We have so much knowledge about how to take care of ourselves physically. But when it comes to our mental and emotional health, most people have no idea where to begin with their hygiene.
There is an increased risk of irritability, anger, and stress when poor mental hygiene continues. It will also affect the risk of anxiety, depression, mood, swings rise dramatically. Just like grooming we have to stay ahead of the game to obtain and maintain clean thinking.
PREVENTION IS KEY!
We don’t try to control others so we can feel better or help improve relationships. No one can tell us what to think or what we make things mean for us. Because it starts with us.
We must also focus on our mental health as much as our physical health, not just chasing external things to bring us happiness. Because mental health creates a deep understanding that our thoughts create our reality.
I have a How-to Guide for Mental Hygiene that has 3 Step process that will surely help you.
Step 1: Daily Brain Dump
We must first become aware of what we are thinking (average of 40-60K thoughts per day). We do this by writing down everything we have been thinking. Start by taking 5-10 minutes a day to empty out what is on your mind.
Remember, you can’t change what you are not aware of. You have to make it a daily practice just like showering. Do not edit it, censor it or judge it—This is most important. Often I reflect on what thoughts are in my brain dump (a.k.a thought download) and it is no wonder why I am feeling down, or irritable, or upset.
If you draw a blank, a writing prompt can help: What has been working well for me today? What has not been working well for me today?
Step 2: Pick one thought out of the dump to see what it is creating for you in your life
After you chose a thought ask yourself how you feel when you think that thought. I want you to try the White Board for Model Explanation. You will write a list of as many actions, inaction, or reactions of the following questions:
What do I do, or not do when I feel this way?
How do I act?
What is the effect of this action on me?
When we decide to clean our mind that has never been cleaned before it can be overwhelming to see all the dirt and grime, this is normal, trust that over time, thought by thought we can achieve clean thinking and excellent mental health. But it has to be a daily practice just like showering, brushing teeth, exercise, we cannot do it once and expect that we will be okay.
Beliefs are just thoughts that are on our mind over and over that they feel really true to us, but this process shows us that they are optional.
Mental hygiene reminds us that our brain thoughts are optional.
Step 3: Intentional Thinking
When you have gone into your brain and really had a good look at what is going on in there, you get to decide consciously what you want to keep, what you want to get rid of or take to goodwill, and what new thinking you want to create.
Everything starts with a thought.
If you want to create a different future you have to create something that doesn’t exist in your past, very intentionally.
Once you have taken the time to see the clutter and dirt that is in your mind you are ready to engage in intentional thinking.
Start at the bottom of your thought model with a result that you want in your life or struggling to achieve. You may also work the Model list to guide your actions and generate feelings that would drive the actions to support that result. Finally, list the thought you would have to believe to create that feeling.
This can seem scary and chances are you may not currently believe the new thought from the clean thinking Model. I want you to know that it’s completely normal. However, now YOU will be able to understand WHY you are getting the current results and WHAT you need to believe to get the results you desire.
Do this on a daily basis and you will learn so much about yourself! It could be why you do what you do, the areas of self-sabotage, or where you may be beating yourself up.
The only thing that is keeping you from where you are now to where you want to go is the thoughts in your mind. Internal Clean Thinking is how you will discover what those thoughts are.
If this blog post resonates with you please share it or reach out for a connection call with me to be mentally healthy.
Mind Your Strength,
Melanie Shmois, MSSA, LISW-S, is a licensed social worker, holding a Master’s Degree (MSSA) from Case Western Reserve University and a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Spanish. After spending 2 decades helping others achieve their mental and personal goals, Melanie worked with Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo, and became a certified Life and Weight Coach through the Life Coach School.