healthy living, healthy living, mental health, mind maps, quitting sugar, wellbeing

Well, are you going to show me yours?!!

Over the years, I’ve tried many, different ways to get to the bottom of my personal #a-game … I’ve delved into all types of wellness practices, read all the articles and even tried following, those so called, 10 steps to better wellness programs you see in magazines. I’d follow them – mostly blindly – exercising, trying not to bump into things, watching my diet, “thanking” what seemed like all of mankind, as part of a “gratitude practice” and repeating daily affirmations, or mantras, over and over for the one billionth time … no exaggeration! and at the end … I still wouldn’t really know why I’d exercised, practiced mindfulness or meditated … or what I’d actually achieved.

More times than not though, I’d just end up saying F@CK IT!! and throw in the towel – why – because of all the do’s, don’ts and don’t you freaking dare’s they’d imposed. It all just felt torturous, too disciplined, too restrictive, more like a punishment and something I was obliged to do, rather than self-development.

All these experiences have all led me to one big conclusion … “There simply must be a different and better f@cking way for people to develop and improve their wellness habits!?”

So what next?Ironically, I found part of the answer in a quiz about the four tendencies of developing habits, which a friend posted in her blog! This quiz helped me reflect on how I went about forming habits rather than focusing on the habit itself … The key question this quiz helps unlock is “How do you respond to an expectation?” as we all have expectations of ourselves, right?! … be they outer expectations set upon us – say, work deadlines – or inner expectations that we set upon ourselves  –  say, giving up sugar.

Okay, when I introduced the #a-game I said that I’d “show you mine“ so, for my first I’ll tell you that after completing the quiz, my dominant tendency came out as a Questioner. No surprises there! I laughed – and my hubby would utterly agree – I can’t help but question all expectations … and will only meet it if I believe it’s justified, so in effect I meet only inner expectations i.e. those I set myself

Therefore, if I believe a particular habit is worthwhile, I’ll stick to it – but only if I’m satisfied that the habit is reliable and useful… I’ll resist anything illogical or ineffective, yeah, my hubby has found out he married “Spock”!!! Now that man, I’d respect and take direction from.  The down side of this though, is that I exhaust myself, at worst others (poor hubby!) – how – by constantly and relentlessly asking questions … I find it hard to act without having so called perfect information.

So, hey why not take the quiz yourself to see what tendency you have, its quick and easy and available here.

Right, getting back to those 10 step wellness programs … it’s no wonder then that I question their effectiveness huh! And get exhausted before I even start! So, how can I go about this differently, what’s going to work?!

Arrghghhh! … question, question, questions, I just can’t help myself???!!!

Right, this needs to stop! And the way forward for me seems to be in allowing imperfections, uncertainty and some flexibility, maybe inspired and fueled by my natural curiosity?! This has gotta be more liberating, right?!

So, the second “show you mine“ is that I’m sharing how I’ve mapped my #a-game, my wellness and trust me,  “it’s not just any old Mind Map … it’s a Marks and Spencer’s  Mind Map” joking! it’s actually Tony Buzan’s, which I’ve found to be effective, useful & logical – perfect for the Spock in me!

Anyway, the science bit, Tony’s theory is called Radiant Thinking – if you’ve not heard of this, you can check it out here – as a tool it initially represents sensations, memories and thoughts as a central image, with branches then coming off the main image that represent any associated links and connections.

Funnily enough, this is pretty much how I thought the brain worked as a child! Although, as I’ve gotten older it feels more scrambled … a scribbled mess, with questions just going around and around!

Therefore, I do love this tool, as it really helps make sense of our scribbles, hell! it activity encourages creativity, arousing curiosity – encouraging you to scribble down on paper, albeit within a structure – in short, it just starts to “feels right” as you use it.

All this is not surprising really, as it’s meant to mirror actual brain processes … recalling visually dynamic information, feeding both sides of the brain and stimulating senses.  The whole processes encourages the use of words, images, colour, symbols, numbers –  all whilst you’re brainstorming, identifying, and linking concepts.

Right, that’s enough of the theory, enough delay, I think it’s time to scribble! Well I did promise to show you mine?!

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Using one sheet of plain A3 paper (landscape), I wrote the main topic in the centre, keeping it simple by not using more that 1 or 2 words … and drew freely around the topic – yes of course you can use a circle, if you want to! Then I simply drew lines for each sub-category off the main topic extending outward form the center and labelling each with a word. I don’t use abbreviations and all lines or branches connect with the first branches being thickest. I added images, phots and drawings later. (I have to keep some things private, right!?) All the sub-categories – those of health, strength, hydration, sleep, food, shelter and warmth – being my WELLNESS BASICS. Without these I simply don’t function well, these are my foundations, I suppose my must haves, so I concentrate on getting these right first!

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… it then branches further outwards, using different colours to denote other sub-categories like family, friends, intimacy, environment, community, world, and finally  creativity, potential  and purpose,  which defines what’s important to my overall wellness. Remember though, this can literally be anything that you want it to be, its meant to be a PERSONAL  MIND MAP after all! So, make it be anything that its needs to be for you!

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Once all the branches and sub-categories are complete, its time to start asking questions of each area.

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Explore what wellness looks like, feels like … consider what you do today as well as what you need/want to do to keep well. Answering these sorts of questions ultimately provides you with your own “wellness index”, which in short, provides somewhere for us to start, reflect further or work upon.

So, there it is! … as they say I’ve shown you, the start of mine, but I can’t help but wonder what yours would look like? …

With lots of love and wellness

 

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20 thoughts on “Well, are you going to show me yours?!!”

  1. I love this post Sarah – I love your honesty about how annoying those self-righteous ’10 steps to better health’ articles can be, as though it’s an exact science, and I love your a-game techniques! I’m so touched that my blog post led you to a different part of that journey (that’s the reason I love blogging, it leads places); and the mind-mapping technique is awesome – I love that kind of thinking! I always feel like mapping things out in this way helps me to work out my scrambled brain.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks so much for reading Erin and how cool is the questionnaire! I agree blogging rocks. It’s like a snow ball picking up momentum collecting people along the way. I found it to be a real eye opener, so helpful to change my habits. Although hubby rolls his eyes at me that little bit more, he says “here you go with the questions” Hey, what can I say, I’m just inquisitive!.

    Since finding out which tendency you are, how has it helped you Erin?

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  3. You got me with your mind map Sarah! As a teacher, you gotta love em – that and flow charts – both are my game! I’ve started one in my head about wellness, and will commit the beginning to paper. Then I need to let it sit and add to it as things come to mind. I’ve found I definitely work better letting it sit for awhile. Real food and exercise are definitely on there; and the word simple keeps coming to mind as well because I’ve been in that Pandora’s box of researching and trying different “wellness” programs (diet, exercise).

    Why am I always in that box and haven’t nailed it yet? It turns out I’m an obliger, hmmm. I’ll tell you though that I over-analyzed each question on the quiz trying to guess where it would take me. Since I didn’t know the four types before I took it, I was surprised by the answer, but wasn’t. I definitely help everyone before myself. I also give up fairly quickly if I am not held accountable to something which is why your #agame is helping motivate me. It keeps things in the forefront and reminds me my wellness goal is important. I’ve gotta stick with it now that I’m in it right?

    Thanks for all the great thoughts here 🙂

    Lisa

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for reading! I’m so looking forward to seeing what you think to it all when you try it out.

      Would love your feedback, especially with your insights and contributions to wellness on your IG account and Blog

      Sarah xx

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  4. Thanks for reading Lisa! I can really see your #a-game evolving in your posts on the hashtag!

    I think you’re right, it’s very easy to overcomplicate our wellness, we’ve all been there for sure, Pandora’s box can be very enticing at times with its solutions laid out for us?!

    It was really interesting to read that you were surprised with your tendency towards being an obliger. I wonder what that will mean to you, in the future, as you go about making changes to your approach to wellness? Will it be that accountability, being part of something, may become a process that will really start to work for you. It may not be so much in what you do but how you’re going about it that will really liberate you?!

    Hey if you’ve time you might want to read a little more about the tendencies. https://gretchenrubin.com/happiness_project/tag/four-tendencies/

    I would say though that’s is a tendency, not a black or white approach, so just be mindful and reflect, using this now you’ve this insight. Most of all get it to work for you!

    Anyway, I can’t wait to see your Wellness Mind Map (WMM) … this is all freaking awesome …

    Sarah xx

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  5. I have been thinking of an A-game since your first discussion on it, and I was coming to a kind of scary realization that I have apathy when I think about my own. So I did the quiz and turns out I got ‘Rebel’. This made a lot of sense to me because I tend to view things suggested as almost like orders (no fault of the person suggesting, purely my behavioral response) and instinctively I want to rebel. On reflection about why this is so, I think it is because I find for me, just doing whatever I do, without having this burning need to search inwards or expand my horizons, is my A-game. Just getting through each day alive is enough for me. The over analyzing control freak in me is having major anxiety about even admitting publicly that I actually don’t care enough about personal growth, and that I am quite content in my mental skin with like that (although I have serious issues with body image and my physical skin which I do some growth with addressing it).

    I feel like my take on it is kind of reminiscent of the crystal dude in The Alchemist. Yes he was hesitant due to fear to expand his shop and even though he did allow Santiago to expand the business and saw that it generated more success, however, he was just happy to have what he had already had before this exposure. This is me.

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    1. Thanks for reading Ness!

      I wonder if it is an apathy or you just being authentic and self-determined? Maybe your #a-game is a given as you suggest and a manifestation of the rebel tendency?

      Have you seen the video on the Rebel tendency? https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20131015111828-6526187-are-you-a-rebel-it-s-rare?trk=prof-post

      It’s great to read your quite content in your “mental skin” and your #a-game is directed more elsewhere?

      Sarah xx

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      1. I think I came to that realization after thrashing this out, that I had essentially discovered my #a-game. I will have a look at the video for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve been thinking a lot about this over complication issue too Sarah. This need to have a list of how to do everything. I like the idea of going with the flow a little, feeling what’s right and yes creating something that works with where you are. I like the idea of digging in and working out your own agame. Great things your doing Sarah. x x

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    1. Thanks again for reading Fran …

      … “feeling what’s right” is something l don’t think we allow ourselves to do very often at all … we can tend to overthink and over complicate for sure …

      I passionately believe we’ve all an #a-game within … it’s maybe having the time to explore it and allowing that to surface, trust it and allow the simple flow

      Sarah xx

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  7. Yes! I am going to show you mine! My #agame🐞 Wellness goal to reduce stress, I love this mind map idea – true to my logical-ness. I knew it would be multi-faceted, but didn’t realize how much until I drew it out. I knew healthy food and exercise would be on there, and that I needed to address work – that is my biggest stressor. Me Time just kind of flowed because if I can’t get some of that in at home, I feel stressed – like my time is too packed to do things I enjoy. That led to the Schedule cloud.

    You’ll notice the word “simple” in there a few times. Simple to me means uncomplicated. Easy means little effort. This mind map is designed to be simple, but it isn’t easy. If it were, I wouldn’t need to create it! Everything on it takes intentional effort, changes in routine, purposeful actions.

    Creating this mind map has given me a road map – something to follow when I am feeling stressed. The visual part helps me remember pieces of it (and it’s on my phone!) There is no way I will do all of it each day. That isn’t the point. The point is to include all of it when it helps reduce stress. All of it in a week? That’s possible. Some things every day? Definitely. And thus, here it is 😉

    http://view-instagram.com/pic/tryasimplelife/1516140980447973399_2268935867

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lisa this is freaking awesome!!!

      Blown away. I really get a sense that your heart and soul went into this … I don’t want to comment too much … but want to encourage others to READ IT ALL!

      This part “Everything on it takes intentional effort, changes in routine, purposeful actions.

      Creating this mind map has given me a road map – something to follow when I am feeling stressed.”

      Thank you so, so much for posting Lisa!

      Sarah🐞 xx

      Liked by 1 person

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