Well-Being Tip: Communicate with Purpose
In this week’s Well-Being Tip, we explore how to consciously bring an element of our personal values to our interactions with others.
The Purpose pillar of the Healthy Minds Framework for Well-Being is all about recognizing your personal values and applying them to day-to-day life. This is often easier said than done. But, like most activities related to training your mind – it just takes a little practice.
Taking the time to reflect on your deeply held values and motivations is the first step. You can dig into this concept through many of the meditations on the Healthy Minds Program app. You probably have many personal values that already guide you – perhaps your personal connections, being kind, or living with authenticity.
Now comes the tough part. Once you’ve identified your personal motivations (purpose), it’s time to bring them into daily life. This can feel awkward at first, and you might think – “How am I supposed to wash dishes with purpose?” But you can start small – try a few things out this week – then, try a few more things out the following week.
One way to bring purpose into your daily life is to consciously bring an element of your personal values to your interactions with others. Whether we realize it or not, the way we communicate with other people expresses our values.
In this week’s Tuesday Tip we’ll explore how to communicate our values on purpose and will find specific ways to infuse our communications with the values that really matter to you.
- Step 1: Identify which of your personal values you want to bring to your interactions this week, be it kindness, compassion, honesty, frugalness…any value will work.
- Step 2: Shift your perspective. While you might not necessarily change what you say or write, you are working on a shift in your attitude. For example, if you are personally motivated by kindness or even humor – think about how these values can imbue your interactions.
- Step 3: Bring it to interactions. While you’re interacting with people, bring a value to mind. Let it guide what you say, do, or write. Let it infuse your interaction. You can even tell the other person if it seems appropriate.
- Step 4: Reflect after each interaction, and again at the end of the week. How did bringing purpose to your interactions feel? Did you notice how it affected others? What about your own state of mind?
Here’s an example of how this could look. Let’s say you’re about to text a friend. You’ve already identified that you want to bring more of your personal value of compassion to your interactions. So before you send the text, think about this value. Then, as you type out your text, write with a sense of compassion for your friend. Think about how they might feel when receiving your message. Even take a pause for awareness before you hit send. That’s it.
Interactions can mean a lot of things – not necessarily a text to a friend. You can bring your values to a social media post, an email at work, or even when going to the grocery store and chatting with employees. Remembering to do this is half the battle, so get creative and find ways to remind yourself. Our days are filled with moments of connection with other people. Over the next few days or weeks, see if you can bring something you truly value into all of these interactions.
Get more practices and tips by downloading the Healthy Minds Program App, freely available thanks to the generosity of our donors wherever you get your apps.