There’s so much power in being able to think positively, but for many of us, it isn’t actually that easy.
Thinking negatively is our automatic response, we’re hardwired to think of what could go wrong. This way of thinking served us thousands of years ago. Unfortunately humans haven’t evolved at the same rate as the world and we’ve found ourselves with an out of date stress response system – not ideal when you’re trying to stay zen and ‘live your best life’…
The good news is we can absolutely train our minds to think more positively. Creating a positive mindset is achievable for anyone, not matter how pessimistic you may think you are now. Over the past year or so I’ve been inspired to blog more about positivity and self-care, purely because I’ve seen how much of a positive impact it’s had for me.
All of our lives have changed over the past few months, and a few weeks back I noticed my usual feelings of joy were less frequent and my mood overall was low. I stopped looking after myself as well as I used to, good habits slipped slightly and I felt off centre. I wanted to share how I get back into a positive mindset when these moments happen. How I aim to always keep a positive outlook, regardless of difficult life moments where it can feel impossible.
I know this has become a bit of a cliche word you’ve probably seen everywhere. The thing is, being more self aware is everything when it comes to mindset.
If there’s one thing that’s made keeping a positive mindset possible for me it’s self awareness. Combined with discipline it gives you the power to make positive changes for yourself. It’s noticing when you need to slow down. Take a break off social media. Have one less G&T (I’m still working on that one). Responding to someone rather than reacting based on emotions.
Improving my self awareness came through therapy, journalling (I’ve shared my favourite journal prompts here) and mindfulness. It’s not something you complete and then it’s done, it’s a constant process of trying to get to know myself a little better. Through being more in tune with myself I make better decisions which makes a positive mindset way more achievable.
We all have different tolerance levels when it comes to negativity around us. For me I have to protect my space and mindset. When I lived on my own I would listen to a news podcast every morning, I started to notice certain topics made me feel anxious, I was driving to work sad because of it! For some people news stories wouldn’t impact their mindset negatively, but for me it really did so I cut it out. I switched up my routine and found positive, funny podcasts and I felt instantly better for it.
It was self awareness that helped me realise this…
Some bad news is unavoidable. So I’d rather focus on the positives where I can to give me enough headspace to deal with the bad news that’s really important to me. I’m more mindful when I consume the news, and how much time I lend to it.
I’m sure you’ve all heard the quote ‘you’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.’ I mean, I don’t strictly agree with that quote, but I do think there’s a lot of weight in the people you spend time with and how their mindset can impact yours. Both positively and negatively.
I know this can be seriously difficult. I’ve found myself in negative work places where people hate their jobs and that can seriously bring you down. Or if it’s a family member or close friend or sm One thing you can do to counteract the negative people with more positive people. Seek these people out and they will uplift you.
Over the past few months routine have become everything. I think for those who had no set routine before coronavirus and lockdown has forced them into some sort of morning and evening ritual to stay sane. Routines allow for some normality, and I’m all for it. They set me up for the day or help me feel rested in the evening. They provide stability which ultimately for me keeps me stress free and able to focus on the positives.
There’s no right or wrong routine to have. I find I’m most productive in the mornings so I use that to my favour.
This was a big one for me when it came to becoming more positive. I used to automatically jump to a negative thought whenever something wasn’t in my control or didn’t go to plan. In every single situation there’s a bright side to look at, even if it’s the fact that you can learn and grow from it.
Reframing your thoughts is important, because the more you say something in your head over and over again, the more you believe it. To do this try and think of something in a new way. Our reactions to life events and situations are all based on learning and how we’ve done things previously. By re-framing we can take a step back from learnt behaviours and be more positive in how we respond.
It’s obvious isn’t it, but when we’re creeping over the edge into negative thinking it’s far too easy to neglect what makes us feel good and slip into self pitty mode. Put even more time into the joyful things in life. Don’t waste time doing things that don’t make you happy. If you’re a people pleaser, start showing up for yourself and pleasing you.
I’m still working on positive self-talk. I’ve always been critical of myself, and I know a lot of us are guilty of it. Honestly, it lands us no where. You’d be surprised how much negative self talk is subconscious. Half the time you won’t even realise you’re doing it, but speaking and thinking about yourself in a positive way is so important. Speak to yourself the way you would a friend.
Think about a time when you thought you couldn’t do something or were scared to but did it anyway. How do you feel about it now as time has passed? I love doing this because it makes me realise how far I’ve actually come, and how all of us have amazing things to be proud of.
What helps you keeps a positive mindset?
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