain ways. When the blood sugar drops, for example, it can make it difficult to think cohesive thoughts. Many people know to carry around a candy bar or other source of sugar to ingest in an emergency.
And yet, we may not recognize how the two are linked. Studies have shown that the physical act of making your mouth smile, even if you don’t feel like doing so, can brighten your mood. Changes in diet can be reflected in changes in attitude.
Are there other examples of ways in which you have noticed that your mind and your body are actually two sides of the same coin? How are the two intertwined?
Maintaining hope is an important skill for anyone. When bad things happen — and they are bound to eventually — hope keeps us going. When times are particularly difficult, how can you avoid becoming despondent? How do you maintain hope?
A positive attitude allows for a better life. It can give you confidence, and in turn that confidence allows yo top make changes that will hopefully be for the better. Improvement in your life circumstances is dependent on efforts to improve. And those efforts, in turn, depend on trusting that things can, in fact, get better.
Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘What are you optimistic about?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What makes a tradition?’
In that regard, hope is one of the most important feelings. It is through hopefulness that all else becomes possible.
However, there are times when it is very difficult to stay hopeful. In the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, for example. Or after a long series of setbacks. If you don’t see much growth or improvement, it is easy to become cynical.
So what can you do to combat this? What behaviors or techniques can you employ to keep hope alive in seemingly hopeless times?
In life, there are times when you experience a loss. How can you take the sting of that loss and channel it into a win?
No matter how successful you happen to be, there will inevitably be times where you experience a setback. Or maybe your life has more than the usual number of setbacks.
How you respond to these obstacles can be crucial. In fact, it can be the difference between long-term growth and stagnation. Being able to channel your pain, anger, misery and unhappiness into productive action is important. Even if it doesn’t bring about eventual success — and it might — it can help with your outlook.
Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘How do you define success?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘Is happiness the most important purpose in life?’
Not that it is easy. A loss can be devastating, and it can leave you feeling powerless, even when you aren’t. It can sap your energy and your motivation.
So what can you do in that instance? Are there any tips that have helped you in the past? Are there strategies that you can think of that might help you recharge, in order to fight another day? And not just to fight, but to come out on top in the future?