30 tips for more mental strength and happiness

30 tips for more mental strength and happiness

via Inc.com 

What have you tried for 30 days that changed everything? originally appeared onQuorathe knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Mike Leary, Psychotherapist in private practice, on Quora:

Mental happiness in ninety days with 30 habits everyone should practice

This is what you are fighting to create change in your lifethe Newtonian three laws of motion. The whole universe wants to keep you traveling in the way you have been.

First law: Inertia

Something will continue to stay the same unless it’s pushed, and when it is, it will keep going that way unless something else changes it again. Therefore an object at rest will remain sitting there until influenced by a destabilizing force. Then it will keep going in that new direction, traveling at the same speed in that particular direction unless it is acted upon by a new and unbalancing force. So if you are set in your ways, you’ll keep doing the same thing unless something influences you enough to the point here you can’t keep the same mindset.

Second Law: Impact

When something is pushed, it depends on how powerful that push is and then it will go in the direction it was pushed. Where it goes is related to which direction and how hard it was hit. So when someone tells you something powerful, the tendency is to go in that direction.

Third law: Reaction

For every action that’s made, there is an equal action that pushes in the opposite direction and with the same amount of force. So when someone pushes you, you want to push back. When someone pulls you, you want to pull back. We naturally fight destabilizing forces, even if they are good for us.

It takes time to turn your life in a new direction. I used to have a toy gyroscope in my office. I’d spin it, hand it to a patient, and then have them try to change the direction. They could feel the resistance. The whole universe is fighting that change. That momentum is going in one direction. But if you stay with it, it resets in the new position and then will resist any further new changes. You have to impact it with enough energy that the momentum overcomes the resistance. It’s the same with you. If you do a new behavior, you’ll pick up some inertia and it will eventually normalize into a habit, which then takes minimal energy.

30 days of consistent behavior is known to have an impact. Now the truth is, I’m more in favor of ninety days rather than thirty. It generally takes six weeks to effectively learn a new habit. I’ve had much more long-term success with the extra two weeks. All of these changes imply some sort of risk, especially if you aren’t already doing them. They will threaten your status quo inside and out. The laws of motion will be experienced as you experiment. Here is a list of ones I have, and/or I’ve had patients do over the years, in no particular order:

1. I Choose.

To bring home how every motion you do is your choice, start saying it. “I choose to get up”, “I choose to go to the door”, “I choose to open it”, “I choose to walk out”, “I choose to close it”. Etc. As stupid as that sounds, it brings it home how much we truly are deciding everything we do.

Benefit: No one makes you do anything. They especially cannot make you miserable nor happy but they sure can influence you. You choose what you do, what you emote and what you believe. You can choose to be happy where your at instead of waiting for it to someday, maybe show up.

2. Stop being negative/start being positive.

You are what you think. This is a projective test. Is the glass half full or empty? Your choice. Look for the positive payoff in every situation. Somebody is getting a positive payoff in every event. You can choose to get one too. Task yourself with it. Many people use the simple rubber band on wrist to snap as a reminder- “I can change my mind!” Then you start seeing gratitude rather than defeat.

Benefit: It’s a huge thing to realize you control your own attitude and it isn’t really linked to other people’s beliefs. Positive thinking gives you more energy and clear-headedness to do things.

3. Project happy.

People read you. Your face tells them your energy level and your relationship with life. Just smiling helps your attitude show through. Say hello to everyone. Ask how other people lives are going. Meet people, especially strangers. Show them you are curious about their journey so far and how it impacts on them. What has made a difference in their life? What have they discovered through their suffering and decisions? People like to be around others who are interested in them. It makes people feel you like them and they belong.

Benefit: Other people react positively to you and give you back positive too. They are more likely willing to help you. When you listen intently to their story, people feel safe. They’ll risk taking you down to the protected emotions of level three deep inside themselves. That creates intimacy and a bond of trust. It’s empowering.

4. Eat right / bless the food.

All diets work for somebody. Just pick one and follow it. Quit eating “junk” food. It’s formulated to trigger cravings. They aren’t in it to provide health; it’s a business designed to use people for profit. Don’t eat until full, you don’t need it. You only need enough energy to get to the next service station, which is typically four to six hours away. Carrying security-fuel around in case you might run out is a distortion – a false belief. It’s hard on every system in your body but especially suspension and plumbing.

In addition, if you become aware that a plant or animal gave its life so you could experience yours tomorrow, be grateful. Say a prayer/meditation/slogan of gratefulness every meal. Everything you eat becomes you.

Benefit: Without health, there is nothing. Eating properly allows your body to tune itself naturally. All those years of evolution work with the tools you give them. It boosts energy, allows a better attitude, gives more motivation, combats disease, and basically you get to live longer. By blessing your ingestion of other life forms, you will feel much more aware of your own body and appreciate the circle of life.

5. Exercise.

This is your physical health. These bodies are on loan; they all get factory recalls. Everything in life either grows or deteriorates. You take care of it and it can last a hundred years. That means you need to move the energy through it regularly to keep it tuned up. Stagnating energy becomes putrid. Do some load-bearing exercise. Learning to move energy through your system aerobically supercharges and fine tunes all the body’s systems. My friend, a federal judge who was sharp as a tack, worked on the bench when he was over a hundred and still took the stairs.

Benefit: Long and active life with the health to do things. You will feel better and think more clearly. For many people it’s a moving meditation so they can integrate mentally while their body is in a routine dynamic. You get to feel alive by touching it…

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