How to develop a healthy mindset

By John Brant | 21st November 2016
A group of yoga retreat guests sit in a circle for a life makeover workshop at la crisalida retreats

At La Crisalida we believe that a person is “healthy” if they are balanced and inspired. Wikipedia defines health in terms of “the ability of individuals or communities to adapt and self-manage when facing physical, mental or social changes”. Being healthy therefore also implies self-reliance, flexibility and adaptability. This short article considers what it means to have a “healthy” mind and look at some of the practices that enhance health in this context. Of course, as we are fully integrated beings the bonus of a “healthy” mind is a “healthy” body and spirit too.

Understanding Health and Balance

It is important to understand that balanced health is not a one-sided thing. For example, we don’t have to be happy all the time to have a healthy mind. In fact, our definition of health means that there is a problem with a search for constant happiness. Although happiness is something which sounds great to pursue, the search will be less than fruitful in the long run. This is because the more happiness that is pursued, intended or demanded, the more potential has been created for unhappiness. One-sided expectations are then set up and resistance to unhappiness arises. This is a fundamental problem as unhappiness is something that will inevitably happen from time to time as part of living a balanced life.

Many parents can be observed “overprotecting” their children. This can also be considered as the effect of one-sidedness and can lead to unhealthy expectations from the children. For example, children in this situation may develop an expectation that all people should be “nice”. Of course, in the real world there is a balance of people perceived to be acting “nice” and people acting “nasty”. A healthy mind will understand this and not set unrealistic expectations on or generalisations about others.

Perfectionists can suffer from the same problem when things or people are never good enough. Perfectionism is a one-sided thing, with little or no space for the benefits of learning by mistakes and the associated growth and therefore the attitude of perfectionism can lead to emotions such as irritation and frustration. Even though there are some key benefits to having high expectations in life, our health and sense of balance can suffer. When perfectionism is dropped and the opposite is seen as valuable too a natural healthy balance arises.

You may have already spotted what is responsible for any of our health issues in the mind – it is the unrealistic expectations we cling to. If we can manage our mind’s expectations in life, we can manage our health and balance.

What gets you truly inspired?

If we are inspired by what lies ahead, and recognize the value of both sides of any situation then we can be reassured that we are on a healthy path.

Many of us are on a mission to pursue comfort, safety and security – however, this is not very healthy or balanced for the mind and usually not very inspiring. We cannot be just comfortable, safe and secure as the more we seek a one-sided life, the more danger and insecurity will be on our mind.

You know when you are inspired about something when you want to get it done, no matter what challenges it may bring. Inspiration comes from having a sense of purpose and gives meaning to our lives. Inspiration comes from within and is not one-sided. It doesn’t just want things to just be easy or comfortable.

At La Crisalida our life-makeover retreats are designed to help you get back in tune with yourself. We have designed workshops to help our guests to tune into what inspires them. When this is combined with some of the other suggested activities below, health and balance naturally emerge in the body and mind.

Practices for a “Healthy” Mind

There are some key practices we promote at La Crisalida Retreats for a healthy and balanced mind, in addition to our workshops:

  • Meditation:

We suggest putting aside time for daily meditation sessions. Meditation has been shown to help calm the mind and help overcome emotional extremes. Try something as simple as breath awareness for 20-30 minutes every day and you will be amazed how you spend so much more time feeling balanced and in the flow of life.

  • Yoga:

Yoga helps to calm ourselves down and reduce stress through physical asanas. Yoga helps us to connect with our bodies and our emotions so that we become more aware of when negative emotions start to accumulate. Yoga and the associated breathwork also helps us to balance and neutralize mood swings.

  • Reflection and Relaxation:

When we are stressed and agitated it is easy to fly off the handle and feel uninspired. We therefore recommend taking some time out to just relax and be with yourself. Take time to walk and spend time in nature, as this has a natural way of grounding and balancing us.

  • Eating and Drinking Healthily:

If we put stress on our body through heavy or toxic food/drink this manifests through the mind too. Next time you have a heavy meal or bottle of wine, notice how your body feels over the next 24 hours. You might be surprised at how much your body feels agitated and be able to see how this is reflected in your thoughts and mood. We suggest giving your body good balanced nutrition and plant based food to help your body rest and relax too. Cutting down on processed foods can help – read this months article on sugar.

If you would like to practice developing a healthy mindset, La Crisalida Retreats is open all year around and our program is suitable for anyone looking to enjoy their yoga, develop and understand meditation and get back in tune with the authentic you.

To your health and wellbeing

John
La Crisalida Retreats

Headshot of John Brant - Retreat Founder at La Crisalida Retreats
John Brant

John is one of the founders of La Crisalida Retreats. He leads our life makeover programme as well as overseeing the retreats.

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