Mental Well-Being Session 1
Shakespeare said about the inner mind, “It’s a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” That’s your racket. That’s mental well-being
Prep email: Get a paper/pen. Bring a tennis racket/badminton racket.
Moderator: This is an important section—there is no happiness without mental health.
Our objective is this: learn to catch negative, wrong, disruptive and self-harming thoughts immediately as they arise. Cut them off and replace them. This will give you a clear mind which in turn, helps you focus. That is mental well-being.
Remember this: A running mind is a tired mind (Exhausted). Dwelling mind is a foggy mind (Scared). Worried mind is an unclear mind (Confusion). A clear mind is a bliss and a focused mind is powerful.
Our definition of mental well-being is many thoughts that go through your mind that hinder your ability to get into a daily flow and live a steady life. Thoughts of inadequacy, unfairness, racism, superiority, regret, the future, and more. If you can catch these damaging thoughts you can have a clear mind and FOCUS on your work/tasks.
Two things to discuss:
- Negative spirals
- The Fog (Friday)
- Misthinkings and Jedi Mind Tricks
Internal Rackets/Stories: Internal rackets/stories we tell ourselves that may not be true or valid. It may be something ingrained in childhood; something you rebel against your parents about. Here’s a list:
A. A persistent inner complaint. Always right/wrong; tendency to dominate/submit; superior/inferior; justify yourself; always winning/losing and competing. I need more money to be happy; trust/distrust; looking good/looking bad (impressing others); blame/always to blame; not good enough.
B. Scratch — someone triggers that racket.
Shakespeare said, “It’s a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” That’s your racket.
Exercise 1: What are rackets/story you may tell yourself? What prompts it to occur? Want you to write something down that disproves your racket.
Negative Spirals: The worst part of mental well-being is a Racket gone out of control into negative spirals, something that causes you to consistently think negatively and take you into a slump. This will take you into dark holes, depression/anxiety, bi-polar; it will cut off your brain so much that it’s the only way you can think. We call this small mind. We need a big mind, open mind, clear mind. One with any possibilities.
This is why we check-in. You check-in against your mental thoughts!
Did you notice how you feel and what you are doing that changes your mental thought pattern? You want to know when you are losing a positive mental mindset.
Be Aware: Digital media controls your mind
So let’s find one thing. Identify the recurring issue in a category like regrets, blame, expectations, a story. Let us know what it is and we will tell you something specifically you can do.
Rackets are usually triggered, recurring thoughts but not out of control.
#1 Identify Common Misthinkings: In this exercise, you will learn to be aware of common misthinkings and then use Jedi Mind tricks to correct them. Speak to yourself like a Jedi, kind of a coach/friend/guru. Pick one of these and think about how to reverse the thought.
- Discounting positives and focusing on negatives
Mind Trick #1: Past and Present (Fortune telling, regrets)
The past is history
Future is a mystery
Present is ecstasy
Mind Trick #2: The negative response exercise. Learning ownership
Often stem from anxieties/expectations to regrets (regret being the most common). Mental well-being requires us to rationalize our thoughts.
The “Should Have” Exercise: Memory, Judgement, Forecast, Desire. “Regret has the capacity to loom over us for months, years, or decades. We all make mistakes in life, and it’s important to learn from these mistakes so that we may not repeat them, but sustained regret is a different beast altogether. It really is a cognitive disease of sorts, working its way deep into our hearts and souls and carving out a home for itself.” –Ryan Paugh.
The exercise we’re going to do now is a way to counteract that. Regret is based on recalling something (memory), judging it (judgement), theorizing how life would be better if the past were changed (forecast), and wishing for things to be different (desire.) But is this really valid? Let’s turn it on its head. Think of something you regret, such as “I wish I had taken that job or I wish i would have stayed with that person.” Now instead of forecasting how successful you would be or how much money you would be making, focus on all the ways you might not be as happy. “I wouldn’t have as much time with my family. I would feel like I’d sold my soul to a corporation. Etc.” Find as much evidence as you can to support the opposite of your regret. Let’s take a few minutes to journal around this.
Mind Trick #3: Make it Positive: Spiritual/Love
- Is this helping you or the situation?
- Talk to yourself as you’d talk to a friend.
- Add humor.
- Add love. Throw it to God: Spiritual
- Everything is just the way it’s supposed to be! Spiritual
- Suffering does not result from reality but from the judgments, we make about reality.
- Insert positive thought for negative. “I’m bad at. No, I’m good at this.”
- Meditate (breath meditation, walking meditation, body scan, loving-kindness)
Exercise: 5-minute Concentration Meditation. What’s worse about this stuff is we hold onto them. Let Go, let go!
- Focus on nose
- Dissipate: Let go
- Infuse a positive thought
- Re-focus on the nose
I know. I know everyone tells you to meditate. Write this down – ex: “after brushing my teeth in the morning, I will do a 5-minute meditation. The Buddhist monks say meditation is like flossing your mind. So make a commitment right now to add this somewhere in your schedule.