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10 Approaches for using Mental Health Warrior - Mindset Rule 2 - to maintain Emotional Balance and Stay in Charge of the Day!

Updated: Jun 11

(Mental Health Warrior - Mindset Rule 2 - "Respond, Not React to Life's Challenges.")

In everyday life, challenges are inevitable! How we respond to these challenges will define our journey as Mental Health Warriors and shape our future. This is why one of the warrior components is Mindset Rules. They are reminders of certain truths in life, that when embraced will help us keep our emotions centered and us firmly in control of the day.

Mindset Rule 2 - "Respond, Not React to Life's Challenges," serves as a guiding light for navigating the complexities of life’s challenges, by providing us with wisdom and guidance that we can use anytime, anywhere. But that can still leave you wondering just how can I use Mindset Rule #2 in my life?

And it is just that question that I wanted to answer by sharing with you 10 ways I have used this mindset rule. Giving you a starting place for seeing both the power and broad application that this Mindset Rule provides in our quest in learning to ally with our emotions as Mental Health Warrior!


Approach 1 - Pause and Breathe:

In the heat of challenging moments, the power of a pause cannot be overstated. Take a step back, breathe deeply, and allow yourself the mental space to detach from immediate emotions. This simple act sets the stage for a thoughtful and intentional response. I love this demonstration of how such a simple action can produce such powerful results!

Approach 2 - Reflect on Values:

Our values are the compass guiding our decisions. Before reacting impulsively, take a moment to reflect on your core warrior values, which state not only your goals but how you want to live your life. Then consider how your response aligns with these principles, ensuring that your actions resonate with the person you aspire to be.


Approach 3 - Seek Understanding:

Effective responses stem from a comprehensive understanding of the situation. Practice active listening, ask clarifying questions, and seek to understand the perspectives of others involved. This empathetic approach helps us understand, from a calm emotional standpoint, a true understanding of the challenge we face and then allows us to choose the best response.


Approach 4 - Assess Long-Term Impact:

When faced with challenges, it is also crucial to assess the long-term impact of your response. Consider how your actions contribute to the resolution of the challenge and whether they align with your broader life goals (i.e. your values). Then carefully choose a response that contributes toward your life-long goals. In my case this often meant choosing a better response than going back to drinking and hiding from my emotions. It is this long-term approach to answers that allowed me to build the life I have today.


Approach 5 - Empathy and Compassion:

Responding, as opposed to reacting, involves infusing empathy and compassion into your interactions. Acknowledge the emotions of others and approach the situation with a compassionate mindset. This not only strengthens relationships but also paves the way for more constructive outcomes.


Approach 6 - Choose Empowering Language:

Words have the power to build or break. When responding to challenges, mindfully choose your language. Use words that empower and encourage, steering away from language that escalates tension or contributes to negativity. Your choice of words can significantly influence the direction of the conversation and this also prevents conversations from becoming emotional heated battles.


Approach 7 - Collaborate and Delegate:

Recognize that challenges are often collective endeavors. Responding to complex situations involves collaboration with others. Delegate responsibilities when appropriate, leveraging the strengths of a team (family, friends, etc.). These collective responses tend to be more comprehensive and effective than isolated reactions.


Approach 8 - Set Boundaries:

Responding thoughtfully also requires the establishment of clear boundaries. Communicate your needs and expectations assertively, both for yourself and others involved. This approach is not selfish, but actually helps you build support, as you openly share your boundaries, ensuring that the responses you choose benefit everyone.


Approach 9 - Focus on Solutions:

A reactive mindset tends to fixate on the problem, while a responsive mindset shifts the focus toward solutions. Actively seek ways to address challenges, pouring our energy into those solutions and moving forward from our challenges. This new mindset is extremely powerful in solving problems, as it keeps our focus on where we can make the most impact, the solution!


Approach 10 - Learn and Grow:

Every challenge is an opportunity for growth. Embrace each experience as a learning opportunity, where responding, rather than reacting, allows you to evolve. This approach also works in allowing us to reframe setbacks as stepping stones for building the future we really want!

Responding, not reacting, is an ongoing journey—one that transforms challenges into building blocks toward a purposeful and empowered life. It is with this knowledge that I encourage you as a Mental Health Warrior to add Mindset Rule 2 to your warrior arsenal and use it throughout each and every day. Reveling in the positive results it brings to your life and your mental health!

Bruce Schutter

(Author and Creator of the Mental Health Warrior Program and Challenge Coin)


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