Success coach Anand Chulani shares five tips to keep yourself positive during these uncertain times
A guide to simple, daily practices for mental wellness that can make a world of difference to your happiness levels
Immunity boosting is the new buzzword today. But in the marathon that is this pandemic - 'mental health' is one of the crucial keys to reaching that finish line. Just like we realize the importance of staying physically fit, it’s important to make sure we’re mentally and emotionally fit and strong, We all go to the gym to exercise our bodies, but we also need to go to a mental, emotional gym to exercise our minds. We need to build certain mental muscles that already exist within us. Success coach and mental wellness expert, Anand Chulani who is based out of Mumbai, shares five ways you can access those muscles and take them to the treadmill every day. Here we go!
Faith is a muscle you have. It’s a state of incredible, unshakeable certainty within yourself and one of the most important tools to access when everything around you is so uncertain. During these difficult times, we can’t go to external resources to give us faith, the world is so volatile at the moment. So have faith in yourself. Find something you believe in and truly believe that something is possible. Believe in a vision, in your family, in your body, your dreams, your ability to handle a vaccine. Beliefs drive your faith, so use this time to be more faithful and choose things you believe in that will empower you. Have faith in your resilience and the love you have for people and they have for you. I train this muscle every day by focusing on my vision, on people I want to help. I have faith in my body; I talk to and believe in it. So can you.
Strengthen your courage
The one thing COVID-19 has given us is courage. It’s taught us that the focus is not on what we achieve but about who we become. Everyone is capable of courage, not one person is more courageous than the other. Some people just use that muscle better. Courage is not the absence of fear; it’s accepting that there is fear but knowing that it can be handled. It comes from the Latin term ‘cor’, which means heart. Courage is our heart’s response unlike fear, which comes from the mind. We all have the ability to be courageous like we have been all our lives, all the times we’ve dealt with uncertainty, whether you’re a parent or you’re starting a new business. You’ve faced fears before, like when you learned to walk, or to ride a bike, or when you went to school or spoke in public for the first time. Remember the times you’ve had courage and capture all those moments in your life. Use it as a reference point - you don’t need to be motivated by external things at a time like this, refer back to what’s already within you. To activate this muscle every day, take an action that uses courage. Whether it’s telling someone you love them, whether it’s choosing to get the vaccine, choosing to be there for your children, or choosing to wake up every day and saying you’ll be okay. No one is measuring how big or small the action is, it’s not a competition. It’s an exercise to strengthen the best part of you, the truest part of you.
Before the pandemic, we took everything for granted. We took life and people for granted. But the virus has made us see the gifts we’ve got and the blessing in everyday things, like going out for a meal or getting a hug from a friend. Use this gratitude, think about it every day, practice it. Write down three things you’re grateful for, and don’t just think about them, really feel grateful for them. Explore why you’re grateful for them. It’s easy to say you’re grateful for your health but that’s not gratitude, it’s just what you’re thankful for. Come up with all the reasons why you’re grateful for your health. ‘Why’ is where the power lies. Instead of listing several things, just list three main things and really go into why you’re grateful for them. The more you go into them, the more you’ll feel gratitude. Why are you grateful for your children, what makes you so lucky, what about them makes you grateful. What is it about your job that you’re lucky to have? Or the education? What is it about the breath you take? Or the sun you feel on your face? Write them down, keep a gratitude journal. When you find that, you’ll see that COVID may be challenging but that it’s a gift. The happiest people in life aren’t the ones who have everything, but the ones who live a difficult life. They see the positive in everything; it’s called balanced thinking. Gratitude makes you see the upsides without letting you see too much of the downsides. It’s a balance and the balanced mind is super-powerful.
It’s so easy to disconnect from people during these times when you can hardly see them. It’s easy to withdraw, to go into self-isolation and to cut off both physically and emotionally. But make sure you use this time to stay connected; whether that’s via video, phone calls, texts, seeing them, or even just thinking of them and remembering them. Whatever creates that connection for you. If you can’t speak to them, think about them, feel them, connect back to memories with them. A Harvard study showed that the key to happiness is in connection and good relationships. But also remember, the person you need to connect to the most, every day, is not your family member or friend, but yourself. Take the time to connect with yourself, comfort yourself, and be compassionate with yourself. Take time to breathe, to talk to yourself, to make yourself laugh, and to feel alive. Treat yourself like you would a friend and inspire yourself every day.
Everything is a learning process and so is the pandemic. Use this time to grow. If you’ve lost your job then learn something else, maybe a new skill, maybe about people. Learn something to make yourself more valuable and to give back to the world, it needs our contribution and help. The more we grow, the more value we can add to helping others. It’s not just growing intellectually; it’s growing your confidence in your ability to handle situations, in your resourcefulness, your heart, your mind, and your spiritual connection. Remember that everything is happening FOR you, not TO you.