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Mood & Mind

What is a positive mindset and why is it good for our health?

mindset MAIN

Dr Maurice Duffy, a renowned mindset strength expert and elite coach has been at the forefront of mindset for over three decades. He shares what having a positive mindset is and how it can benefit your health 

When Arsene Wenger arrived at Arsenal FC from Japan in 1996, he walked into a very different culture. He was then taking over a soccer team with a notorious drinking culture and bad eating habits.

After what he’d seen in Japan, he set about revolutionizing the team’s approach to diet, nutrition and fitness. But he can’t have known he’d change the sport in the process and my thinking.

As a committed runner, older and slower runner these days it took me many years to understand the importance of the Arsene magic on mindset about health and wellness.

When I met Yogi Berra the famous Yankees baseball legend and heard him say ‘The game is 90% mental and the other 50% is physical’, he did not know the impact he would have on my thinking about mindset.

your mind is the first place we must look too as you embark on a healthier, happier life

Arsene magic taught me you are what you feed, and Yogi magic taught me you are what you think. I learnt that if you’re serious about getting healthy and taking care of your wellness, there’s a huge and vital step that must be addressed and that is your mindset.

Everything we do, all the big and small decisions we make every day, begin with our brains. That’s why your mind is the first place we must look too as you embark on a healthier, happier life.

There are many things we don’t control in this life. That’s a sometimes-painful fact we all have to accept. But, as Yogi Berra pointed out to me, it’s the things we DO have control over that determine our success or failure, and I learnt if you do not consciously adopt a mindset one is subconsciously adopted for you.

READ MORE: ‘Don’t tell me to cheer up’ – 10 positive mindset steps for your Mental Health

positive mindset mental health woman sat on beach

What is mindset and why does it matter?

In a nutshell, your mindset is a set of beliefs you hold about the world and about yourself. A person’s mindset can be positive, negative, or a mixture of the two.

Your mindset is a very powerful thing, and has an impact on how you feel, the way you think, and the way you behave. A positive mindset is likely to lead to healthier behaviours, stronger self-esteem, and even a longer lifespan. A negative mindset, on the other hand, comes with a greater risk of mental health struggles such as depression and anxiety.

Mindset affects health in a variety of ways and one is the link between stress and disease. Chronic stress has been linked to a wide range of health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, and depression.

When we are in a state of stress, our bodies release stress hormones such as cortisol, which can have negative effects on the body if they are present in high levels for prolonged periods of time.

Mindset affects health in a variety of ways and one is the link between stress and disease

A positive mindset can help to reduce stress levels and prevent the negative health effects associated with chronic stress.

The power of the mind-body connection is also evident in the field of psychoneuroimmunology, which studies the relationship between psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems.

Research in this field has shown that our thoughts and emotions can directly affect the functioning of our immune system, which in turn can impact our physical health. For example, individuals who have a positive outlook on life tend to have stronger immune systems and are less susceptible to illness.

Moreover, a positive mindset can also have a positive effect on the aging process. Studies have shown that individuals who have a positive attitude towards aging tend to have better physical and mental health as they get older. They are also more likely to engage in healthy behaviours such as regular exercise, healthy eating, and seeking medical care when needed.

READ MORE: Menopause symptoms at work: Government rejects calls for ‘menopause leave’ – a note from the Editor

positive mindset negative mindset

Of course, mindset isn’t magic by itself. It must be accompanied by action if you want to make lasting change. Health and Wellness is not a destination, but a process. It’s about how you drive, not where you’re going

Now you know why your mindset is so important, how can you go about cultivating a positive one that will help transform your health and wellness?

8 top tips to help you on your way to feeling great, starting with your brain…

#1 You are what you think – You don’t have to control your thoughts, you just have to stop letting them control you.

#2 Deep Breathing – Deep breathing is our nervous system’s love language.

#3 Know your WHY – Knowing that you want to get healthier matters but knowing why is even more important.

#4 Embrace imperfection – It’s your imperfections that make you beautiful.

#5 Be positive – Happiness is found from within when you learn to appreciate your blessings, live in the present, and love.

#6 Practice meditation daily – Brilliant things happen in calm minds. Be calm. You are brilliant.

#7 Take the scenic route -Try to understand health as a lifelong journey and not a single destination. Looking after your health should be a joy, not a punishment.

#8 Connect with other people – Building a positive mindset and a healthier, happier life doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s vital to connect with other people who can support and uplift you in your journey.

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