printableTwelve Mental Sets:

Suggested Attitudes to Enhance Wellbeing

The twelve mental sets are self-statements for positive attitudes. Attitudes influence how we think, feel, and act. If you choose, you can practice the mental sets that are meaningful to you to help you increase a positive and relaxed approach to living. You can gradually weave them into your life fabric. Please do not make these affirmations new “shoulds” for yourself. Be gentle with yourself. Results will become evident as you introduce these attitudes into your daily life.

  1. I do the best I can about a situation, committing myself to its resolution without worrying.
  2. I set realistic goals for myself. When reasonable, I do one thing at a time.
  3. I am aware of my own feelings, and can choose to express them honestly to other people: I am responsible “to” others, not “for” them.
  4. I choose how to respond to stressful situations and accept responsibility for the consequences.
  5. I have no need to compare myself or to compete with other people.
  6. I treat all others with the respect and acceptance I wish for myself.
  7. I realize there are options in any given situation and I feel the freedom to explore.
  8. I learn lessons of growth from negative and positive experiences.
  9. I think and live positively, committing myself to achieving personal excellence; if I backslide, I can regroup and go on.
  10. Death is a normal, inevitable part of human life.
  11. I live in the present moment, realizing I can learn from the past and have hope for the future.
  12. By keeping in touch with my body and responding to its needs, I choose to be well and happy.

Tips for Using the Twelve Mental Sets

It usually takes from one to four weeks of daily practice to gain some benefits from the mental sets. Regular and consistent practice is important. Don’t worry about the results; they will come with time.

  1. Choose the mental health sets which you believe will help you the most. Focus on those until you experience the results you want.
  2. Revise the mental sets so they are relevant to your particular situation. For example, #3 can be changed to “I am aware of my own feelings, and express them honestly to my husband (neighbor, daughter, etc.)”.
  3. Pick a time of day for practice when you are relaxed and your mind is clear. For some people, early morning is best; for others, late evening or while walking in a park may be better.
  4. If negative thoughts surface in your mind as you practice, let them pass without dwelling on them. It does take some time to change beliefs and attitudes, and in the meantime, old negative thoughts may appear. If they persist, you can say “stop!” then focus on the mental sets.
  5. Repeat them daily either silently or out loud, or write them down ten times daily. Spend five to ten minutes each day with them. Say or write them in a relaxed way, as if they were true to you (even if you are not quite convinced).
  6. Imagine yourself living by the mental sets you have chosen.
  7. Write the mental sets on 3 X 5 cards and place them somewhere (the refrigerator door, bathroom mirror, bedside table) where you will see and read them daily. Rewrite or move these cards to a new location every three or four days to reinforce noticing them.