Five habits for a healthy mindset


Chloe: Improving the way you speak about yourself is the simplest thing you can do for yourself and your mindset.

A HABIT is a routine of behaviour that typically occurs subconsciously. Unlike most of our well-defined, quantifiable habits like drinking water and making the bed, intangible habits that lurk inside our heads tend to be neglected, despite being equally important.

1. Acceptance

What are you currently beating yourself up on? Acceptance doesn’t mean that you have to stop caring; it merely allows you to stop resisting the circumstances you find yourself in.

After all, you can choose to love yourself with all your flaws without achieving the “perfect” version of yourself.

Acceptance can also apply to other aspects of life. For example, you can choose to accept that you are late to school, knowing that stressing about it will not change anything.

You have to accept that you make mistakes sometimes and not punish yourself each time it happens.

2. No one is competition

Especially with social media, it becomes easier to slip into false realities, leaving space for comparison to others, be it their appearance or success.

You have to remember that the notion that everyone is competition is only something created in your own mind, and that pitting yourself against others takes away happiness.

Though it might be hard to not compare yourself with others, it is always better to let go and focus on yourself and your own potential.

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side; it’s greener where you water it.

3. Be grateful

Gratitude allows you to consciously turn your attention to what is good, leaving less room for negative thoughts. Changing your perspective from “I have to do it” to “I get to do it” is a form of being grateful as you see an action less as a dreaded chore, but more of a privilege or an opportunity.

Being grateful isn’t limited to something big – you can feel grateful for the littlest things, like how the rays of sunlight paint the wall in shades of gold.

Make it a conscious practice to write down three things you are grateful for on a daily basis as it helps you to see things in a more positive light.

4. Seek criticism

As uncomfortable as it may sound, you have to be open to honest feedback.

Seeking constructive criticism is a matter of choice. You can either stay in your comfort zone or grow by stretching your boundaries.

The more perspectives you obtain, the more you can learn to do better. Just make sure that you use the criticism to grow, instead of taking it personally.

5. Positive self-talk

Did you know that the way you talk about yourself can influence your actions? Start telling yourself that you are strong, good and worthy enough, instead of being self-deprecating at every chance you get.

Repeating these affirmations will strengthen your belief in the statements. The more you start to believe in them, the more your choices and actions will reflect them.

Improving the way you speak about yourself is the simplest thing you can do for yourself and your mindset.

Chloe, 16, is a participant of the BRATs Young Journalist Programme run by The Star’s Newspaper-in-Education (Star-NiE) team. Throughout the year-long programme, participants aged between 14 and 22 from all across the country experience life as journalists, contributing ideas, conducting interviews, and completing writing assignments. They get to earn bylines, attend workshops, and extend their social networks. To join Star-NiE’s online youth community, go to facebook.com/niebrats.

1. Chloe put forward five habits to adopt for a healthy mindset in the form of a listicle. Now, turn to the Dear Thelma page in the StarLifestyle pullout published today. Read the dilemma faced by the letter writer (while covering Thelma’s response). Are any of the five habits suggested by Chloe suitable for use to advise the letter writer in his or her situation? Imagine that you were Thelma. What advice would you give him or her in overcoming, or coping with, the situation? Write out your advice in not more than 150 words. When you are done, read Thelma’s response. How similar or different are both your advice?

2. Chloe suggested making it a conscious practice to “write down three things you are grateful for on a daily basis as it helps you to see things in a more positive light”. What are three things you are grateful for today? Write them down in your Star-NiE scrapbook!

Since 1997, The Star’s Newspaper-in-Education (Star-NiE) programme – with the Education Ministry’s endorsement – has supported English language teaching in primary and secondary schools nationwide. Through Star-NiE’s teacher and student workshops, annual contests and monthly English language resources for classroom use, participants of the programme have reportedly shown marked interest in the language and progress in their proficiency. Starting this month, Star-NiE will continue its role of promoting the use of English language through a weekly activity page in StarEdu. These activities are suitable for use individually and in groups, at home and in the classroom, across varied proficiency levels. Parents and teachers are encouraged to work on the activities with their children and students. In addition, Star-NiE’s BRATs Young Journalist Programme will continue to be a platform for participants to hone and showcase their English language skills, as well as develop their journalistic interests and instincts. Recruitment for the BRATs 2022 programme will start in November. Follow our updates at facebook.com/niebrats. For Star-NiE enquiries, email starnie@thestar.com.my.

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