How Mindfulness Helps Mental Health

Today I want to talk about how mindfulness helps mental health. 

You Don’t Develop Skills Overnight

It takes a long time to develop skills. You don’t ever finish learning as you start and grow your business. You carve out your niche. You can do your work and still be learning. 

You can teach someone SEO, how to effectively host a sales call, or mindset. There are so many different intricacies you can teach. You can do this as long as you are more advanced than the basic level. 

When Mental Health Strikes

Sometimes it’s hard to fight off imposter syndrome, and it can be even harder when you struggle with mental health. Especially when you’re just trying to get your business off the ground. You can go through some hard times. It can exacerbate other circumstances in your life.

Imposter syndrome rears its ugly head often with any entrepreneur. Let’s say, though, that you’re going through it with whatever free information you can get. With that, it’s even harder. Why? You don’t have a course set, you’re scared you aren’t learning everything you need to, and you’re scared to make a fool of yourself. Not to mention you could be living in a craphole, not able to afford food, or having to hijack the neighbor’s wifi. 

When your mental health has taken a turn for the worse, it’s hard to survive everyday tasks, let alone working on building your business. But there is a way out of it.

Mindfulness

Meditation and mindfulness can bring you back to the present. You can step out of your emotions and ask yourself, “What emotion am I feeling? Why am I feeling this way?” You can direct your mindfulness to your thoughts and words. Mindfulness and meditation can get it under control.

You can even fight imposter syndrome with mindfulness. To start, you could acknowledge what it making you feel like an imposter. Maybe you don’t think you’re worthy to ask for what you are worth because you don’t think you do a good enough job (even though you always over-deliver.)

A big step to set your mental health on track is to figure out what you want your life to look like. Do you want to get up before 5:00 AM, or does your body and mind work much better if you wake up at 8:00 AM? Do you want to work from home or work traveling the world? You’ll feel much better if you do what works for you.

My Advice: Don’t Hustle

I’m sure you know hustling can be so hard on your mind. But did you know it can also be hard on your body? Pushing your brain that hard can destroy your mental health. I’ve been through it. I knew it was a bad idea, but I still did it. It’s also so bad because it’s glorified these days. 

I finally realized it was drastically affecting my business and my well-being. I knew I had to make a change. I was stuck in the hustle mentality (I’d even call it a trap!). For me, I was hustling and hustling and hustling and it caused my anxiety to get worse. Since my anxiety got worse I was making more mistakes. 

So, I finally changed my life from a hustle mindset.

We talk about the hustle, we talk about the rise and grind, we talk about all that crap. But we don’t talk about the other side. We don’t talk about how you can burn out. We don’t talk about how hustling can lead to a mental health issue. 

You Have to Take Care of Yourself

When you feel something is off, ask yourself, “Why is this happening? Can I direct more of my attention to this? How are mindfulness and awareness going to transfer to the rest of my life and what I’m doing?”

The mentality of, “Okay, I have to get up and I have to work 18 hours a day in order to get to this place,” is detrimental. Everyone has this sense that they have to be successful immediately. They feel that there is a level of success that they need to get to before they can consider themselves successful.

You don’t have to subscribe to that. Measure your success by whether or not you have the time you want to spend doing the things you love to do. Do you have time to go to the park with your kids? Do you have time to cook and eat how and what you want? Or do you have time to read? What about having the time to travel?

Constant Grinding is Detrimental

You don’t have to get to a certain level before you can be happy. In fact, if you believe that, then you’ll always be chasing it. Your baseline changes as you keep moving forward. Like if you say, “I want to make a million dollars and then I’ll be happy/can stop working so much/etc.” and you reach that point and you aren’t happy or ready to stop working so much you’ll say, “I’ll be happy when I make five million dollars.” We need to take time to appreciate where we have arrived. We need to appreciate all the work we put in to get there.

Sit in the gratitude and the excitement that you hit your goals. Slow down and start taking care of yourself. If you don’t, you’ll feel the toll on yourself and your output. You’ll feel like you’re overworked, that you aren’t doing as well, and that you’re hard on yourself when you burn out. Then you can’t hit those new levels that you want. “New level, new problems” is a common joke, but most likely you brought that problem from a different level because you never fixed it.

You Need Coping Mechanisms

You can’t simply go off somewhere and your mental health will get better as if by magic. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. You can’t pretend your mental health issues don’t exist. They will boil to the top eventually.

As millennials, we are considered “snowflakes” or “jelly beans.” Why? Because we are the first generation to actually acknowledge mental health, among many other things. Older generations don’t understand.

You need coping mechanisms to help you manage anxiety, depression, or whatever mental health problem is ailing you. Luckily, there are many to choose from. Several activities like journaling, eating, and yoga can all be exercises in mindfulness. You can start them today.

Basil Park Leaves Us With This

“I think the main thing that I have personally been thinking about lately is cutting yourself some slack. Like we were talking about before, you get to this point where you never imagined you’d never get to. Or maybe you did imagine it, but you didn’t think it was realistic. The other day I was looking through my email inbox. I had payments from students, requests to start new lessons, contacts from corporate companies, and planning for new gigs that were coming up. I looked at it and I said out loud to myself in a defeated tone, ‘This is what you wanted, this is what you were going for.’ Then I took a step back and realized that if you can step back, cut yourself some slack from all of the scheduling, and feel like you don’t have to constantly intensifying this area or improving that area and just let yourself live in the space you’ve created, you can have a lot more gratitude for what’s going on. The gratitude can allow you to have an appreciation for your life as it is. Things, at least for me, in that mental space calmed down a little bit. Like, ‘I don’t have to answer this email in ten minutes, I can do it at the end of the day,’ ‘I don’t need to intensify this area of my business, I can see I’m saving money in a way that I wasn’t,’ and, ‘I am eating better than was.’ There’s slowing down in the gratitude that needs to happen for you to have the space to gain these coping mechanisms for you to control what’s going on in your life. I don’t think we take enough time for that.”

*This blog post was taken from The Virtually Free Podcast with Amy Demone with special guest Basil Park. Listen here.*

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