New year, same you: Mental wellness tips
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- This time of year, many people are thinking about New Year's resolutions.
"New Year, New You" is the common theme this time of year, but a local mental wellness expert says there's a healthier way to approach New Year's goals.
Archie Messersmith-Bunting, M.S., also known as "The Feelings Guy," is a mental wellness coach, consultant and professional speaker who helps people discover how leading with their feelings can improve their quality of life and save the lives of those they come in contact with.
He says instead of trying to create this new version of yourself, focus on things to improve mental wellness.
"As we move into January, a lot of people, a lot of people, me included, are going to be focused on maybe losing some of those pounds we might have gained, we were at home. But as we do that work on our physical health does work on our mental health as well. And I'm proposing we do that through a series of pattern interrupts," he said.
Pattern Interrupt is a research-based technique for changing how you think or the way you think. Pattern interrupts can be tied to daily personal tasks.
While doing something as simple as brushing your teeth, pattern interrupt techniques can shake up typical thoughts and actions to open the possibility for something new to take place in our lives.
Here are three pattern interrupts from Archie Messersmith-Bunting to help improve mental wellness for the New Year:
Morning pattern interrupt – Daily Intention Setting
Each morning, use the act of brushing your teeth as the trigger to remind you a pattern interrupt is coming. While brushing your teeth, focus your mind on what you want your intention for your day to be.
Afternoon pattern interrupt – Clearing the Clutter of Your Mind
During your afternoon lunch/break, commit to 30-days of not working during your afternoon break. Use this time to read a book, take a walk, listen to a podcast – do something that is non-work related for at least half an hour.
Evening pattern interrupt – A Reflection in Gratitude
Each evening, as you are brushing your teeth, spend that time in quiet reflection of gratitude. Focus on the good that has happened in your life that day – the people, things and activities that you are grateful for. You’ll be amazed after 30-days of this practice how much more positively you see the world around you.
Messersmith-Bunting says each of these pattern interrupts are simple, yet they can be powerful tools to enter the New Year the same you, but a mentally healthier you.