How to create a positive mindset

This post was written by Kristina from the ballroom coach

I was asked to write a blog about positivity and how to cultivate a positive mindset. This is of course something that I work with daily in my work as a sport psychology consultant, but it gave me an opportunity to go a little bit deeper into this topic. This made me think about the most positive people I know and what makes them positive. One thing that I noticed was that the people that I consider the most positive in my life also tends to be the ones that have overcome the most obstacles, and I wondered if there was a correlation between overcoming adversity and cultivating a positive mindset.
Most people would agree that being positive is useful to some extend, but “be positive” or “positive mindset” is also a bit of a fluffy term, which is hard to define for most. Research into positivity is becoming more and more prevalent and is revealing that positive thinking is more than just being “happy” all the time. Positive thinking is not necessarily a feeling of constant joy but more a feeling of a deep happiness and profound positive attitude to life.
Woman positive mindset in bed
Positivity is the practice of being or the tendency to be positive or optimistic in attitude. What is important to notice about this definition is that it is the “practice” of being positive. This means that it is not just something we are born with or without but, something that requires constant work and effort. Positivity does not just happen but needs to be cultivated. I wonder if this is why people that have overcome adversity are more positive as they have had to put in effort to be positive and have perfected a practice of positivity.
Why do we even need to be positive, especially when sometimes there seems to be many reasons not to be….? A positive mindset has been linked to increased life span, lower rates of depression, better psychological and physical well being, lower stress levels and even more resistance to some diseases, such as the common cold.
Our brain is programmed so that when we have a negative thought we react in a certain way, which can be useful in some situations. For example, if you are in real danger and you feel fear your only concern is to escape the dangerous situation. Say, you are being chased by a lion, the main priority is to get away from the lion and get to safety. That is all well and good when a lion is chasing you, but I don’t know about your lifestyle but I am rarely in that situation! In the world we live in today, our brain still has the same programming and negative emotions that narrow our focus, which if we are not in a dangerous situation can be detrimental to seeing all the options and opportunities in your life.
Some research suggests that when you have a positive attitude you will have a tendency to broaden your sense of possibility and that allows you to more easily build new skills that can help bring even more value to your life. Positivity then becomes a positive cycle. Some people also believe that you attract what you put out, so having a positive mindset and focusing on the positives in your lives, will attract more positive things.
So with all those reasons to be positive you might think, well I would like to be more positive but how do I do that? The first step is to make a conscious decision and a commitment towards positivity. As previously stated it takes constant effort and below are some practical tips on how to cultivate a positive mind set.
How to create a positive mindset

How to create a positive mindset

1. The Little Things

The first simple tip is to do things that make you happy. We all have things that spark joy for us. Whether that is going for a walk, reading a good book or spending time with friends. Whatever makes you happy, try to do more of that. This sounds simple, and it is but, sometimes the simple things are the most profound. Notice those little moments that creates that feeling of positivity for you and try to incorporate those into your daily life.

2. Meditation

Meditation is a habitual process of training your mind to focus and to redirect your thoughts. It is a great way to train your mind towards more positivity and awareness. Research shows that people who meditate daily have more positive emotions. Meditation does not need to be something difficult or super spiritual. Meditation can be done anywhere and at anytime. If you are new to meditation it can be helpful to use guided meditations, which there are many available on YouTube, or an app to help you get started. Like anything new, meditation takes some time to master and understand but set aside 5-10mins a day in the beginning to practice and you will soon see the benefits.

3. Exercise

Exercise is a great way to boost positivity. When we exercise it increases endorphins, adrenaline and dopamine, which are chemicals associated with feeling happy and positive. Of course, the effects are not as strong if you hate exercising. Exercise can be so many things, it can be a bike ride with a friend, going to the gym, taking a dance class or playing sports. The most important is to find something that you enjoy doing.

4. Journaling

Journaling is a daily exercise where you write down thoughts and feelings. Research showed that a group of students that were asked to write down positive experiences in their life experienced better mood levels and fewer illnesses after just three days. An easy way to get started with journaling is to sit down daily and write down all the positive experiences you had during the day. It can be anything from the big things, like getting a job promotion to the small things such as someone smiling at you in the street. Whatever you experienced that day that made you positive, write it down. In the beginning it might be hard to think of things, especially if you are not in the habit of having a positive mindset. With practice, you will find that the more you start noticing the positive things in your life, the easier it will be to see. You can do gratitude Journaling at the end of the day before going to sleep to set your mind up for a great sleep or in the morning to build that positive mindset for the day.

5. Play Time

As children, we play all the time and maybe that is one of the reasons that children often have a positive outlook on life. As adults we have so many chores, meetings and deadlines that needs to be done, that we forget to play and have fun in our every day life. Try to schedule in playtime every week, whether that is playing a game with your children or partner or something that you enjoy alone.

6. Self Talk

We have about 50.000-70.000 thoughts per day. We all engage in self-talk whether we are aware of it or not. With that many thoughts a day it is important to increase the positive self talk and decrease the negative. Imagine having someone sit next to you all day, feeding you with negativity- that would surely affect how you feel about yourself and the world around you. This is what negative self-talk does to you. Self-talk is also known as inner dialogue, inner voice or self-communication. Self-talk can both be internal or out loud but the idea is that you are both the sender and the receiver of the message. The best way to change your negative self-talk to a positive one, is to first become aware of it, for example, writing down every time we notice a negative thought. Then make a conscious decision to stop it. Then reframe it with a positive thought. For example if you drop something you might tell yourself “ I am so clumsy, I can’t believe I am that stupid” then tell yourself to stop that thought and reframe it to “Everyone drops things, I will try to be more careful next time”. The situation is the same but how we think about it is different and that is crucial in cultivating a positive mindset.

7. Affirmations

Affirmations are positive statements that can be used to boost positivity. You need to repeat them often and believe in them. Affirmations are more than just wishful thinking; they are like exercise for the mind. Just going to the gym once will not improve your physical shape but constant effort will. Affirmations work in the same way. Basically, think of something you would like to achieve, put it in the present tense and repeat the sentence to yourself daily and whenever you need a boost. Affirmations can also increase confidence and control negative feelings such as impatience and frustration Examples of affirmations are: “I can do this”, “I am beautiful and special”, “I have a positive mind-set and am grateful for my life”. Find ones that relate to you and your life.

8. Body Language

The way we move has a profound effect on how we feel. If we walk confidently and with a spring in our step, it will boost our confidence and positivity. Even if we don’t feel it, we will still feel the positive effect. Not only will we feel better and more positive but we will also display a more positive attitude to the world around us. Some simple things to start with is to pull your shoulders back, keep your back straight and looking up. You might even want to add a smile to that.
With all these reasons and ways to boost positivity…why not start now? If you find it too overwhelming then just choose one of the tips that speak to you most and start doing it today. Positivity breeds more positivity, so in short…
seek positivity, have fun and pursue adventure every day!

The content in this article is not meant as a substitute for professional medical advice and should only be used for informational purposes. If you are struggling with the topic discussed in this article, we advise that you seek the help from a professional.

If you have any further questions, remarks or requests for what you would like to see more of, you can comment here on the blog, or message us on our social media channels below.

  

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