Let’s grab the giant remote of life and rewind back to January 2020. If someone had told me 2022 would start like this, I would have laughed out loud. No one could have predicted the epic, way-of-life-altering events we are facing today.
It’s easy to give into feelings of stress, overwhelm, confusion, anxiety, depression, and fear. Uncertainty and lack of control has a way of bringing these feels to the forefront, and they’re not easy to manage. Especially when you’re worried about your health, as well as the health of your loved ones.
So, how do you control the uncontrollable? Unfortunately, you can’t. You can only control what you can control. It’s obvious, yes, but it doesn’t always feel easy.
The $64 million question is … what can you control? Thankfully, a lot! Which means you can be your best self in 2022, living your best life, despite the challenges and roadblocks.
Energy flows were focus goes. So, all you have to do is focus all that energy into controlling what you can. And it’s a decent little list, I promise!
- Your self-talk
Self-talk is the way you talk to yourself, or your inner voice. You might not be aware that you’re doing it, but you almost certainly are. How you talk to yourself has a massive impact on your mental health. Learning how to master that self-talk will hold you be good steed for a healthy, happy, and productive 2022.
If you mainly think negatively about yourself, you will feel bad most of the time. But if you mainly think positively about yourself, you will feel good most of the time. How can you break the cycle?
- Be aware of what you’re saying to yourself – it’s all too often negative.
- Ask yourself — is it true? Mostly, it’s not.
- Put it into perspective and ask yourself … so what?
- Then ask yourself — what is a more helpful thought?
- Your breathing
Breathing is an automatic function of the body that is controlled by the respiratory centre of the brain. When we feel stressed, our breathing rate and pattern changes as part of the ‘fight-or-flight response’. Fortunately, we also have the power to deliberately change our own breathing. Scientific studies have shown that controlling your breath can help to manage stress and stress-related conditions. And there are many ways you can control your breathing. Give it a google!
- Your physical health and fitness
So, this one is obvious, and is something you can control, if you can tackle the excuses you tell yourself for not doing it (too busy, too broke, too stressed etc) and establish a solid routine (aka a habit). All you have to do is move regularly. I don’t really care how or where. Whatever works for you. Exercise is one of the most positive things you can do for your mental health, as well as your physical health. You can join my Fit, Full & Fab Challenge, starting 24 January, if you’d keen to focus on your physical health and fitness in 2022 (shameless plug).
People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they’re thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems. And gratitude doesn’t need to be reserved only for momentous occasions. Being consciously grateful every day will change your life. Get into the habit – you won’t regret it.
- Your diet
Another obvious one, but, again, something you can control that will benefit you in so many ways – physically, emotionally, mentally. Even if you can’t bring yourself to move more, watching what you put into your body is imperative. I could bang on all day about the importance of diet, and of consuming natural foods (lots of protein, not so many carbs). But instead, head over to www.weightloz.com where you can learn more about my philosophy on weight loss and diet (and how to lose weight the right way).
Sleep is an essential function that allows your body and mind to recharge, leaving you refreshed and alert when you wake up. Healthy sleep also helps the body remain healthy and stave off diseases. Without enough sleep, the brain cannot function properly.
Getting good sleep is essential. And, again, it’s something that’s within your control. It’s another healthy habit that can change your life.
- Your commitment to learning
Learning is essential to our existence. Just like food nourishes our bodies, information and continued learning nourishes our minds. Continuous learning is your self-motivated persistence in acquiring knowledge and competencies in order to expand your skill set and develop future opportunities. So, get learning!
I’m not saying you need to commit to formal study, but that’s brilliant too. Maybe you want to learn how to cook a souffle? Or run 5km? Or play the guitar? Or build a website? Thanks to platforms like YouTube, you can learn just about anything online. What will you commit to learning in 2022?
- Your schedule
How are you at saying no? If you’re anything like me, not great. And yes, this is something I need to work on in 2022. Another thing completely within your control is your schedule – for both your career/business, and your personal life. Okay, so sometimes family commitments take over, but you can always schedule in “me time”. And you can also embrace the power in saying no to protect that me time. Schedule time to exercise, see friends, meditate, learn something new, or just have a cup of coffee alone. You won’t regret it.
- The amount of information you consume
How many hours a day do you spend on social media? Or watching the news? In 2022, information overload is real. And with the world the way it is, it’s easy to get sucked into the “bad news vortex” – scrolling, scrolling through stories, comments (often negative), online fights (always nasty), newsflashes, fake news, new news, old news … no wonder we are all emotionally and mentally exhausted. The awesome news (pun intended) is that you can control the amount of information you choose to take in. Simply step away from the device or the television. Reduce the information overload and you’ll reduce the stress and anxiety. I promise.
Just focus on what you can control and you’ll be well on your way to living your best life this year. I know you can do it!