Here at Clear Path, we want to empower you to prioritize your mental, emotional and spiritual health daily. We know that Mondays can be difficult. The week ahead can feel overwhelming with all its uncertainties and the inevitable curve balls. After all, a life without uncertainty is a life disconnected from the world around you. Since every breakthrough was once preceded by an uncertain turning point, the possibility for change serves as your ticket to a meaningful life. Sounds straightforward enough, but sometimes we all just need a little extra help in the process of implementation.
It is for that reason we’ve created “Mental Health Mondays.” Every Monday, we’ll provide short, practical resources you can access anytime. These small bits of mental health support are intended to help you move from surviving to thriving. Today, we are going to tackle the “Monday Mindset Shift” from a joint spiritual and psychological perspective.
It’s easy to view Mondays as the weekend’s wicked step-sister. Transitions are hard for many of us, and moving from a mindset of freedom to a mindset of obligation can feel restricting and dreadful. However, with a few simple mindset shifts, we can start our week more focused, intentional and empowered to face whatever comes our way. Below you will find three simple ways to train your brain to embrace transitions of all kinds, especially Mondays.
- Prioritize Proper Planning
When our brain senses uncertainty, it automatically moves one of two directions: toward anxiety or avoidance. Anxiety breeds more anxiety and avoidance breeds more avoidance. Either way, when we take this approach, we stay stuck. However, if you take a few moments every Sunday night (or Monday morning) to review your schedule for the week, you are beginning the process of calming the “what-ifs” of anxiety and avoidance by giving your brain it’s daily dose of vitamin C: Certainty. During this time of preparation, be intentional about finding those pockets of time in your week when you’ll be taking part in an activity that is life-giving to you. Focus on those moments as fuel for the events on your schedule that may be mundane or elicit a sense of dread.
2. Pray for your week
Although we face many unknowns at the beginning of every week, we are not powerless. Take a few deep breaths and draw your attention to that difficult meeting on the calendar or an upcoming project that feels daunting. Don’t judge it… just notice it and accept it as part of your week. Then, instead of avoiding it or allowing anxiety to overrule it, take a few moments to release it to God in prayer. Your calendar is no surprise to Him. He is the ultimate keeper of your time and your life. Even if you don’t feel fully equipped at this moment for whatever you’ll be facing then, trust that He will help you prepare as needed and give you the words to say when you need to say them.
3. Focus on possibilities over potential problems
Any individual who is doing meaningful work (both inside and outside the home) will be faced with a wide variety of potential problems. Truly, a meaningful life is filled with encounters that were once problematic but, once faced, became a source of triumph and a lasting reminder of the power of overcoming difficulty. Our mindset will follow where we direct it. We don’t have to travel down every detour our thoughts seek to direct us.
Try this experiment for one week. Seek to shift every “potential problem” into a “potential opportunity” for growth, either in yourself or in the lives of those around you. Our brains tend to avoid or ruminate about problems, but we feel empowered to face opportunities. The choice is ours to make— which mindset will you choose as you start your week?
If you need extra support to learn how to implement some of the above items, we are here to help. Anytime we change into a new routine or way of thinking, our brains resist it initially because the brain values homeostasis, which is the status quo. Inviting a trained professional counselor or pastor into your life can provide the extra cushion needed to build new mindsets in a supportive way. Visit our main page, www.clearpathcounseling.org, and click on the green button “Take the free online assessment” to get started on your clear path to a renewed mindset. Changing your mindset will ultimately change your life. We are here to help you get started.