Blog: Developing a healthy mind

By Paul Besley

If asked, ‘Do I like running?’ then the answer has to be no, a definite no. Dentists hold more of an enticement than running.

So it was odd to find myself waiting to hear Rachel Ann Cullen and Louise Minchin, of BBC Breakfast fame, discuss their books about long distance running and triathlons.

But here’s the thing. It wasn’t about running at all. What they wanted to talk about was the inner voice that says ‘you cannot do this.’ It made me sit up, with assignments looming that voice was getting louder and more persistent. Maybe I could learn something?

Louise Minchin, who now runs for Great Britain, started by saying it’s a good idea to establish what is important.

Lesson 1: Running is good and messy bedrooms don’t matter
Meaning: Working on the next section of my assignment is more productive than watching the next Netflix instalment.

Lesson 2: Resilience is something that has a value and needs constant work
Meaning: Success is never immediate and failure needs to be met with a renewed effort to succeed. Learn from mistakes and implement the corrections.

Lesson 3: Look after yourself
Meaning: Studies need to be fuelled with food and drink, (juice, tea, water) to keep energy levels optimum and the mind focussed.

Rachel Ann Cullen talked about building a better self one step at a time. Rachel stressed that it is not an overnight transformation but one of continuous improvement.

Lesson 4: Walk to school, take part in a Parkrun, try a 5k race.
Meaning: Start small, break it down in to manageable steps but keep moving forward.

Lesson 5: Challenge the inner voice that says you can’t or it’s not good enough
Meaning: The reason I am at university is because I CAN. So ignore the inner voice that says otherwise. Continual improvement is an on going process that builds and develops.

Lesson 6: Physical activity of any kind is good for the body and the mind.
Meaning: Get out regularly for exercise. A walk in the park is better than being sat in a room all day. Build connections with people, social activity and conversations is important for a healthy mind.

It was an evening of top tips for working under pressure and succeeding in whatever I am doing.

Tell us what you think

Event feedback form