While the relevance of the above image and World Mental Health Day might not seem obvious, to me is it is a shining example (dad joke intended) of my own mental health self-care program.
Years ago I read the AMAZING New York Bestseller "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg and it literally changed my life and the way I reward myself & get myself to stick to things...
Duhigg talks about the habit loop and how you need:
Trigger - Action - Reward
If you set this up or are aware of the need for this, it's truly amazing what you can get yourself to stick to.
So what has this got to do with my engine bay? Well, I recently got another classic car that I need to 'fix up'. The list of jobs I need to get through is endless and if I think about it ALL, I can get pretty unmotivated and a little anxious. However, my list is made up of lots (and LOTs) of little jobs, and yesterday, the 'little' job was the engine bay clean up!
Only focusing on this one job for the day is important for me, the TRIGGER was opening up the engine bay and feeling deflated about how it looked, but by taking a picture of this visual trigger allowed me to set up the potential dopamine loop!
The ACTION should be pretty clear... I spend the best part of 14 hrs disassembling, cleaning, enameling, and re-assembling the engine bay (while listening to some embarrassing old-school soft rock).
The REWARD was the pre and post image that you see above, the sense of achievement and gratification that I gained was immense and it keeps me positive about the LONG LONG journey ahead #getcolonelmustardRWC. Dopamine has a strong effect on positive emotions and my ability to get through the long list of JTBD (jobs to be done).
The whole process and rub-off on my total sense of wellbeing and positivity is immense! I can look back on the image above and feel awesome again and again. So on World Mental Health Day, I got to spend time outside in the sunshine, receiving a little help from my kids, and achieved something measurable! How could you use this TRIGGER - ACTION - REWARD loop to keep you motivated and on-track to achieve your wellbeing goals?
In these times of endless Lockdowns and COVID-19 uncertainty, this was something that I could control and was a reminder of how powerful our brains are to visual stimulation. Ok, so I'm gaming the system here, but hey...it works 😉
I'd love to hear what you did on World Mental Health Day?