11 Important English Collocations to Improve your English Mind (set)

Lesson Overview

Lesson Summary 

Study and practise these 11 important English collocations with me to improve your fluency, accuracy and speak more confidently! Talking about health and well-being is essential.

Video Transcript
Section 1
Hey there I’m Emma from mmmEnglish! Today I’ve got some cool vocabulary to share with you about wellbeing.

Now this is the noun that we use to talk about a state of being comfortable, happy, healthy in a physical way, emotional way and a mental way. Something that is, well for me at least, an ongoing challenge in life maintaining the balance between all of those things.

Many of the words and the phrases that I’m sharing in this lesson are interconnected. They’re all linked to this topic and I want to go into a bit more detail around how to use these words accurately to talk about your wellbeing and the wellbeing of your friends and family. Maybe your staff, your team at work.

So I want you to take a long deep breath in and get ready to ease on into our lesson with me. Let’s go.

So with health and feeling good about yourself, we can talk about physical things like exercise and eating well, getting enough sleep, all of that stuff. But we’re also talking about emotional aspects of life, of work, of relationships.

All of these things can be tricky but as you start to learn more about the English-speaking version of you and your mental and emotional state as an English learner, this becomes increasingly important.


So let’s start with mindset. And actually, when we say this word, we drop that D sound or it becomes very quiet. You almost can’t hear it. Mindset.

And this is your mental attitude or your mood, your way of thinking and there are some really specific verbs and adjectives that we often use with this noun, with the noun mindset and we call these collocations.

And as you’re building your vocabulary and you’re learning new words, it is a really good idea to learn common collocations with that word. So you’re learning that new word but you’re also learning words that are often used together with it in sentences.

positive mindset

So what other words do we use with mindset? You might already have some ideas about this but we often use positive and negative to describe our mindset. It is useful to keep in mind that our mindset is not fixed.

Just because we have a negative mindset about one thing doesn’t mean that we have a negative mindset about everything right? It’s a state that can change and regularly change.

We should always be working towards a more positive mindset right? Though it’s not easy.

Think of COVID right, we’ve all been through this in one way or another this year so we can all relate to it. I’m going to talk about a couple of examples.

When lockdown was announced, Sarah was really frustrated because she didn’t have high-speed internet at home, her kids were driving her crazy, she didn’t have enough time to look after them and get all of her work done as well. Usually, her parents come around to look after them after school but they couldn’t during lockdown right so of course, this is a tough situation.

But we could say that it’s unhelpful to be feeling like this. The situation can’t change. Sarah has the wrong mindset not because it’s wrong to feel frustrated but because if she keeps thinking about all of the negative things and complaining and talking about how bad it is, she’s going to become really unhappy.

Now Maria on the other hand, knows this is a negative situation but she chooses to appreciate the extra time that she has with her family. She gets to spend time with her kids. She tells her boss that she’s doing everything she can to meet her deadlines and helps her to understand what’s going on at home. She’s cooking lots of home-cooked meals instead of getting takeaway like she usually does and she loves feeling like she’s taking good care of her family during a difficult period.

have a mindset
adopt a mindset

So Maria is adopting a positive mindset. That is a great verb!

We often hear to have a mindset but to adopt a mindset is even better. You might know this verb because it’s used when you legally take responsibility or ownership of a child or a pet right? You might adopt a puppy.

But adopt can also mean to take up or to follow or to use something. So adopt is especially useful when you are deliberately trying to change the way that you think about a situation.

Usually, we have to do a little bit of work to change the way that we think right, we can’t just make it happen like that. It’s always a process and using adopt as our verb helps to explain that it’s a process.

change your mindset
shift your mindset

Other verbs that you’ll often hear with mindset are change and shift. They’re both talking about the same thing, about that transition from one mindset to another.

So now you’ve got a few awesome collocations to use with the word mindset. I want you to put them into practice so just hit pause for a moment on the video, write me a sentence using two or three of these words that you’ve just learnt and add them into the comments below.

Has there been a time in the past where you really had to focus on changing the way that you think or you feel about something or someone?

For me, I’m going through some significant changes in my business. As my team grows, I’m having to shift my mindset around the role that I play in the business and the type of work that I do and that’s been really challenging for me. I’m still working on it. It’s a process, right?

Anyway, share an example about you. I’ll pop down into the comments to correct the way that you’re using these words if you need it.

stress relief
(to) relieve stress

Dealing with problems and challenging situations is life right? It’s obviously tricky. It can be quite stressful actually. So I want to share some language that will help to express your feelings and your needs when times are difficult. Starting with stress relief or to relieve stress.

What do you do to relieve stress? Or what do you do for stress relief?

As you’re thinking about your answer, I want to talk a little bit about the structure of these two questions right because stress relief and to relieve stress, they’re both expressing the same idea about taking stress away or removing it from life.

However, stress relief is a noun phrase. We treat it as a noun in our sentence, an uncountable noun. It can’t be plural.

But with relieve stress, we have a really useful collocation to note and remember. We have the verb relieve and the noun stress.

So what helps you to relieve stress? What makes you feel better? What do you do for stress relief?

Taking a walk outside is always one of the best ways to relieve stress and tension. To get up, to move around, to get blood flowing through my body. You know movement always provides stress relief for me, anyway.

(to) practise mindfulness
(to be) mindful

I also practise mindfulness or I try to be mindful.

So again you can see that there are similar ways to express the same idea here and this idea is about being conscious or being aware of something. It’s about focusing on the present moment, being here right now.

Not thinking about all the things that you need to do in the future or worrying about whatever happened earlier. Now this is definitely something that I’ve been trying to focus on throughout lockdown and throughout all of the changes that we’ve been experiencing this year.

If any of you have tried meditating or you’ve tried yoga then these are types of activities that help you to practise mindfulness.

So when it comes to managing difficult relationships in our lives, whether it’s at work or in our family, mindfulness can help you to observe the behaviour of others and change your attitude, your mood or your behaviour to respond to them in the best way possible which also happens to be a really useful tool as you are learning a language and building confidence to speak in that language.

Many of my students have had a moment that burns in their mind, you know a time when they went to talk to someone in English and it didn’t go as well as they’d hoped. Whether they’d made the mistake themselves and they’d lost confidence or they had a really bad experience. Maybe the person was rude to them or unhelpful in some way.

As a language learner, I really encourage you to spend some time practising mindfulness, reflecting on those fears and being kind to yourself or observing other people’s behaviour from a different perspective, you know. Maybe that rude guy had actually just broken up with his girlfriend or he lost his job. You don’t let his actions or his poor response define you and who you are as an English speaker.

This is actually something that I talk about inside my online community quite a lot, The Ladies’ Project. It’s a space for women who are learning English to connect, to build skills and to build confidence, especially in English conversation.

I’ve added a little link in the description down below so that you can find out a bit more about what we do, read our blog but also watch some of our member testimonials.

So I know that this was a slightly different lesson today but I really hope that by focusing on a few important aspects of self-care and of mindfulness, you’ve been able to broaden your English vocabulary but also to consider some of the different tools that you have to help you improve your English life.

Thank you so much for joining me and when you’re in the mood to practise some grammar with me, then check out this entire playlist right here. At this point, there’s over forty-five different grammar lessons in there for you. Make sure you subscribe and turn on the notifications if you’d like to hear from me even more.

Definitely click that subscribe button and I will see you in the next lesson!

Links mentioned in the video

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