emotional wellbeing Mandy Kloppers

15 Questions to help free your mind

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15 Questions to help free your mind

Do you want to know more about yourself? Try answering these questions to help you reveal what’s lying in your unconscious, suppressed and ignored. There are no right or wrong answers, answer them without giving them to much thought. Answer the question before reading further – use a piece of paper if necessary to cover the page as you work your way down.

Write down what comes to mind initially as this is more likely to be an answer that is true to you…

1) When was the last time you felt truly happy?  ______________________________________________________________

The more recent this was the better. If it was a long time ago since you last felt truly happy, it’s time yo ask yourself why it’s been so long and what changes you can make to introduce more of this into your life.

2) What were you doing when you last felt truly happy?_________________________________________________________

Can you identify what it was exactly that made you feel happy?

3) When did you last cry? _____________________________________________________________________________

If it’s been a long time since you cried over something, check whether you might have ‘checked out’ emotionally from your life. Becoming detached is risky as you lose connections with others and can end up feeling empty and numb and not really ‘living/alive’.

4) What/who brings happiness and positive energy into your life (things that make you happy/inspire you)?____________________________________________________

5) What/who brings negative energy into your life (things that drag you down/drain you)?________________________________________________________________

Always ensure that you have a good ratio between positive/negative energy in your life. Too much negative energy leads to anxiety, exhaustion, depression. Limit time with toxic people if possible, cut down on the draining activities.

6) Are you living a life you love or are you living a life you’ve settled for?______________________________________________________________________________

If you feel you have ‘settled’, ask yourself why. Is it out of fear? You may find your fears are unfounded but left unchallenged you’ll never know what might be. People tend to regret what they didn’t do rather than what they tried, even if it doesn’t work out as planned.

7) List 10 things you love about yourself________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

How long did this take you? If you struggled to easily write down 10 things, your self esteem/confidence needs work. Know what your strengths are and remind yourself of them regularly.

8) Do you believe that the world supports you mostly or do you believe the world is full of people who will try to take advantage of you if they get the chance?________________________________

This question helps to identify our general belief about the world and whether we see it as generally good or bad. If you believe the world is mostly a bad place, challenge this belief as negative assumptions, not based on specific evidence, can become a self fulfilling prophecy and end up becoming a reality in your life due to your beliefs.

9) If not now, when? What are you waiting for?________________________________________________________________________________________________________

We have stuff we are putting off but ask yourself what the cost is of not doing what needs to be done? Stop thinking and start living.

10) How would you like to be remembered by others?____________________________________________________________________________________________

Whatever you have written for this question – are you doing/being these things/qualities?

11) Does your life have a sense of purpose/goals?______________________________________________________________________________________________

One of the best indicators of happiness is having a reason for being, some purpose to motivate ourselves.

12) Do you have good strategies to ward off/manage stress?  No?____Yes?________ – name them here_____________________________________________________________________________

If you don’t have firm strategies think about developing a system off ideas to help you such as: taking a yoga or meditation class. If you’ve never done this, now’s the time to learn. Or join a gym. Learn about breathing techniques, visit a counsellor/therapist for Cognitive Behavioural therapy (CBT) , get a pet, go on holiday,take time out. Find out what destresses you and keep these around you for when the going gets tough.

13) Who is in charge of your life? You or someone or something else? (such as a job, health issues etc)_________________________________________________________________________________________

If you have become passive in your life or if you are in a controlling relationship, decide that it’s time to get back in the driver’s seat and get out of the passenger seat. Never be a passenger in your own life on a long term basis. This will lead to feeling unfulfilled and resentful in the long term. Trust me on this one!

14) Do you know what the content of your inner world/inner chatter is?__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Your inner world often gets mirrored in your outer world. Be very careful of what you tell yourself and what you decided to pay attention to and BELIEVE. You don’t have to believe and ‘buy into’ every thought you have – thoughts are not facts. Reduce the amount of negative self talk and also the negative assumptions you make about the world. Always always challenge your thinking – ask yourself where the evidence is for your thinking/conclusions about the world. You may find that many times your assumptions are completely wrong. Stop the mental torture and make your thoughts work for you. (CBT with a therapist is a great way to help with this).

15) Are you a worrier?________________________________________________________________________

If you answered “yes”, learn to manage worry better. Ask yourself whether what you are worrying about is something you have any control over. If you cannot control what you are worrying about, learn to ‘shelve’ the worry and distract yourself. If your worry is over something you can control, be resolution focused instead of worrying aimlessly. Engage the rational you by asking yourself whether you will still  feel as worried in 2 weeks, 6 months, 1 year. Life always tends to calm down after a while.

The above questions are a fantastic way to do a life-check, take stock and re-assess what is going on in your life. Make changes where you need to and get back to life.

Mandy X


Photo by h.koppdelaney cc

Mandy Kloppers
Author: Mandy Kloppers

Mandy is a qualified therapist who treats depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, trauma, and many other types of mental health issues. She provides online therapy around the world for those needing support and also provides relationship counselling.