When I was in college, I became obsessed with what I ate and how often I went to the gym. I would track everything that went into my mouth, and I felt guilty if I didn’t go to the gym every day.
Though my body was healthy, my mind was a toxic place because I put unrealistic expectations on myself. One of the reasons why I write and coach about mindset work now is because I know that I am only as healthy as my mind is.
The more I’ve dug into mindset work, the more I’ve noticed certain patterns that hold us back when we’re trying to make changes in our lives. When our thoughts are unhealthy, we tend to succumb to insecurity, uncertainty, overwhelm, and worry.
In this post, I’m sharing five key elements to work on in order to cultivate a healthy mindset. If you’re an overthinker, procrastinator, or perfectionist, this post is for you ??
What is a healthy mindset?
A healthy mindset involves finding ways to grow from your thoughts instead of letting them control your life. Rather than dwelling on a negative thought until it becomes overwhelming, the healthy mindset tries to a) move beyond that thought or b) simply accept it.
Instead of obsessing over a positive mindset (I wrote about why you don’t need to do that in this post), we should focus on cultivating a healthy mindset. I say that because you can have a healthy mindset even if you feel negative sometimes.
So what do you need for a healthy mindset?
After compiling as much information as I could from people who have shared their struggles with me (via email, DMs, comments, and coaching), I discovered a few patterns and tendencies when it comes to mindset setbacks.
Based on those patterns, I created a list of the top five things we can focus on to cultivate greater fulfillment, joy, and success.
These are not rules. I don’t want you to look at this list and think you’re inadequate in any way if you struggle with them. We all do. But if you can take 2-3 things from this list and make a conscious effort to work on them, you will begin to see incredible growth in your mindset.
The 5 C’s of a Healthy Mindset
The ability to calm your mind when you’re under pressure is crucial to a healthy mindset. When your thoughts are all over the place, it’s difficult to see things as they really are. Calmness comes when you bring awareness to what’s happening and what you’re thinking. By figuring out go-to strategies and practices that calm your mind, you can center yourself and recognize when you’re overthinking or worrying about insignificant details.
Having a clear idea of what’s important to you is key to dealing with indecision. So much of our brain space gets taken up when we’re unsure of who we are and what we want. When you get clear on your priorities, goals, and values, you can remove the overwhelm that comes from uncertainty.
One of the biggest contributors to an unhealthy mindset is a lack of compassion towards yourself. When you’re constantly comparing yourself to others, pressuring yourself to be perfect, and doubting your own abilities, you only sabotage your success. Compassion allows you to accept yourself, set healthy expectations, and trust yourself and the journey you’re on.
Concentration is about commitment and dedication to yourself. We live in the age of distractions, which makes it all too easy to lose track of what’s important to you and even who you are. When you focus on what other people are doing instead of your own path, you get stuck. Focusing on what matters and making sacrifices with your time allows you to follow through and actually make progress.
Courage helps us take action. When we procrastinate and avoid taking action, we keep ourselves stuck. Courage might sound like it’s about taking big, scary leaps into the unknown, but sometimes courage is as small as tackling a simple task you’ve been putting off. Courage allows us to take imperfect action, and that action helps us to build confidence, resiliency, and strength within ourselves.