Mindset And Why It Matters

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Many think of their physical health and their mental well-being as two distinct categories that are completely independent of one another, but this is simply not the case. Our physical fitness and eating habits can affect our moods and mental clarity. Likewise, the thoughts we have on a regular basis and our mental outlook on life can influence how happy we are with our lives and even affect our health as well.

In this article, we’re going to explore the topic of how thought patterns affect our mental well-being, and how we can take control of this process to live more fulfilling and stress-free lives.


Caring too much about what others think of us can take a toll

Let’s face it: Human beings, like most primates, are social creatures. We evolved to live in groups, and it is normal for all of us to care to some extent how we are perceived by others around us. To fall out of favor with the community could actually be dangerous in prehistoric times, and even after the establishment of civilization. Being banished from the tribe or village was tantamount to a death sentence. With no one protecting us, we would be at the mercy of wild animals, harsh weather, bandits, and other dangers. It is natural and normal to place at least some importance on how we are perceived by other people.

But this can quickly get out of hand. So many of us live in fear of being judged or losing face in front of our peers that our lives are not really our own. We’ll do things we don’t want to do, and say things we don’t really agree with just to fit in. This is when the natural instinct to seek good relations with the group can actually become a bad thing.


The power of feedback

One of the most powerful examples of this is how we react to feedback we get from others. If you get a compliment, that’s probably going to boost your mood a bit. But if you’re like most people, and someone criticizes you, that remark will probably stand out more in your memory than a positive one.

So what is the way around this? How do we escape from this mental prison that leads to stress and a lower overall quality of life?

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Perception is reality

This can be a handy expression to keep in mind during times like this. Criticism from other people can have no power over you — unless you allow it to. Receiving criticism is not the problem; your perception and reaction to it is.

Remember: You do not control other people, but you do control your own mind.

Think: Was their criticism constructive? Was it a critique of an idea, or behavior, rather than you as a human being?

What was their goal in providing that criticism? Was it to help, or to hurt? If it is the former, you should not rush to take it personally. If it’s the latter, then you’ve identified someone you may need to cut out of your life, or at least reduce the amount of time you spend around them.

Sometimes the ego gets defensive and fails to see that there might actually be something beneficial in criticism we receive. Analyze the situation as objectively as you can.



It is important to realize that it is almost 100 percent certain that you are not the only person dealing with the problems you are currently facing, and you are not the only one who is afraid of being judged for it. The fear of and desire to avoid disapproval is almost universal.

Besides, it just doesn’t make sense to worry what other people might think. Those people who you think are judging you have own insecurities and issues they are dealing with. You are not taking up as much space in their minds as you might think you are. Even the people who do criticize you have their own problems, and dislike the idea of others finding fault with themselves just as much as you do.

Examine who you typically spend time with in your social life and at work. Is there anyone in particular who stresses you out, or who’s approval you are seeking? No matter who they are, they are just a human being, like you.

Everyone’s life is different, and their circumstances are unique. But there are enough commonalties in the human experience to develop these general principles for freeing ourselves from the stress of caring so much what other people think.


READ ALSO: 5 Simple But Powerful Habits For A Healthier And Happier Life Infographic


It’s your life — stop living it through other people’s lenses. Your mind and body will thank you for it.