Heidi’s Five Things to Build You in 2017
Namibian Clinical Psychologist and regular MYD contributor, Heidi Burmeister Nel, shares here the five things she knows will build her as a person in 2017, so that armed with a simple list we too can ensure that we grow this year.
Five Things That Will Build Me in 2017 by Heidi Burmeister Nel
When I think about what will build me in 2017, it boils back to being conscious about my perspectives and attitudes about important aspects of my life. These mental considerations will benefit me as well as my personal relationships. Keeping a self-reflective and open mind-set will surely build me in 2017. Here are some thoughts I will hold on to during 2017 …and to infinity and beyond!
1. Don’t hold on to toxic emotions
Prolonged unhealthy negative emotions can cause us to become addicted to these emotions, literally causing us to need these emotions and to subconsciously create experiences that will recreate these emotions.
All negative emotions elicits a stress response in the body, whether it’s anger, resentment, range, guilt or any other unhealthy negative emotion. Thinking patterns that elicits these emotions sends your body into fight-or-flight mode and triggers stress related hormones and neurochemicals that is harmful for your body in many ways. Prolonged unhealthy negative emotions can cause us to become addicted to these emotions, literally causing us to need these emotions and to subconsciously create experiences that will recreate these emotions. These emotions also breaks our immune system down, which can lead to all kinds of health problems over time. Letting go of toxic emotions is a deliberate, wilful choice that needs to be made. Whenever toxic emotions creep in. Which means that it’s mostly not a once off mental act. It needs to be managed whenever we notice these emotions in our body.
2. Don’t take love for granted
Relationships are also a conscious choice
When you have found a partner to love, make sure you do not take love for granted!
Love, despite being one of the strongest forces in our lives and bodies, is not immune to neglect, abuse, rejection, pain and absence. We have a responsibility to keep a realistic and positive mind-set about our partner, and to consciously work on keeping the love alive. Relationships are also a conscious choice! Therefore I remind myself that if I neglect my responsibility towards myself and my relationship, my partner have a choice to stay, or to go, as do I.
3. Watch your expectations
Often it is not life, others or myself that needs to change, because in all truth, they won’t!
Most of our frustration, upsets and pain are caused by our own set of (often unrealistic) expectations about life, our partners, family members, friends and about ourselves. Often it is not life, others or myself that needs to change, because in all truth, they won’t! I do, however, have the capacity to adapt my expectations and to accept reality, even though it might not always suit me.
4. Challenge yourself – move out of your comfort zone
To not get caught up in the monotony and routine of life, which can quickly move into boredom, we need to get out of our comfort zones.
Humans inherently crave to feel alive and to have fun. We crave to feel alive and to never lose the element of excitement. To not get caught up in the monotony and routine of life, which can quickly move into boredom, we need to get out of our comfort zones. Stretch yourself into doing something new, fresh and challenging at least once a year, whether it’s something physical, cognitive, skilful or just for the heck of it … It does not need to be elaborate! There often are elements of fear in the unknown. Our human inclination is to avoid fear, therefore, we will avoid whatever is new and unfamiliar. Step into fear, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you discover about yourself, life and your capabilities!
5. The law of discipline
Life rewards us more when we have, at least, a fair amount of discipline.
I remind myself regularly about this law, with my weight, fitness and relationships. Just as we (sadly) cannot eat what and when we want to keep our weight constant, we can’t get fit without putting in the work. Once we’ve put in the work, it’s not going to stay that way if we do not keep on living healthily. Life rewards us more when we have, at least, a fair amount of discipline. This law counts in relationships as well. You can’t have your bread buttered both ways. You will never have a safe, intimate trustworthy relationship if you are greedy for admiration, attention and ‘keep your options open’. Discipline rewards.