Let me share a little secret with you.… Life can be a mess but it can also be beautiful. There’s a flip side to everything that goes on in our lives, which is to introspect. Do we really have all the answers? Are we wise enough? I want to narrate a short story here.
When we are presented with a challenge, we tend to throw a fit and ask ourselves, “Again? Why me?”. We spiral into negative self-talk and formulate stress which was never supposed to exist in the first place. The thing is, it’s not your fault. No one ever taught you to look from a different lens, no one equipped you withsimple ways of creating a positive mindset.
Defining Positive Mindset:
You probably already have an idea of a positive mindset or attitude, but starting with a definition is always helpful.
This definition from Remez Sasson (n.d.) is a good general description:
“Positive thinking is a mental and emotional attitude that focuses on the bright side of life and expects positive results.”
Another, more comprehensive definition comes from Kendra Cherry at Very Well Mind (2017B):
“Positive thinking actually means approaching life’s challenges with a positive outlook. It does not necessarily mean avoiding or ignoring the bad things; instead, it involves making the most of the potentially bad situations, trying to see the best in other people, and viewing yourself and your abilities in a positive light.”
The Power of Positive Thinking
Here are some ways you can cultivate positive thinking for a positive life:
- Start & end your day with positive affirmations.
- Find humour in bad situations, seek humour in everyday happenings. Laugh with life. When life gives you lemonade, make lemons & life will be like “Whaaaaaaat!”(This was a spin on the classic).
- Shift your focus to the present instead of the past & the future – Do what matters now.
- Forgive yourself for not knowing the things you know now.
- Replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk. For example, “I’ve never done this before” to “It’s an opportunity to learn something new”. “I have to go to work” to “I get to go to work”.
- Find & keep people who encourage you & support you.
- Identify areas of change you constantly think negatively about. You can start small by focusing on one area at a time & figure out ways you can approach it positively.
- Periodically check yourself, stop & evaluate what you are thinking. Put a positive spin on those thoughts you find negative.
- Following a healthy lifestyle wherein you aim to exercise for at least 150 mins per week, eat a healthy diet, drink enough water, get a good night’s sleep & manage your stress.
- When you wake up in the morning, give yourself a little high five in the mirror & say, “Have a great day. I love you!”
Some of them may be unorthodox but worth a try. If you tend to have a negative outlook, don’t expect to become sunshine overnight. However, you can reduce self-criticism and develop more self-acceptance with intentional practice. When you are in a positive state of mind, you can handle everyday stress more constructively. This, in turn, builds your ability to contribute to your health positively.