Written by: Dr. Charryse Johnson, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
Several of my clients are in the process of building homes. They all shared the belief that building their own home would be less stressful than entering a cycle of searching and disappointment. They all managed to find the location and landscape they desired, but quickly realized they were unprepared for the sense of overwhelm and exhaustion being faced.
In listening to their experiences, I was intrigued by the process of choosing materials for the home’s foundation. They described a series of decisions that would have a lasting impact on the structural health and value of their homes.
The building process can be analogous to the consistent string of decisions you encounter. When decision making feels elusive or insignificant it can be tempting to make uniform choices. However, a core principle to keep in mind, every day you have a chance, to make choices that can change your life. The direction those choices take you, will be parallel to the health of your mindset.
A home’s foundation is built to last. It is the load-bearing portion of the structure, typically built underground and at minimum, it must do three things well: support the weight of the structure, keep out groundwater, and serve as a barrier to water and soil vapor.
Symbolically, there is benefit from taking a parallel approach to developing and strengthening the mindset. When the a of your mindset is rooted in resilience it increases your ability to manage crisis and adapt to change. In contrast, if your mindset is marked by instability and inconsistency, even small daily decisions can create a sense of overwhelm.
Your choices and thoughts are the nucleus of your mindset, and the health of your mentality is revealed in your relationships and routines. While you may be well versed in appearing resilient, the most accurate measure is the level of congruency between your actions and your attitude.
FUTURE PROOF YOUR MINDSET
Consider this, the foundation of a home must be strong enough to support the structure and weight above. This would include the full weight of the structure, furniture, appliances, and even those who utilize the space. The foundation is built with the future in mind.
Developing a resilient mindset also requires intentionality and the ability to expand and support both your present and future self. Your mindset not only shapes the way you think, learn, and adapt, but it creates your capacity for change. Given the right materials, your mindset can be the primary catalyst to living a life you are not working to escape.
Allow yourself adequate time to make decisions. A key aspect to balance is managing and spacing out the load. Notice the motivation behind your decisions and if you are making choices that honor both your short term and long-term goals.
PREPARE FOR PRESSURE
Groundwater is one of the nation’s most important natural resources, but also a significant threat to the overall stability of a home’s foundation. The force of rising groundwater can push pressure against the foundation of a home. This is often the result of groundwater draining in the wrong direction.
When we consistently choose to avoid communication believing it will lead to conflict or confrontation, it can build emotional ground water. Over time, these instances accumulate and can weaken the foundation of your mindset.
Internalized emotions combined with unattended needs is a common yet destructive combination. These two dynamics can weaken your confidence, reinforce issues of mistrust, and thrust you into a cycle of control seeking behaviors. Unrelenting pressure on your system which can lead to issues such as high blood pressure, chronic headaches, insomnia, anxiety, or depression.
To help improve your ability to manage pressure try actions such as prioritizing your tasks, honoring your mind’s need for boundaries, and taking a small break toward the end of every hour. Walking outside for a walk 5-7 minutes per hour provides a great mental break and reduces the level of stress in your nervous system.
PROTECT YOUR VALUE
If well kept, a home’s value will increase over time. Yet, regardless of the aesthetic updates that have been made, the health of the home’s foundation will significantly impact its value. Structural issues create cracks in the foundation, causing the home to settle or sink.
The mind can also fall prey to the price of neglect and focusing on your external state does not repair your internal terrain. To the naked eye, your appearance offers a glimpse of your value, but your power is in your presence. The health of your mentality is the catalyst for the light you reflect. When you maintain an accurate pulse on the status of your emotions, you protect the value of your mindset.
Neglecting to nurture your mental foundation can cause you to show up in ways you fail to recognize. It can leave you feeling like an imposter in your own life. Unchecked emotions act a persistent source of stress, and the brain registers this distress as danger. When your stress response is set in motion, the brain increases the demand for dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for pleasure, satisfaction, and motivation.
Meeting the demand for pleasure can create a mental tug of war and without strong coping skills, impulsivity can be the guiding mindset. This may translate to a host of behaviors such as overworking, insomnia, ruminating, overeating, excessive drinking, and making impulse purchases. While these types of behaviors may temporarily decrease the intensity of your distress, the aftermath can have lasting effects.
Here are a few guiding questions to help further enhance your awareness:
What thoughts and beliefs are currently driving your habits?
How are your relationships and routines influencing your mindset?
Describe one small daily action that has a high impact on the health of your mentality.
Make every decision count, because if you don’t own your choices, your choices will own you. Mindset matters!
Dr. Charryse Johnson, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Dr. Charryse Johnson is an author, speaker, and mental health consultant whose work focuses on the intersection of integrative wellness, neuroscience, and mental health. She is the founder of Jade Integrative Counseling and Wellness an integrative therapy practice where personal values, the search for meaning, and the power of choice are the central focus. Dr.Johnson works with clients and organizations across the nation and has an extensive background and training in education, crisis and trauma, neuroscience, and identity development.