It is the second week of National Wellness Month and this week I am focusing on how to cultivate a healthy mindset.
You already know that wellness extends way beyond your physical health and that another key element of wellness is a healthy mind. Not only is cultivating a healthy mindset an integral part of our overall wellness, I believe it is also the key to our happiness.
When your mindset is healthy, it’s much easier to combat negative thought patterns and foster a more positive outlook on life. Although it’s impossible to be positive all of the time, when you have a healthy mindset, you’re less likely to succumb to feelings of overwhelm, anxiety, and negativity and hence, feel greater happiness in your life.
Luckily, there are a multitude of tools you can use to help promote a healthy mindset. In this post, I will discuss 10 tools that work for me and how you can build your own healthy mindset toolkit.
What is a healthy mindset toolkit?
A healthy mindset toolkit simply refers to the combination of resources, habits, and practices that keep you feeling supported, grounded, and balanced in life. They are your go-to tools that work to make you feel good.
Your toolkit can consist of a variety of things that you find restorative and helpful in maintaining a healthy mindset. Think of your toolkit as a collection of remedies you can pick and choose from depending on what you need in a particular situation.
You probably won’t need the support of all of these tools at once, but having them at your disposal will be instrumental in maintaining your healthy mindset.
10 Tools in my Healthy Mindset Kit
Below are 10 things that are currently in my healthy mindset toolkit. Maybe some of these are tools you want to add to your own kit or perhaps your kit will look completely different from mine!
If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, then you know I love my journaling routine. I wrote a whole post about the different types of journaling and I even created a FREE guide on how to start your own journaling routine. Be sure to check it out if you are new to the idea.
Writing is my tried and true tool for understanding myself. Through writing in my journal, I can self-reflect to figure out what it is I’m feeling and what I need to do to help myself feel better.
It’s important to have an outlet for your worries and journaling is mine. Oftentimes, I don’t even know what exactly is bothering me until I start writing and let the words flow onto the page.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you’ve gotta let the negativity out one way or another so why not find a tool that allows you to work through it in a healthy way, rather than allowing it to fester inside of you until it manifests in an unhealthy way?
2.) Reading personal development books
For the past couple of years, I’ve had quite a thirst for personal development books. I love learning about new topics that can expand my mind and benefit my personal growth.
I find that reading books in this genre keeps me feeling inspired and focused on my values, goals, and what matters most to me. It also helps to keep my outlook positive, which in turn works to maintain my healthy mindset.
If you’re interested, I have this list of all of my favorite books that I’ve found to be the most inspiring and meaningful.
3.) Listening to podcasts
I also LOVE podcasts. You are probably not surprised to learn that similar to personal development books, my favorite podcasts are also the ones that inspire me to continuously work on myself and help me cultivate a healthy mindset.
There are so many motivational, inspiring, and encouraging podcasts that can help foster a healthy mindset and personal growth. Listening to podcasts is one of the top tools in my healthy mindset toolkit, for sure.
Some of my favorites as of late are listed below:
Physical movement of some sort always makes me feel better and it especially helps my mental outlook.
This is because when you exercise, the body releases chemicals that boost your sense of well-being and suppress hormones that cause stress and anxiety.
In nice weather, one of my favorite things to do is to go for a walk. Oftentimes, when I get out into the fresh air and start moving, I can literally feel the stress and anxiety drain out of my body.
It’s a really effective way to help maintain a healthy mindset with the added benefits to your physical health too, of course.
5.) Spending time alone
When I was younger, I used to feel uneasy being alone with my own thoughts and therefore time by myself was something I tried to avoid.
These days, I can’t get enough of my alone time. Of course, now being a wife and mom, this time is way harder to come by and thus much more sacred to me.
Sometimes I feel selfish taking time for myself, but I’ve realized that as an introvert, it’s one of the ways I recharge and thus a vital component of my personal healthy mindset.
Also, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that the most important relationship in your life is the one you have with yourself. It’s really something to treasure, not to shy away from.
6.) Maintaining my routine
I don’t know about you, but I feel a lot happier and more stable when I stick to the habits and routines that help me maintain a healthy mindset and feel grounded. This includes my morning routine, regular exercise, and time each day spent working on my business.
The past few months, it’s been challenging for me to stick to my routine because my kids are home for summer break and I’ve also been dealing with some things in my personal life that have required me to shift around my priorities a bit.
Well, believe me when I tell you, I’m a much happier camper when I’m able to stick to my routine. I have a certain way I go about my days and I can’t wait to get back to it!
7.) Starting each day with stillness
Although I haven’t been able to maintain my full morning routine this summer, one thing that I still aim to do each morning is to start my day with stillness. I find this to be one of the most important tools in my healthy mindset toolkit.
It’s also really simple to do! After brushing my teeth and making coffee, I simply sit for about 20 minutes in silence as I drink my coffee.
I use this quiet time to check in with myself before the day unfolds. I focus on how I’m feeling, observe the thoughts that come into my mind, listen to my breathing, and just soak in the quiet solitude of a household not yet awake.
Maybe this is not what you immediately think of when you consider a traditional meditation practice, but there are many ways to meditate and this certainly achieves the desired result for me.
This time is usually followed by journaling, but simply taking these 20 minutes to sit in stillness before the rush of my day begins helps in easing any anxiety and leads to me feeling more grounded, intentional, and productive throughout the rest of my day.
8.) Being productive
I love being productive, but I also love doing nothing at times. It’s important to find a healthy balance between the two.
A few weeks ago, I had found myself operating in non-stop hustle mode and it was really wearing on me. I wrote about the 5 warning signs I saw within myself that told me I needed to slow down and allow myself some rest.
Although I strongly believe that we shouldn’t feel the pressure to constantly be doing something productive, there are times when being productive is actually exactly what I need to feel good. This could be anything from doing some decluttering around the house, to laundry and meal-prepping, or working on my blog.
In those times, being productive makes me feel accomplished and good about myself and is the tool I need from my healthy mindset toolkit.
Other times, I just want to do nothing! Both are necessary for me to maintain a healthy mindset.
9.) Using mindfulness
Mindfulness is about simply noticing and accepting what is going on in the present moment without judgment. I use mindfulness techniques to help me feel more calm and centered, which are both key elements of a healthy mindset.
Because I know that I often tend to operate in reactive mode, always ready to put out the next fire or cross that next item off my to-do list, if I’m able to be mindful and take a moment to step back and reflect, rather than react, it helps me focus on what matters most and operate more intentionally.
For me, using mindfulness techniques could mean taking a few deep breaths when needed to recenter myself and evoke a feeling of calm. Or it could be engaging my senses as I’m eating a meal or walking outside.
10.) Making healthy food choices
If I’m consistently feeding my body crap food and I know it, it just makes me feel bad about myself. I start feeling less confident and happy because I know I can do better in how I treat my body. It’s not about my looks, but rather knowing that I’m not taking care of my body in the best way I can.
Making healthy food choices definitely helps promote a healthy mindset.
How To Build Your Healthy Mindset Toolkit
1.) Brainstorm anything and everything that makes you feel good.
Do a big brainstorming session of anything and everything you can think of that makes you feel better when you’re having a bad day or feeling a little unsteady.
Think about a time in your life that was difficult or when you were struggling. What did you find calming? What practices helped center you? How did you help yourself to feel better?
These tools can be big or small. Elaborate or super simple.
You don’t need to justify what works for you or question whether something is significant enough or too silly to put in your toolkit. If it helps you feel good, then include it.
2.) Make a list and keep it handy
Once you’ve brainstormed everything that helps you feel good, the next step is to turn it into a list that you can refer back to.
The thing is, when you’re in such a state where you might need the support of your healthy mindset toolkit, it can be hard to think on the spot and come up with what might help you get grounded.
That’s why having your toolkit list easily accessible to support you is important. You can give it a quick read over and see what feels right to you at the moment. Select which tool, or combination of tools, you need to support you at that particular time.
Here are some ideas for how to make your toolkit list readily available:
- Create a handwritten list that you keep on your desk or nightstand.
- Make a large poster-sized list, frame it, and hang it on the wall of a room where you spend a lot of time.
- Use the notes app of your phone to create a list that you can easily access on the go.
- Design an image of your list that you can set as the wallpaper of your phone or computer.
3.) Start using your healthy mindset toolkit
Once you’ve built up your toolkit with all of the resources, habits, and practices that help you cultivate a healthy mindset, it’s time to start using it.
Whenever you are feeling like you need the support of the tools in your kit, think about which tools would support you best at that time. Keep in mind that your toolkit might change as you go through different seasons and chapters of life.
Also, it’s perfectly ok if you have your go-to tools that always work for you, along with others that you turn to on occasion. Allow for flexibility and use your healthy mindset toolkit whenever and however necessary.
Do you feel ready to build your healthy mindset toolkit?
I’d love to know what resources, practices, and habits you find supportive. What will you put in your healthy mindset toolkit?
Let me know in the comments!
Carly is a wife, mom, and former NYC fashion industry executive turned writer and life coach. Through her writings on littlevoicebigmatter.com, she shares practical advice, heartfelt insights, and actionable resources to inspire and support women in motherhood, relationships, wellness, and life. Carly also helps women create better balance in their lives and live with more joy, purpose, and connection every day through her coaching.