Five Ways to Create Positive Mental Energy in Your Life

Download MP3

Five Ways to Create Positive Mental Energy in Your Life
Pam Strand: [00:00:00] Hello, my name is Pam Strand. I'm your podcast host and welcome to the Longevity Gym. Today's topic is energy. How do we get more of it so that we can live longer, stronger, and better? Energy is the foundation of life, literally. For without our body's ability to produce energy, we won't live very long.
In today's episode, I want to flip the conversation from what robs or distorts our energy and energy production to what builds and enhances this vital capacity in our body and in our lives. How do we build good energy? I believe it starts with our mind and our mindsets. We tend to always go towards the body for solutions when it comes to health, wellness, and fitness.
If I feel tired or sluggish, I might think I need more workout or a better diet, get more sleep, and all of that [00:01:00] is important. It's absolutely vital for laying the foundation of good energy production in our body. But our mind and our mental energy also plays a huge role in energy production. Today I want to share five ways that we can train ourselves or train our mind to produce high quality energy for our bodies and for our lives.
Here's my list. Having a growth mindset, two, practicing mindfulness, three, encouraging or nurturing ourselves to have a positive outlook on life, four, creating purpose, and five, living with compassion. Let's look at each of these in more detail. Our first one on the list is growth mindset.
First of all, let's just talk a little bit about what a mindset is. It is a collection of thoughts, [00:02:00] beliefs, and perceptions about you, your life, people around you, and the world around you. Mindsets are important as they shape and even predict our experiences and outcomes in life. And there are really two main categories of mindset.
There's a fixed mindset and there's a growth mindset. Having a fixed mindset sounds something like this. Well, this is the way it's always been, so it just has to stay that way. . I can't change. No one really changes. I'm not worthy. I'm not smart enough. Having a growth mindset is the opposite.
It's a collection of thoughts, beliefs, and perceptions that say, you know, things can change. Life can change. The world can change. I can change. I can grow. I can get better. I can perform better. I can get better results. Mindsets are pliable. Mindsets can be changed, which is a [00:03:00] good thing. We can shift them if we decide to do so.
We can challenge our thoughts that are limiting us, or standing in the way of our success, and we can ask ourselves what thought, or what belief, or what perception, is a more positive perception, or a perception, thought, belief, that builds us up and moves us forward, instead of tearing us down and holding us back.
Research shows that a growth mindset is essential for bringing positive change into your life. A growth mindset leads to better outcomes in health, fitness, and well being. A growth mindset produces positive mental energy. The second on my list is practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is a skill and a practice of training your attention.
Training your mind to pay attention to what is happening in the moment with as little judgment [00:04:00] as possible. Practicing mindfulness trains our abilities, our cognitive mental abilities to stay focused on what we're doing, whether that be a conversation with someone that we work with, someone who's important in our lives.
Washing dishes, doing a big, vast, important volunteer or work project. So we're staying focused on those things and tuning out that little inner voice that likes to say, Hey, you know, that's not going so well. You know, you could have done better there. That person, I'm not so sure about them. Mindfulness allows us to stay focused and to train ourselves to ignore those thoughts that have nothing to do with the moment. Mindfulness leads to an awareness. or It can be awareness on many levels. Sensing how your body is reacting to your life, feeling when you're anxious, or recognizing what it feels like to be calm, [00:05:00] Mindfulness can lead to an awareness that helps you see your thoughts in action as you react or respond to events and situations in your life.
It's an awareness that can help you move forward, help you identify what holds you back and make a change, . Mindfulness is also a wonderful practice to help us effectively manage disruptions. Mindfulness creates self awareness. Who am I? Who do I want to be in life, or in work, at home, with my friends, with my important relationships?
Mindfulness helps us understand where we can change, where we can grow, where we can get better in order to reach our dreams, our goals, and our vision for life. Practicing mindfulness is linked to positive health outcomes. It's linked to a younger brain, to reduced stress and anxiety. [00:06:00] Mindfulness helps build resilience to bounce back after a setback or experiencing difficult moments.
Mindfulness can lead to a higher ability or stronger ability to eliminate or reduce irrelevant and disturbing thoughts.
Number three, training our minds to think and see the positive, having a positive outlook on life and the future. And in addition to this, it's really about recognizing our thought patterns. There's two types of thought patterns. There's anabolic thought patterns. that build us up, move us forward, give us energy.
And there's catabolic thought patterns that break us down, tear us up, drain us, hold us back. Training our minds to think about or to see and [00:07:00] recognize what's going well, what ultimately can go well, having that hopefulness that things will turn out okay. All of those things are important. Evidence suggests
those with a positive outlook or those living with optimism, yes, even as we age, live longer lives with more positive health outcomes. There's lower levels of cortisol, there's lower blood sugar, there's lower inflammation, there's younger movement patterns. When we have more positive thought patterns, we're more likely to bounce back more quickly from illnesses.
Evidence suggests those with positive views about life live seven and a half years longer than those who don't.
Number four, creating purpose in our lives.
[00:08:00] Purpose is about an ability to identify our values and our priorities. those which are most important to us, and then put them into action in our lives. Purpose is simply the act of investing or devoting our time and effort and talent to endeavors we believe are worthwhile. And these endeavors can be things that are seemingly small in scale, like taking care of a plant, taking care of your dog by taking him out for walks, Doing household chores to keep an organized and clean home if that's a priority and a value to you.
Or they can be on a much larger scale, like creating a nonprofit that solves world hunger. All of these things are important. Whatever scale they are, it's about finding those things to do. that align with our highest values [00:09:00] and priorities. Scientific research suggests having purpose in our lives is key to resilience, key to that ability to bounce back in the face of adversity.
Having purpose in life is also shown to be a key component to having Meaning in life. Purpose is one of three elements. The other two are a feeling of significance and a feeling that our life makes sense. Purpose brings about more positive mental well being. It creates a higher fuel, a higher level of mental energy for our lives and for our bodies.
And the fifth skill is living with compassion for others and also for ourselves. It may seem odd to think of compassion as a skill, and whether that's the right label or not, the most important thing [00:10:00] to understand is that we can train our ability to have compassion. And why is that important? Because compassion enhances our ability to have positive social connections.
Richie Davidson is a renowned neuroscientist in the field of well being, and his research has shown compassion training does change social skills for the better. And the more positive and more diverse our social skills are, the higher the likelihood that we will have and be able to maintain connections in our life for they are important to our health and well being.
So what is compassion?
I've summarized it this way after looking at many articles and research studies that compassion is about taking action out of concern for others. It involves, one, noticing that someone is suffering, two, being able to [00:11:00] empathize and feel their experience with them, and three, having a true benevolent desire to help alleviate their suffering.
The wonderful thing about compassion is that it improves well being of those who are being helped. It provides a sense of fulfillment and connection for those providing the help. And it enhances overall social harmony. and cooperation. It's likely when we think of compassion, we think of showing compassion to others, but showing compassion to ourselves is essential to learning to turn the kindness, the benevolence, the warmth inward to show ourselves care and concern.
Studies show that the ability of self compassion or the, or the ability for self compassion is key to creating and sustaining change in our [00:12:00] lives. For without it, it's highly unlikely that we would be able to sustain our self improvement efforts.
How would we, our relationships, our lives, and the world around us be different if we showed up with a little more compassion towards ourselves and others? It's an interesting question to ponder, isn't it?
Energy is vital for life. Without it, we do not live. The energy production capability within our cells is run by the mitochondria, whose job it is to convert food energy into cell energy. Mitochondria are our energy factories, and they are located in virtually every one of our almost 40 trillion cells.
And they need high quality inputs from us in order to do their jobs effectively, in order for them to produce the energy [00:13:00] we depend on to keep our bodies going and to keep our lives going. Food, water, exercise stress, sleep, rest and recovery, tending to environmental factors like air and water quality.
All of these are considered input to our systems that our mitochondria have to deal with. The better those inputs, The better chance our mitochondria have to operate and do their jobs well. Our minds are also significant input. High quality mental energy is crucial. And what I have shared with you in this episode are five ways that we can train our minds to provide high quality energy, high quality input to our bodies and to our lives.
The five again are cultivating a growth mindset to support our efforts to change, grow, and get better. Practicing mindfulness that [00:14:00] brings about important and useful self awareness and insights. Three, having positive thoughts or having a positive outlook on life, one that builds us up and doesn't break us down.
Four, creating purpose by investing our time and energy in pursuits that are aligned with our highest, most important values and priorities. And five, showing compassion to ourselves to others. As I wrap up, I want to talk about some resources that I'm going to share with you in the show notes below. One, I'm going to provide links to some of my previous episodes that deal with some of these topics in more detail, but I'm also going to include links from articles written by the Center for Healthy Minds.
That is, A center that is directed by the renowned scientist, Richie Davidson, which I mentioned earlier in my podcast, his studies about [00:15:00] well being are really fascinating and take, take a subject that feels a little nuanced and makes it very easy to understand what do we need to do in our lives in order to have a high level of mental well being.
I'm also going to provide a link to the U. S. Surgeon General's report titled, Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation. It's really incredible to see the statistics on loneliness and isolation and the detrimental impact it has on our physical and mental health. The report does a nice job in summarizing the positive impact of having social connections. Just another way to reinforce the importance of developing the social skills of compassion, as well as gratitude, kindness, and patience. Then I'm also including a link to Kristen Neff's website. Dr. Neff is a pioneer researcher and teacher in the field of self compassion. I think you'll find some information on [00:16:00] her website, pretty fascinating and helpful if compassion is an area that you want to enhance your abilities in.
I will also include a link. To her test or quiz for measuring or testing your level of self compassion and compassion towards others. So that's a wrap. Thank you for listening. I hope you have found a nugget or two that can be useful to your effort in creating more positive energy in your life. And if you're interested in a dose of positive energy, tune in to my next episode, which will be a meditation on loving kindness.
And with that, I will say, see you next time. Hope you have a wonderful day

Creators and Guests

Pam Strand
Pam Strand
For the last 20 years, Pam has been a personal trainer and life coach. She is also a Mindfulness & Meditation teacher and Breathwork professional. Pam is owner of Strand Fitness Online.
Five Ways to Create Positive Mental Energy in Your Life
Broadcast by