5 Tips in Training Your Mind To Stay Positive
We all know that pessimism is the easiest way to go about handling life. At least, that’s how I used to go about it. But even a January born pessimist like myself, has learned valuable ways to see the brighter side of things and the results that unfold because of it. Now, don’t get me wrong, maintaining a positive attitude despite all the curveballs life throws at us, won’t be a homerun. However, in this this day and age it is essential to avoid disposing ourselves to unhealthy coping mechanisms and harpening our mental health due to negative beliefs about ourselves and others. Our brain is a sponge, and if you constantly teach it to sort and filter out (based off of the thousands of information it receives a day) things that are going wrong in your life, that’s all it will begin to automatically look for. It has taken me months and will probably even take me more to resist these patterns, but through my spiritual journey positive affirmations is what helped me move on from traumatic and stressful situations. Seeing the good in everything may seem corny and obvious, but we seldom do it, and therefore don’t get to reap the benefits that it could easily provide.
So here we go Goddesses, here are my 5 tips and tricks into training your mind into staying positive:
- 1.Stay Positive, Bruv.
I know I got a couple eye rolls, but seriously can’t more really be said (but more will be said). If you notice a negative thought slip through your mind, your next thought should’ve been something to counter it. For example, a student may be about to write a test and has studied hard for it but has been really nervous about the questions which may be asked. She could say to herself “I’m probably going to flunk this test”, right before going into the exam room. Or, she could say “I’ve prepared extensively for this exam, and know so much about the subject so I will go in there and do my best”. Now, if you were to choose which version you were, which one would you choose? Most likely the “I’m probably going to flunk this test” comment. And you know what? Most people do! Doesn’t mean your entirely an insecure person or lacking intelligence, but it most likely just shows you don’t believe in yourself. For every negative thought, try countering it with something more positive and uplifting and most of all BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.
- 2.Awareness is Key
This leads us into the importance of catching your thoughts before you act on them. Awareness of your emotions in whatever your current situation may be is really the foundation in whether you house a positive or negative thought. Having existing negative thought patterns is tricky to overturn, because your brain is already wired to think of the worst. Most people don’t even realize they are being negative, and just see it as a normal and reasonable response or reaction to every day annoyances. If you are in a situation where you know you will start to host negative thoughts, it is best to start being more aware of your thoughts in that moment.
Next time you start feeling a negative thought or emotion come about, challenge yourself to see if you can catch yourself when in midst of it. Rather than continue to feed into self-depreciating and unattractive thoughts about yourself or others, take the extra step to be aware of what your next thought or action should be. This is one of the hardest methods to practice because it takes being accountable and aware at ALL times. I’ve found that spiritual activities such as meditation work great for honing in on awareness because you practice your mind to be more still, and to live life in the present moment. Not your past and not tomorrow, but in your present moment. Every second, every breath is a new opportunity to start over. Take advantage of it.
- 3.Let your Emotions be as Temporary as your Ex
9 times out of ten, if you are angry about something you lost your ability to stay positive. In fact, your negative energy is off the charts! For example, one thing that really bothers me when I am looking for a parking space, is when I signal to take a spot and somebody out of nowhere zooms in on the easier side where the car is not exiting out, and easily takes my spot. I’ve had this happen to me on three or so occasions, and let me tell you, I didn’t know what true rage was until I experienced this act. I mean, how rude and disrespectful could someone be to think that somebody who got to that spot earlier than you AND patiently waited for their spot to clear up, did not deserve to park there?! I don’t even understand why I used this example because I feel like i’m reliving the exact same moment, as I speak. But, I love to tell this story because the moral of it is is to not let your emotions get the best of you. I stayed calm and prayed for a spot to open up. I told the Universe that I would leave the karma to them, and lo’ and behold every single time this event has happened to me, I’ve found a parking spot which was even CLOSER than where I was originally going to park.
So you see, sometimes it’s easy to get angry at people or events, even when someone’s actions towards you may have been unintentional. But I promise you that remaining calm in these moments benefits you more than if you were to act out in anger. You either have a choice to be mad at the other person and do something irrational (like jump out your car and stand in the parking spot… because that’s exactly what I felt like doing), which in turn can escalate the situation into you hurting them or yourself, or you can remain calm and let the Universe deal with the situation in its own way. Either way, when we get angry we automatically lose, because we allowed someone else to tap into our energy and deplete us, while they get off unbothered or are unaware that their actions even caused you to breed such negativity.
- 4.Oprah told me to write… so I write.
I cannot stress how much this one activity has helped me to be grateful for everyday life. If you can write down at least three positive things that happened to you for the day at the end of the day, or pray on 3 things you are happy for each morning, you are on your way to experiencing true happiness. Anyone can fight me on this. The power of realizing just how fortunate each and every one of us are, in some ways more than others, humbles you in a way that makes you even wonder why you look at life through such a negative lens. When you take the time out to appreciate all the little things life has to offer, you begin to see your world in a more positive light. When you focus on those 3 things you wrote for the day, no matter how good or bad your day was, it leaves you with the joy in knowing tomorrow you have a fresh start and has you looking forward to what new positive experiences may be awaiting you the next day.
5. Fake it Till’ You Make It
This is probably one of the easiest ways to trick yourself into being more positive. Why? Well, because most of us fake some aspect of our lives just to get through it. Now, I am not saying that being fake is A-okay, and pretending to care about something you really don’t is even healthy, but if it’s to get you feeling happier and living life on a more fulfilling note, then yes. Let fake be your middle name, or even your new best friend. Hate meetings? Pretend you love them. Go in with an attitude that you are setting the premise for better work conditions and an opportunity to catch up with your co-workers on what needs to get done. Maybe there are things you need to get off your chest about the way your office is handling something, and you really want to see if other people are thinking the same thing. Or, something as simple as looking forward to the food that may be offered at this meeting (I heard they prepped a vegan dish just for me…i’m so loved). The best thing for me about meetings is that it actually kills time for me on days where I just want to go home or gives me a break from a tedious or annoying assignment I’ve been working on.
There are so many ways you can fake a negative situation into being somewhat positive. And, although it may not be as easy depending on the circumstance or topic (such as a death of a loved one or heartbreak), you can still apply the same principle. Of course, your results are not meant to be immediate, but more so a long-term commitment. I’ll even let you in on a little secret… any change we make in our lives is a long-term commitment. Nothing in life comes with little effort. The more effort you put into something you want, the better the results.
So, these are my 5 tips in training your mind to stay positive. I’m pretty sure there’s many more tips out there (and I will leave you to do that research), but I believe that these are fail-proof exercises to become more positive, if done consistently and correctly. Even I slip up sometimes and catch myself saying unnecessary and demeaning things about myself or others, but as long you become aware and stay humble about any relationship or situation, you can learn to overpower those negative thoughts. When you master this, you will have achieved a level of peace and most likely be living a more positive and fulfilling life.
Being positive affects everyone in your life, especially you. You will see how your relationships at work and at home improve because you’ve decided to take a positive outlook on situations, especially when they are happening in the moment. Just keep calm, breathe in and remember to stay positive.