Simple skills for maintaining
AMAZING MENTAL HEALTH!
“If ever you come across anything in the universe as complex as the human brain… run away!”
Matt Lieberman, Professor of Psychology UCLA
There’s a reason maintaining amazing mental health can be a challenge. Our minds are incredible and yet remain mysterious. So, while it may take a life time to master, there are a few simple skills to make life and work a little bit better more of the time and to help others do the same.
Your Journey of Amazing Mental Health.
As with any journey you need to know;
where you are, where you want to go and how to get there.
Where are you?
Chat over with a friend if that helps… find out where they are too!
The Glassfull Grid is designed to help in a number of ways. The simplest is for you to check-in, identify and label your current or most persistent thoughts and feelings. (Have a look at the smaller text in each of the boxes in the Grid).
• Visibility of current mental / emotional state
• A perspective on the range of thoughts and feelings you might be experiencing.
• A greater level of control, known as ‘name it to tame it’.
"I’ve been using the grid a bit actually, not physically writing it out but I keep it in mind and mentally draw it out sometimes. It helps to ground me and separate me from my anxious thoughts. Really helpful - would highly recommend!" ~ Liberty
Where do you want to go?
Stephen Covey’s 2nd habit suggests we begin with the end in mind. The details will be unique for you, but keeping it simple we can say good mental health is about;
• Paying more attention to positive thoughts and feelings than negative ones.
• Aiming to be Present, with a Positive Future Focus PPFF (a bit like Tigger’s TTFN if that helps you remember!).
How to get there
As you’ll discover when you do the ‘check-in’ there are a range of thoughts and feelings going on at any point in our lives, even around a single topic.
Being constantly absorbed in the negative tends to put us in a low state or mood and make it harder to handle the challenges in front of us.
There are three skills for paying more attention to positive thoughts and feelings;
Focus – Be aware of the range of thoughts and feelings and be mindful about which you are giving your attention and energy. This isn’t about pretending the negative don’t exist. They do! It’s remembering the positive also exists and are likely to be a good source of energy for handling the negative.
Response – The brain is very efficient and constantly creates quick fire routines and responses to things that happen in daily life. In an effort to protect us from danger these tend to be overly negative. We can seek to reprogram the ones that are well intentioned, but ultimately unhelpful.
Stimulus – Our thoughts are responses to stimulus either internal or external. We cannot always control these inputs (which is why the previous two skills are so important) but sometimes we can, and it can help reduce the effort required to stay positive. For example, giving yourself a break from the news
"I found it a really interesting tool...it provides a great basis for recognising thoughts and feelings I experience, and I then feel able to deal with them." ~ Lucy
We don’t have to be absorbed in our thoughts and feelings all the time. Neither do we have to follow or act on every thought that enters our mind. We can learn to choose. Mindfulness is a great skill for giving us a bit of timeout and strengthening our ability to choose our focus.