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W.E.B. for winter mental health management, part 2

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First, a refresher on W.E.B.

You have a network in your body that encompasses the actual physical components, the energetic components, and even what you might call the ethereal, or spiritual components.

Not all of this can be distilled down into words, but that’s another conversation. For what we can explain though, WEB is a tool to help you create self understanding. Here’s what WEB stands for:

  • Words
  • Emotions
  • Behavior

These three things are woven together inside of you, linked to create what you know as your identity, and how you operate in this world in order to stay alive, connect, nurture and justify yourself, and simply to get by.

Words are how you explain what is happening, and how you explain yourself. Language allows you to tell me and the rest of the world what thoughts arise in your mind, what emotions you feel in your body, and why you do what you do.

Emotions are the chemicals created in response to the neurons firing off in your nervous system, which you may or may not be able to explain with words. Usually we can come up with some sort of explanation if we really listen to the thoughts being created in our minds. Those thoughts are communicated to the body through what we call emotions.

Behavior is the action your body takes in response to the aforementioned thoughts and emotions. This happens over and over again, animating you. Your mind and body is a machine full of sensors and switches. WEB is a way to break the thousands of patterns in your WEB down to a singular, identifiable part of the WEB.

So why use WEB to self audit? So you can monitor and adjust the machine so it works better and hopefully contributes toward a better life experience for you.


New WEB’s for a better winter

In the first part of this two part series I took you through some WEBs that can be automatically activated with the onset of winter. A WEB always starts with Words, or thoughts. The winter months can trigger thoughts like:

  • It’s going to be long
  • It’s going to be cold
  • I can’t wait for spring
  • I don’t feel good
  • This sucks
  • I’m so tired

Even though these can feel objectively correct, they’re actually subjective thoughts. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with your brain thinking these thoughts, but if you consider what they lead to, and what they help you (or don’t help you) accomplish, are they useful thoughts to focus on?

When I think about the WEBs that are patterned through my brain and body, I try to make sure I’m applying one of two emotions to them; gratitude or compassion.

  • Gratitude for the WEBs that serve me well and can contribute to the life experience I want to have.
  • Compassion for the WEBs that developed in response to circumstances beyond my control, even if I don’t necessarily like what they create now.

Why do I try and focus these two emotions towards my WEBs? Because my thinking mind operates and animates my body. And even the words, emotions, and behaviors I learned as a kid that don’t create what I want now, even those WEBs were useful at some point. They were created by my brain to help me survive.

Those deeply embedded WEBs are practically impossible to destroy. And that’s actually a good thing, because you know what destroys WEBs? Strokes. Traumatic Brain Injury. Dementia. It’s normal to wish you could change the things you don’t like about yourself, but to truly destroy that part of your identity would take something truly profound, and not always in a good sense.

What’s better is prompting your brain and body to create new WEBs that are more useful than the old ones, and building the habit of getting those WEBs to fire off more quickly than the old ones.

Challenging yourself to new thought

So, let’s think about what you want this winter. If I apply this to myself, I’d like to try and:

  • sleep well
  • eat nourishing foods
  • schedule social activities
  • read several books
  • help others

Those things can be hard to do when I get into pity party mode, letting my brain latch on to negative words to complain about winter. So, I need a few different words to try on for size to see if I can create some different WEBs to rely on:

  • Take your magnesium so you can sleep
  • Tomorrow is a new day
  • Use it or lose it (this motivates me in both socializing and exercising)
  • Read just one chapter (sometimes one chapter leads to multiple)
  • You love connecting with people

For me personally, these are really good words to get a dialog going in my brain that helps create emotions that motivate the behavior I’d like to get out of myself. Yet I always try to make sure I have the generator of compassion ready to motor up, just in case any of my new WEBs fail to produce the first time around. Allowing yourself some grace is a huge component when doing work that alters your behavior.

The old, reliable way of being is always the easiest path, and this is GREAT when it creates what you want, but not so great when it doesn’t.

So we come up with intentional WEBs, try and try again, and do the work towards creating a healthier mindset towards the winter months, and life in general.

As a certified health and certified life coach I am skilled at helping people create the mindset and habits to enjoy their lives more and support the physical and mental health of their brains. If you’d like to explore working together, email

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash