2020: Your Mentally Toughest Year Yet

The 5 Factors of Health: Mindset

We have arrived in week 5. So far we’ve looked at how sleep, nutrition, exercise, and relationships are controllable factors of health. Balance in these areas can make our lives more fulfilling and joyful, while lack of care can lead to illness, injury, and isolation. Today we take a dive into the fifth and most overlooked, factor of health: mindset. 

Creating Mental Toughness

A healthy mindset is one that is growth-oriented (read Carol Dweck’s book Mindset). 

It is one that is able to 

focus on the things that you have control over. 

A healthy mindset is one where you are aware of your thoughts 

and feelings, rather than blindly controlled by them in day to day life. 

A healthy mindset is the 

foundation of good mental health, a positive mood, and healthy coping.

Developing and understanding mindset is a big topic. There are many good resources on it where you can

learn more and practice techniques to improve it (see the book recommendation above). For our purposes

, we are going to focus on 3 tools for you to start using to improve your mindset in your daily life.


When negative emotions present themselves, that is a sign that you are focusing on things outside of your

control. When anger, frustration, sadness come over you – ask yourself this question and use it to guide 

your response:

  • What do I have control over in this situation?

Focusing on anything else will magnify feelings of upset and powerlessness and push your behavior in

an unproductive direction.


It is easy to evaluate what someone is thinking or feeling or why they took the action they did, but our 

minds don’t always lead us in a truthful direction with that. We often make assumptions that fuel negative 

emotions. When you find yourself making an assumption, instead stop and ask yourself, are there any 

other explanations for this? Consider all of the possibilities, not just the ones you think are true. Then, take 

some action and have a conversation/ask questions to find out what is real.


The single most powerful mindset tool you can develop to transform how you feel about your life is 

cultivating gratitude.

What this means is training your mind to look for and focus on the things that you 

have to be grateful for in any given moment or any given situation, even when it is hard.

  1. Start by adding a daily ritual of finding 3 things you are grateful for that day. 

  2. Next, you can challenge 

    yourself in situations where you feel stressed, to take a deep breath and find something to be grateful for. 

  3. Continued intentionality practicing gratitude leads to this becoming a more natural part of your mindset in intense and frustrating situations. Like so many things, gratitude becomes easier and automatic with practice!


The 5 Factors of Health: 

This is a Journey that Never Ends

Paying attention to these 5 factors of health and working on the skills in this PDF will help 

you create a life that is happy and healthy. There is no end point, there is always room for growth in 

these areas. Even when you have made major improvements or changes, then there is the work of 

maintaining them.

Being a healthier human being requires you to learn to “love the process” of growth, change, learning. 

This year, I challenge you to commit yourself to the journey.

Small steps and efforts on the daily lead to 

big changes. Just don’t give up!

The concept of the 5 Factors of Health was coined by Ben Bergeron. This PDF was created as a self evaluation and goal setting tool by Rachael 

O’Donnell LCSW, LADC, CrossFit level 2 Trainer, and Pn1 Nutrition Coach.