“The universe is under no obligation to make sense to you”
Niel deGrasse Tyson
Remember, when you qualify with an eta degree you will have created your own business be able to use the components of wellness and apply adaptive leadership skills
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Surviving to Thriving – Mental Toughness (Steve Harris)
Chapter 2. SURVIVING TO THRIVING GUIDE
Moving towards high levels of wellness
Travis positioned high-level wellness on the right side of the continuum. On the extreme right you experience energy gains and pleasure. You are thriving and fulfilling your potential.
The signs and symptoms of high-level wellness towards the right-hand side start with awareness. This allows you to recognize that you are developing or have developed bad habits or problems that you need to reject and replace with good habits. At this stage you use your curiosity to research alternative behaviours that replace the ones leading to the left-hand side.
Now, you summon courage to act on these. This will likely involve wellness interventions like consulting wellness professionals, healthy heating, balanced exercise routines, massage, visualization, and mindfulness.
The wellness approach can be utilised at any point on the continuum. Wellness interventions do not replace the treatment paradigm, they work in harmony with it. Even though we often lack medical symptoms, we may still have psychological indicators such as boredom, depression, anxiety, or simple discontent with life. Such emotional states often set the stage for disease.
Wellness is not a static state and its variability has a strong correlation with taking care of your physical self, using your mind constructively, expressing your emotions effectively, getting creatively involved with those around you and being concerned about your environment. In fact, it is not so much about where you are on the continuum as it is about the direction in which you are facing.
It takes a mentally tough mind to be aware of and respond to signs, rather than wait for the negative symptoms and react to them. Movement towards the left-hand side of the continuum, possibly ending in premature death, starts with missing the significance of the signs. These signs are usually our poorly conceived choices and assumptions, whether they are instinctive or rational. Mentally tough people can read weak signs before they manifest in full-blooded signs. The symptoms that follow are mostly the consequences of these signs. If they remain unaddressed, they lead to the dire outcome of a metaphorical or actual premature death.
Once you have the awareness, movement to the right-hand side of the mental toughness continuum starts with taking personal responsibility and realising that our decisions determine a substantial part of our success. The choice of not making a choice can be a negative choice, leading us to the left of the continuum. For example, if you choose not to develop a personal plan, you become a victim of your own lack of choosing. Self-help guru and author Wayne Dyer claimed: “You are doomed to make choices. This is life’s greatest paradox.”
Awareness of good habits and bad habits
Awareness, as the ability to perceive and be conscious of events, objects, thoughts, emotions, and signs of emerging, changes. Awareness helps as it enables you to ‘get altitude’ or look at your issues from a distant perspective – to metaphorically watch yourself in the movie of your life. To improve awareness, I recommend you expand your ability to see and evaluate what is happening around and inside of you. Improving awareness helps you glean the early signs that enable you to be proactive. With this ability, you can usually read the sometimes-subliminal signs indicating shifting conditions, and therefore identify the alterations that you need to make to accommodate or work against them.
With increased awareness, you could change your habits. Start by developing some good habits that lead to your intention. Simultaneously, you could also eliminate some ingrained routines that lead you away from your intention. For example, if your intention includes a healthy lifestyle, which I feel is a smart choice, you need to engage in habits that promote wellness and eliminate counter-productive behaviours that lead you away from your goal.
Developing bad habits is a lot easier than developing good habits and getting rid of bad habits is very difficult. Bad habits usually start because the habit behaviour has a positive reinforcement like smoking a cigarette or a joint that gives an immediate response and mostly feels good. But the long-term effect is usually bad.
However, starting an exercise programme seldom feels good, but its long-term effect is beneficial. Examples of good habits include exercising several times a week; eating a diet consisting of nutrient-giving, whole foods; spending time with those closest to you; allowing yourself moments to read and relax; spending time outdoors and getting a good night’s sleep.
Marketing campaigns and social media serve as useful communication tools. However, we need to keep their doubled edged potential in our awareness. They can distract us into irrational behaviour providing the illusion of fulfilment when we buy their product, support their point of view, or get mind captured by “fake” news.
Similarly, in most sporting contests, your opponents will try to consume your attention by setting up distractions. A typical tactic in ball sports, like rugby, involves capturing the attention of the opponent in front of you to deceive the player into committing to a direction. This leaves their defensive channel unprotected. Mentally tough people do not allow marketing hype, competitors’ deception, or zealous others, to distract or sully their ability to pay attention to the right things.