Re-plant Your Mindset this Spring
by Annia Baron
Ah Spring – the season of new beginnings. Flowers blooming, lighter days, and a general sense that the earth is coming alive again. A time when we feel energised and motivated to clear out the cobwebs and commence new projects. But often, we overlook the most important spring clean – our mindset.
Whether it’s increasing exercise, eating better, reducing alcohol, less rumination, managing stress or enhancing emotional regulation, we all have something we’ve been working on for a while. Too often though, we end up in a situation where we convince ourselves that this time, we’ll make it happen. That this time, it will stick.
The truth is. It won’t. You’ll do the same thing you’ve always done. You’ll feel spirited about the idea of becoming someone you really want to be but after a few weeks or a few days you’ll be pulled right back. You’ll wake up in the same bed, in the same house, put on the same clothes, buy the same snacks, take the same route to work, watch the same stuff, and hang out with the same people. Then, when your expectations aren’t met, you’ll rely on the same mechanisms that alleviate your dissatisfaction and feel bad about yourself for screwing up again.
Most of the time, we approach change with a superficial view. We’re tempted to think that if we pull out a few weeds, add some pretty flowers here and there, and water the plants every now and then, our mind garden will flourish. But for true transformation, we need to dig deep. Compost, worms, manure – the whole shebang. You don’t need me to tell you it takes perseverance and consistency to change, but you may need me to remind you that your new life will cost you your old. And this is where things get thorny.
You see, at the core of it all, we are creatures of habit who love our cozy zones of comfort. We search for the familiar because seemingly, it’s safe. And the not-so-helpful coping methods we accumulate across our lifespan, while they can hold us back from being the person we want to be, have been with us for a long time. They’ve been a part of us. They’ve seen it all and like a faithful friend, they’ve kept us company when we’ve been at our worst. In many ways, they have likely been helpful too.
That inner critic mode, with its self-deprecating comments, has also ‘toughened’ us up and enabled us to grow thicker skin. The angry mode, with its swift defense mechanism may have armored us from vulnerability and protected us from further risk of being hurt. Letting go of these aspects of our personality, when they’ve played such a big role, can feel like we’re being requested to attend our own funeral. No wonder we find it hard to change. On a deeper level, we fear that if we say goodbye to what we know, the unknown may swallow us whole.
You are not alone. This is normal but it’s also something you can change.
When you notice unhelpful modes popping up, instead of letting them take over, do something radical and chat with them like you would a friend. In fact, imagine them as another person sitting in front of you and in a calm voice, try saying something like this:
“Okay Inner Critic, look, you and I have been through a lot over the years. I won’t deny that you’ve played an important role, but things are changing. I’m ready to trust in myself and although you’re welcome to stop by anytime (which let’s face it, we both know you will), please understand, I’ll simply acknowledge you but we’re not going to be hanging out anymore. It’s time for me to direct my attention to more meaningful pursuits; I’m planting new seeds, baby! This is what I deserve. Have a nice day.”
You may need to repeat this 10 times or a thousand, but your mind garden is yours to nurture throughout all seasons. When things don’t sprout the way you’d like them to, kindly remind yourself that you’re doing your best, and that even though old modes are likely to pop up, you’ll aim to see them as an opportunity for inner growth.
So, go outside, get spring cleaning, and continue cultivating a mindset that elevates you to live out your best life.
If you feel your mindset would benefit from a spring clean, contact Annia – Clinical Psychologist & Mindset Coach on Insta @anniabaron, on 0402 448 278 or visit www.remindyourself.com
Tomatoes for brain health
With spring in the air, tomato season is here. Did you know tomatoes contain brain-protecting, powerful nutrients and antioxidants called carotenoids? Tomatoes are also the richest source of lycopene, which regulates genes that influence inflammation and brain growth. And men, just an FYI, lycopene is also known to improve prostate health too.