Mind Thuggery is an exploration of quintessential techniques to keep your mental health in check. I’ve broken it down into 2 articles, because it’s a lot to digest.
Commit to not giving a shit
Don’t take this the wrong way; you don’t need to abandon your humanistic side or quit empathy, but take a step back from other people’s stuff. In the end influence hinges on the care and emotion you apply to words of support or advice but can also have a negative effect when you become too involved. Being a friend, confidante or lover comes with a certain amount of investment and effort but there will always come a point where you have to let them walk in their own shoes and pull yourself back into your own life. At least for a little while, focus on yourself rather than the foibles of other people and you’ll be in control of your disappointment.
Have passion(s) that are yours alone
It’s important to do some things alone, because they make you feel good, alone. This gives you the chance to nurture your soul from the inside. Doing things alone where your thoughts can bounce around your head also encourages those moments of personal creativity and positivity. You don’t have to be good at it. Swimming, baking, dancing, fishing; anything that makes you feel great on the inside – do that.
Choose your poison
I’m guilty of drinking my emotions on a pretty regular basis. Amongst other things it’s a crutch, a temporary distraction or a derision feelings. But it’s a useless strategy for achieving or fixing anything. It simply displaces reality for a few hours and then shrounds you in a cloak of negative fog until you feel better and inevitably repeat the process. Check in with yoursef and ensure that you’re not drinking for the wrong reasons. A celebratory champagne or a creative gin & soda are fine, but drowning your sorrows has a peculiur way of carrying over into the rest of your life. Redirect your attention to something other than your vices when you’re particularly struggling. And don’t partake in getting boozy because you’re bored.
Know that everyone is on a different journey
The success equivalent of the toothpick thighs comparison (see Mind Thuggery – Part 1) is just as harmful, yet generally more accepted as a valid personal torture method. We all look at others and (depending on our goals) automatically want what they have; their career, property portfolio, passport stamps, tan, awards, creativity or skill. Finding inspiration in a third party can be a positive influence but recognising it as just that is imperative to its usefulness. The basic reason behind this is that everything in life is a trade off. When you understand this you’ll stop being so recklessly hard on yourself, because you’ll realise that you cannot have everything, at once, in a state of perfection. A simple example is someone that is starting up a business (that in 2 years becomes successful) will probably not have much time, or opportunity, or disposable income to travel extensively and have the idyllic type of adventures that someone else with a stable career and living environment may. They’re both busy working on their personal idea of happiness and success, though it may be different for each of them. This emphasizes the importance of ascertaining exactly what your goals are and how they shape your happiness.
Monitor your emotions
The crux of Mind Thuggery is to stay in control of your emotions, by keeping your thoughts in check. It takes a supreme level of discipline to manage your emotions, with all their fluidity heightening your levels of volatility and general maliciousness. If you can grasp the concept of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy then thats a great place to start, otherwise my more detailed tips are here.
Keep that head out of the streets and say no to mind thuggery.