Change your Focus to Change Your Mental Health


The past twelve months have been an unusually challenging time. So much so that it would be fair to say that no one person has been immune (no pun intended) from the effects of the global pandemic.

Everybody has been affected to some degree by this unprecedented event. Although major virus outbreaks have been predicted and discussed at high levels of world government and by international health bodies, the mental and emotional effects on the average citizen have varied in scale from mild discomfort to significant distress and despair.

Perhaps this is a good time to do a personal mental health check and investigate methods to improve our emotional state and mental outlook.

Is your glass half empty or half full?

Changing the way that we see things, or do things, is the fundamental key to changing our mental state. Most people are aware of the old “Is the glass half empty or half full?” idiom. Perhaps this is an overused analogy, but as mom’s old cures for the common cold, it is one of the most powerful starting points in assessing the mental outlook.

Put simply; it teaches us that we can look at any given situation in one of two ways – we can view everything from a negative (half empty) or a positive (half full) outlook.

Here’s the thing – either way we choose to look at it, we are still looking at the same glass! The glass of water hasn’t gotten any better or worse by choosing the positive mental approach – but our mental state has!

Apply a skill in a completely different way

It is human nature to become jaded with daily life and daily routine. Often all that is needed to ‘re-calibrate’ our mental state is to shake things up just a little.

Sometimes using a skill in a completely different way assists to change the way that a person looks at things. Every person has a unique set of abilities and natural talents, and often a person 

Applying a skill commonly used for mundane work tasks to a leisure activity, or something entertaining and vital, is often the re-calibration that is needed to improve mental wellbeing.

Learn something new

Acquiring knowledge, or learning a new skill, is a powerful way to achieving a better mental state. The act of engaging in something new, whether it be a physical activity like dancing or a mental activity like chess, changes brain patterns and demands new motor skills.

In simple terms, the act of learning and engaging in a new activity changes patterns in the brain, which breaks old patterns. The sum effect of this is a positive change in mental and emotional state.

Put another way, a new interest shifts mental focus and absorbs us in a new activity, which takes the mind away from dwelling on old problems and concerns.

The time to start is now

The methods of changing mental state for the better are relatively simple and straightforward. The greatest enemy to success is procrastination – so the time to make a start is now. Remember that even the smallest change will produce just that – change.  A change in mental outlook is easily achievable with even the smallest steps.