Take Your Brain to the Mental Gym

Like any muscle in the body, your brain grows stronger as you use it. That’s the concept of the mental gym which suggests you treat a “brain workout” as seriously as you would a workout at the gym. That means employing the same intensity, discipline and the same process of stepping outside your comfort zone to get results. Two practical ways you can do this is to intentionally put good stuff in and to intentionally practice being quiet.

Decision Anxiety

One of the biggest problems we face is the mental battle we have inside that I call decision anxiety. Decision anxiety involves the agonizing amount of time we spend going back and forth before we make a decision as well as the post-decision making time in which we worry if we made the right decision or, worse yet, we double back on that decision. It’s a form of self-torture we put ourselves and our brains through. And we can’t even blame others for it. It’s self-inflicted!

Be the river, not the rock

The river flows around the hard rock. The river is loosey-goosey. It keeps moving in the same direction, undeterred by immoveable, stubborn obstacles or objects. It finds a way. It breezes by, over, around or underneath. The river yields to the rock. The rock, on the other hand, is unmoving. It's stubborn. It's hard. It's stuck. It refuses to give. It stays put and watches the river flow right by.

Alone time

But your brain is like a super computer! It can solve your problems. It comes up with really creative ideas. Deep inside your own brain are your complex emotions and desires that are desperate to be recognized. We're just not giving it the time and space it needs.

Stop feeling bad about feeling bad

We've been sold the lie that we can and should be happy all the time. So then, when we're NOT happy we think we've done something wrong or, worse, we are something wrong. As in, there's something wrong with us. There's not, you're human. Sometimes things don't feel happy and that's okay. Yet, because we believe we should be happy all the time we do things like eat and drink and Netflix to avoid those negative emotions. Then guess what happens? We feel bad that we felt bad and we feel bad that we did the avoidance behavior. So now, we're feeling bad about feeling bad about feeling bad. It's a vicious cycle.

Outsmart your brain & Ask better questions

We're also going to practice the idea of curiosity over criticism. If you're constantly criticizing yourself and asking bad questions, you're keeping yourself in a negative loop that will not allow you to get the results you seek. You cannot get a positive result from a negative method. If your method is negative, you will continue to produce negative results in your life. If instead, you choose to be kind, curious and compassionate with yourself, you will give yourself the space you need to answer your questions and solve your problems. So, let's look at a few more examples of questions.