Express Gratitude. Gratitude is the healthiest and most powerful human emotion. In its simplest form, gratitude refers to a state of appreciation and gratefulness. Gratitude lets us focus on the positive aspect of our life, and that acts as a natural antidepressant. Many studies over the past decade have found a link between positive thoughts and the activation of certain neurotransmitters in the brains. We overlook so many amazing things in our lives until we don’t have them. Start and end your day with gratitude. Maintain a gratitude journal and you will begin noticing new things in your life that were overlooked before.
As a part of my series about the “5 Things Anyone Can Do To Optimize Their Mental Wellness” I had the pleasure of interviewing Parveen Panwar a.k.a Mr Activated.
Parveen is a lifestyle impact focused entrepreneur, an angel investor, a yoga , holistic health, breathing and meditation specialist. Mr Activated wants to use his knowledge, experience and inner voice to help awaken others to live happier, healthier, and more meaningful lives. He is teaching people how to reshape their mindset, uncover their inner strength, and motivation to create a life of higher purpose.
Mr Activated is dedicated to launching programs and technologies to help with PTSD, stress, depression, anxiety, weight loss, chronic diseases, and many other areas which are stopping so many people from reaching their full potential!
Mr Activated mission is to move humanity forward by connecting people with their deepest power and helping them unleash their full potential. It’s time we start winning internally and achieve peak performance. Live life without fear and with purpose.
Mr Activated is also a Managing Partner at Activated Capital that was created to bring a measurable double-bottom line — financial and social return by aligning within the communities in which we serve — instead of the traditional top-down investment approach.
Thank you so much for doing this with us Parveen! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
I spent a lot of my early youth being confused and to be honest not having a clear sense of what I wanted to do. There is a whole background story into the family situation that led to this. My family chose engineering for me as it was the safe bet as a career choice. After finishing my engineering degree, I couldn’t find a job. So, instead I started my Masters degree while pursuing some entrepreneurial dreams that failed many many times. In the end I finally managed to excel in the advertising business. I’ve been an entrepreneur for 12 years and at one of the retreats I realized like many other founders, I found myself absorbed into a group of driven entrepreneurs who were consumed by talks of activating venture funds, bank accounts, business ventures, and other material-driven entities. This is where the Activated journey started, I began to change people’s perspective to positive. Little did I know that me jumping around saying “i’m Activated” at the retreat would change my life forever. It started a movement. However, as I travelled deeper down this pathway along with them, I began to become painfully aware of the lack of personal development, authentic relationships, empathy, unselfish empowerment, inner peace and mental & physical wellness caused from the lifestyles that I and my peers lead. I began to see lack of higher purpose and started questioning my existence. Two questions that started to appear in front of me every single day where “Why am I here?” and “What’s my bigger role in moving humanity forward?”
Despite achieving significant “success”, I found himself surrounded by negative people who only cared about themselves and ensuring that their lives were perfectly programmed into a complete robotic schedule with no peace. I was sucked into a robotic, unconscious lifestyle with no sense of fulfillment, dissatisfaction, stress, anxiety and emptiness which was affecting both my physical and mental health. In today’s world people’s minds are always racing, full of mental chatter about past events, future anxiety and forgetting to appreciate the present.
Like most people, I was losing my inner powers due to distractions, lifestyle and stress. I suffered from ADHD, anxiety and I was always distracted . Everyone is born with powers but due to our surrounding and society these days we tend to lose them over time. Our society is working hard to make sure we are powerless. It’s always about the quick fix because it’s quick and easy but we forgot to realize that it’s temporary and not most effective. We get used to putting band-aids on things so many times that we forget to tackle the root cause of the problems. Same thing is happening in organization levels , in government and people’s personal life. We need to empower people to dig deeper and resolve the core of the problem. Sometimes convenience is not the best
We are living in crisis mode and we may not even realize it. Most of us are focused on external gratification and we are fighting our strongest internal enemies. These enemies include excessive negative thoughts, stress, anxiety, fear and depression, which are continuously making us weak.
It is out of the lessons learned that the vision of Mr Activated was developed to move humanity forward and connect people with their deepest inner powers. I made a promise to work in only areas where I can change lives and give people their powers back. Currently, I’m a general partner with Activated Capital (www.activatedcapital.com) to bring a measurable double-bottom line — financial and social return by aligning within the communities in which we serve. I’m also releasing some courses to help people in different areas of their lives.
It’s time we free ourselves and start winning internally!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
The entrepreneur retreat in UTAH is where everything changed for me. To excite all the entrepreneurs and bring positive energy I started a joke by saying “I’m activated” which was a natural way to revive people’s sense of energy, excitement and joy. In a matter of seconds, they could instantly change the way they perceived the world… all through the power of words! Little did I know that it turned into a movement, where everyone was posting photos with Activated T-Shirts, and creating videos on social media talking about what activates them.
At that moment I didn’t really understand the deeper meaning behind this but it put me on a path of impact and moving humanity forward. People started introducing me to other impactful people, we started having retreats with like minded entrepreneurs and just that one word with excitement behind it opened up the door for Mr. Activated and the foundation of Activated Capital with an amazing partner.
Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?
To me there no are no “mistakes”, just learning experiences. One that comes to mind is to make sure you learn how to pronounce a word before you decide to say it in public. What may be right in your head does not mean it’s right when you say it out loud!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My grandfather and mom are the two people who have contributed to a strong foundation that led me to who I’m today. . Growing up in difficult times and family problems, they both showed me the path to be a good human. I had anger, anxiety and so many other issues growing up. Regardless of everything that was going on they both believed in me, helped me, supported me and guided me so I can become the best version of myself. Though I didn’t understand that path originally but later it all came together.
What advice would you suggest to your colleagues in your industry to thrive and avoid burnout?
- Self care
Give priority to fill your own cup. This allows you to give yourself and the world best of you rather than what’s left of you. The best way to prevent your emotions from overwhelming you is to keep a constant self-care strategy in place. Try to do at least one thing every day to take care of your body, mind, and soul.
- The Power of say “No” and not feel guilty
No wasn’t in my vocabulary and pleasing everyone has really caused problems in both in business and my personal life. To be able to focus and have the power to say No to people is actually very powerful and brave. It’s about setting expectations and boundaries. We all need to start doing what is right for us not what is right for others just to please them. If it’s not a “Hell Yes” then it should be an “Hell NO”
- Reconnect with yourself
We all tend to put our health, nutrition and mental fitness behind to focus on other things. But improvement in our vitality and good health can increase our productivity and help in other areas of our lives. Meditation was the best thing that has happened to me! Find time to reconnect with your inner self away from all the distractions.
- Using super power of breathing
When you don’t know what to do, stop and take a breath, become aware of it and slow your thoughts. When we breathe more consciously we can change the quality of our emotions and create heart coherence. You can easily relieve stress by taking deep breaths. Deep breathing prompts the release of endorphins and this naturally lifts your mood and negates any negative emotional energy you may be experiencing. Breath is the bridge between the body and mind.
- Start taking real breaks that rejuvenate you
Take real breaks to reset your mind… often people think breaks means social media or news articles that may affect our emotions, instead do breathing, stretching and just relax your mind to be ready for the next task . Rejuvenate in between is the key
What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture?
Leadership to me means guiding people to achieve the best version of themselves. Strong Leadership is about empowering others and leaving the biggest positive impact that continues to grow even in your absence! Leaders need to walk the talk and really create a work culture around values that helps activate intrinsic motivation at organization level
Empowering people is the key to winning on a common goal. The basis of empowerment is to treat others as equals, listen actively, learn from people, share life stories and align yourself with the mission. The most empowering condition of all is when the entire organization aligns with its mission and the people’s passion and purpose synchronize with each other. Real empowerment must be accompanied by a high degree of accountability to deliver on your commitments. Empowered leaders must be wholly accountable for their actions and transparent about themselves and their results.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Mental health is often looked at in binary terms; those who are healthy and those who have mental illness. The truth, however, is that mental wellness is a huge spectrum. Even those who are “mentally healthy” can still improve their mental wellness. From your experience or research, what are five steps that each of us can take to improve or optimize our mental wellness. Can you please share a story or example for each.
Meditate regularly: Meditation has many physical, mental and emotional health benefits, some of which are due to the release of endorphins. Examples of benefits include improved mood, improved physical wellbeing, better ability to cope with illness and better sleep. There are many ways to meditate, therefore try different methods until you find one that works better for you. You can even do walking meditation by being fully present and enjoying the activity without judgement
Exercise regularly: It benefits your physical and mental health.When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in your body, similar to that of morphine. Group exercise has been shown to release even more. There are many forms of exercise like going for a hike, run, swim or even playing your favorite sports. So you have nothing to lose so why not try it.
Positive reframing: Your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors form a triangular and deeply connected relationship with each other. When you think and feel a certain way, it influences your actions and creates a state of being. To change your current state of being to be more positive, you need to first start by changing your thoughts and feelings. What you think you become! By positively reframing certain emotions or events, it helps us see the light or opportunity in unfortunate circumstances. Sometimes the situation won’t change but by positive reframing can put things in a healthier perspective. It teaches you to find opportunity and respond appropriately rather than reacting.
Express Gratitude Gratitude is the healthiest and most powerful human emotion. In its simplest form, gratitude refers to a state of appreciation and gratefulness. Gratitude lets us focus on the positive aspect of our life, and that acts as a natural antidepressant. Many studies over the past decade have found a link between positive thoughts and the activation of certain neurotransmitters in the brains. We overlook so many amazing things in our lives until we don’t have them. Start and end your day with gratitude. Maintain a gratitude journal and you will begin noticing new things in your life that were overlooked before.
Create an environment for great Sleep : Sleep is very important and plays a major role in your overall well being. We have seen sleep problems are common in people suffering from anxiety, depression, stress etc. If not addressed it can continue to worsen our mental health. Put all the devices away for at least 2 hours before sleep, practice breathing to calm the body & mind and read a book. Our goal is to bring our body to a complete relaxed state to help aid sleep.
Social connections: Maintain good social connections by taking time out to socialize with friends, neighbors, work colleagues and family members. Social connections not only impact your mental health, but your physical health as well.
Much of my expertise focuses on helping people to plan for after retirement. Retirement is a dramatic ‘life course transition’ that can impact one’s health. In addition to the ideas you mentioned earlier, are there things that one should do to optimize mental wellness after retirement? Please share a story or an example for each.
I’m not a specialist but taking care of your body, mind and spiritual connection is important.
Meditate regularly: Meditation has many health benefits, as mentioned previously. There are many ways to meditate, therefore try different methods till you find one that works better for you. Mindful meditation is a great place to start if you are new to the meditation practice. Just 10 minutes a day twice a day and you will begin to see benefits..
Volunteer: Did you know that doing something nice for someone else lightens that person’s physical and emotional load and makes you feel happier and better about yourself? That is because acts of kindness trigger the release of endorphins . Volunteering in done generally in groups so it also helps maintain social connection which has it’s own benefits
Practice deep conscious breathing : Deep breathing prompts the release of endorphins and this naturally lifts your mood and negates any negative emotional energy you may be experiencing. It also slows your heart rate and, as more oxygen enters the blood, it relaxes the brain. Ultimately you will feel good and less stressed.
Walk regularly. It’s great for health and if done mindfully , you get to appreciate little things around you. It’s a mood booster and good exercise . It increases blood flow in the brain and helps with both physical & mental fatigue.
How about teens and pre teens. Are there any specific new ideas you would suggest for teens and pre teens to optimize their mental wellness?
Teens these days are very distracted, lack self awareness and really overpowered by emotional imbalances. We need to start by teaching them how to breathe correctly and learning the superpower of breath when it comes to navigating difficult situations. Our breathing is connected to different types of emotions we experience and by learning how to manage our breath, we can learn how to manage different states of emotions.
Many teens are on social media these days, where many of them fall into traps of comparing themselves with others and not feeling good about themselves . This can lead to anxiety, stress and depression. Becoming aware of their thoughts and having the power to control . Self awareness will give power to take a break and not continue to do things that are not healthy for the mind. Journaling can really help build self awareness. You can start with a simple journal with gratitude and daily reflection of the day (writing down things that happen, lesson learned and what could be done differently)
In teens there is a big stigma about speaking freely about mental health. Connect with others and create a support group of people where you can openly talk about emotions and feelings. You are not alone, it’s quite normal to have different emotions, the idea is to understand them not judge them.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?
“The Alchemist” — Many people keep working as robots but never find true meaning behind their life. I was in the same boat for many years and after reading this book, I realized that once I listened to my heart and put my soul into something, the universe will conspire to make my wishes come true. It’s about living life without fear and with purpose!
Fear should become irrelevant, even in the face of death, if you faithfully pursue your dreams.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would inspire a conscious breathing movement, as our breath is the most important aspect of us being alive. They don’t teach at school or home how to breathe correctly. They don’t teach us about the super power of breathing. We need to know how to use the super power of breathing. On average people takes 20,000 breaths a day and most of us do it autonomously without thinking. We can go without food for up to 40 days and with no water for up to 3 days. However, just a few minutes of not breathing we can die. If we start paying attention to the breath a few times a day and breathe consciously, it can really help us tap into our inner functions and well being.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
“Be the change that you want to see in the world” : By Mahatma Gandhi
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” : By Aristotle
These two quotes meant a great deal to me. When I first started working on the Activated project I knew what change I wanted to bring in the world but didn’t really know where to start. I took a step back and started on the voyage of being the change myself first. To bring that change i’ve to building upon small habits that becomes second nature to be the change
I really started living my life on those principles, and everything began to find its place on the path of this Activated journey.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!