Do you know how to embrace a healthy mindset both at work and at home? It isn’t always easy, but we sat down with Paul O’Sullivan, Co-Founder at Studio Think, a self-development and meditation app, on how we can empower ourselves to take care of our mental health, as much as our physical health.
Q: How did Studio Think come to life?
Studio Think came from a couple of life events, much like a lot of people when they discover mindset. I found from these experiences that not many people, including myself at the time, have an understanding of how these events impact you and your life. So in the face of adversity, a sense of curiosity around mindset was ignited within me.
Maintaining a healthy physical presence has been around forever, and the great thing about mindset awareness is that it’s just like working out. No one will run a marathon without training, so why is mindset any different?
Because of our experiences, Studio Think’s co-founder and my wife Katie Leask, decided to become qualified neuro-linguistics programming (NLP) practitioners and life coaches. We loved sharing the message around the benefits of how the mind works and so came up with the idea of creating the app.
Originally Studio Think began life as an affirmations app. Then we brought in our version of life coaching, adding in meditations professional Nat Rich as well as Gray Minnaar and his Breathwork Studio. We then added in mindset tools, and finally, the most important element which is the informative and empowering courses that are the key to personal change.
Q: What challenges and opportunities do you think there is when it comes to empowering positive mindsets at work?
The main challenge is underpinned by the fact that work is ever-changing, and that is the one factor that is inevitable. In our human nature we want to follow a very simple A – B path, but this unsurprisingly doesn’t happen in a workplace, or life in general.
Within a work structure, it often feels more difficult to deal with challenge or change because it’s usually a result of a higher decision that might be out the blue. Perhaps it’s job security or it’s a question about your ability to do a new job. Bundling all these elements together can be a real stressor.
The key point here is that you can primarily control the initial reaction that comes with associations of change – thoughts are literally just thoughts and nothing more. Ultimately, you have all the resources within you to turn negative thoughts into positive ones and be able to deal with forces of change.
Letting go of thoughts and opinions is tricky because this might clash against what you feel is right. If you want to get on and keep bettering yourself in your career, then you probably care that people respect your opinion and that they listen. It’s hard to receive that counterbalance, or counter argument. The ability to control your response to opinions is key.
Q:What guidance would you give to someone who is dealing with forces of change at work?
You can change your thoughts and let the process happen. When dealing with acute stress, it’s important to give yourself the space that you need, whether that’s stepping away from the stressor or giving yourself the ability to vent that initial emotional reaction. Once you allow the process to unfold, then you can work to get to acceptance.
Acceptance is where you start to grow, and seeking feedback is important as this gives you the chance to improve yourself. For example, if you get to acceptance and still think something is not your fault, that you’re a bystander in this, unfortunately you’re being negligent with yourself and not giving yourself the chance to look at what could be improved.
Allow emotions to process, and when you get to acceptance, you need to seek out the things that are going to improve you.
Q: How can employers encourage people to have these conversations at work and a healthier mindset?
It’s about providing the facilities and tools – that’s why we have created this app, which is essentially a mindset coach in your pocket. The first step is to create an environment where, first and foremost, you can seek information and get appropriate help. Corporations are fantastic at offering wellbeing from a mental health perspective. However this is predominately focused on individuals reaching out in the first place.
This urgency to take a grip on mental health and remove its stigma within society and the workplace is creating an interesting space for the next stage of an individuals / employees growth. Optimising mindset through education, such as the Studio Think App, will offer benefits to both wellbeing and productivity to both the individual and employer.
Q: How can one recover from a professional setback in a healthy way?
You have all the resources within you. If you believe that you’re a by-product of a bunch of hardwired habits built from your education, upbringing, religion, and environment, then you’re quite simply able to be moulded into whatever you want to be.
This definitely won’t happen overnight, but you have those resources available inside to change and better yourself. Accept your flawed nature, because we’re all flawed, and the reality is that you’re going to make a mistake, and you’re going to learn from it. Embracing failure can teach you more than your successes. We can all change, it just takes time, effort and the right mindset education.