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When we think about our life and all the moments that occur within it, we are exercising our mindset. In short, mindset is the way we look at or think of things. The lens we view the world through if you will. Mindset is often influenced by the experiences in our life or the values we hold. The way we react to events and people is influenced by our mindset. The way we look at the world, mindset, is fluid and can shift from moment to moment. Mindset, in any given moment, has a direct impact on the degree of happiness or joy we are experiencing in life.

With our mindset so closely related to our happiness, can you imagine how incredibly important it is to understand and consciously manage your mindset? Sometimes our mindset can veer off towards the negative. Can you imagine how powerful it would be if you could consciously reign your mindset back in and shift to a more positive perspective? Despite what some may believe, our mindset is not set in stone. Each one of us has the ability to consciously control our thoughts and minds, increasing our happiness, and decreasing our stress levels by controlling our mindset. With regular self-care, or ‘mindset maintenance’, balancing the scales in our mind to err on the more positive side is more than achievable, it is doable. It can actually be enlightening!

Schedule You Time

Much of mindset maintenance begins and ends with self-awareness. Start or end each day with a few moments to sit quietly and practice self-awareness reflecting on the events of the day and your current mental state. Notice, without judgement, what went well for you that day and what could have gone better. Visualize those less than perfect moments going well! Commit to yourself how you will approach the situation differently next time.  If you are facing a mid-day slump or an afternoon dip in focus and productivity, practice self awareness during lunch or on a quick break.

There is no “right” way to do this. Perhaps you may find you can best evaluate your mental state by closing your eyes and thinking deeply or for others writing in a journal for a few minutes might be more effective. Whatever way works best for you, it’s important to try and evaluate why you feel a certain way as a means of increasing your self-awareness as you go thru your day and taking conscious control over reactions, switching your thoughts from automatic to manual. If you are facing a mid-day slump or an afternoon dip in focus and productivity, practice self awareness during lunch.

Be More Creative

Everyday another study seems to come out singing the praises of creativity. From enhancing the ability to think critically to reducing stress and anxiety, creativity has a multitude of positive effects on the mind. Left and right-brain thinkers can both benefit from participating in an activity that gets the creative juices flowing. Think broadly about creativity, what is it that inspires you and gets you in the zone? For some it may be a form of art, for others maybe it is rock climbing or surfing. Identify that thing that ignites your passion and make time to experience it as often as you can!

When engaging with our creative side, we are able to think in a less structured manner, allowing our minds to run on autopilot. For those who don’t consider themselves creative, allowing your subconscious mind to run free can seem rather debilitating. However, regular creativity instills confidence, increases innovation, and sharpens focus, and even increases overall productivity, proving that there isn’t really a downside to creating something new each day.

Be Grateful

Getting caught up in all the bad things that happen in life is completely normal. If something upsetting happens in the morning, it can taint the rest of your day, too. But, it doesn’t have to. Instead of fixating on all the annoying or frustrating things that happen on any given day, look towards all the happy moments that occurred but may have been overshadowed by a negative mindset.

Take the time to think about and be grateful for all the amazing things that happen in your life. Whether it’s spotting a cute dog running after a squirrel or a promotion that happened a few weeks ago, tuning into those moments of happiness is one of the most powerful tools in mindset maintenance.

Create a gratitude journal and each day write down 3-5 things you are grateful for. It may seem silly at first but do this for just one week and you will start to feel a shift in your mindset. Do this for a month and you have created a new thought pattern, the mind loves to follow patterns!

If you’re thinking of how often the phrase “take time” was used in this article, it’s for good reason. Mindset maintenance is work. It takes practice and patience and, yes, time to master. With that said, it’s important to remember that even the smallest chunk of time per day that is dedicated to making yourself happier is time extremely well spent.

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