Tips to Using a Positive Mindset to Protect Yourself
"Your positive action combined with positive thinking results in success.”
- Shiv Khera
Remaining positive, especially when misfortune strikes, is not always easy. When things go wrong, it is easy to let negative thoughts take over, which ultimately affects our emotional wellbeing. We have a choice in our daily routine, whether we direct our focus to positive thoughts or negative ones. One of the worst things we can do for ourselves is to hinder our own potential through a negative outlook. Being positive can have far reaching effects on all aspects of your life, from building on relationships to your health. Through practising positive attitudes every day, we can turn bad times into blessings.
Here are some tips to guide you along using a positive mindset to protect yourself:
A fear of failure can be immobilising when it occurs, causing us to do nothing. This self-sabotage can appear in the form of procrastination, perfectionism, anxiety, reluctance to try new things and low self-esteem or self-confidence.
Meditation is a powerful tool and a testament to the power of the mind. The benefits of meditation are varied from staying positive, balancing your emotions, reducing stress, helping your ability to introspect, and helping productivity. A quick YouTube browse for ‘guided meditation’ will give you plenty of free options, if this is something you’d like to try out. There are also some meditation apps on the market such as Headspace, Calm and Aura that are great options if you want to set a reminder or build towards a certain goal.
One way to focus on everyday positivity is to create a gratitude journal; writing is a great way to look back on all the things we are grateful for. The simple act of expressing gratitude to yourself and to others is a useful exercise to keep yourself grounded and positive in difficult times. In keeping a gratitude journal, you position yourself each day to have a brighter mindset, thus influencing our thought patterns. A thought pattern doesn't mean you have the same thoughts each day, but rather that you think with the same outlook and your thoughts carry the same quality as your mindset. The quality of your thinking pattern is responsible for the quality of all your individual, thoughts.
Writing a daily journal couldn’t be simpler. Every night, jot down a few bullet points under the following headlines.
- Things to be grateful for today – Look at the events of the day and list out all the things you can be grateful for.
- Things to be thankful for – Long term things in life that you can say ‘I am thankful for’.
Self-care and taking care of yourself
Self-care can be anything that benefits your mental and emotional health. But the more obvious options, like a massage or mani-pedi, might not always be the easiest to do. The way to make self-care a regular part of your life is to carve out a small window of me-time to do the things you love. Here are a few easy wins:
- Take a bubble bath with a book or a box set and a glass of your favourite drink.
- Don’t miss your favourite exercise class or go for a run.
- Put your headphones on and listen to an artist you love.
- Pick up a pen, brush or pencil and write, draw or paint.
- Set a date in stone to go for a walk, coffee or lunch with a friend.
It may seem obvious, but me time is a pivotal way to support positive thinking. We are often our own worst critic, however we must learn to be kinder to ourselves. Treat yourself as you yourself would wish to be treated by others.
Don’t give up
We all experience dips in our resolve, and sometimes the option to give up rather than to proceed ahead can seem all the more inviting. We’ve used the example of exercise below, but you could adapt and apply this to any task you’re struggling with.
We all know the many benefits of exercise, it can combat stress, increase your energy levels, improve your sleep and help your immune system. So, here are a few ways to keep your exercise schedule on track and regular.
- Subscribe to online exercise classes. There are loads of brilliant free subscriber channels for you to do quick and easy workouts at home. One of many is Joe Wicks (aka The Body Coach) whose YouTube account has lots of great classes that you can enjoy daily.
- Set aside time. Work your exercise around your busy schedule by writing it down on a calendar. It will soon become apparent that you might have a spare 30 minutes for you to close your bedroom door and get your workout done.
- Get a workout buddy. One of the most motivating ways to make your exercise regular is to be held accountable by a friend, colleague or partner. Make a plan with them and stick to it.
- Replace your workout. If you’re not going to be able to make your workout one day (let’s face it, this is going to happen from time to time), try to replace it with a short walk, a quick cycle or a yoga session. Every little helps!
Sometimes it is impossible to stop or control negative thoughts and pushing these aside can make things worse. It's important to open up your thoughts and not keep them inside. Try and talk to a loved one or write your feelings down, sharing your feelings can help to clear negativity of yourself.
It might sound obvious but surrounding yourself with positive people is a free life hack, guaranteed to help you instantly feel more positive. Look to the people who already inspire you – your mum, your best friends, your partner – and think about what it is in them that you admire. Do they share their happiness? Are they there when times are tough? The more you place these positive people in your surroundings, the more you’ll see the world differently.
When life throws the unexpected and the difficult at you, it’s not always easy to be optimistic. But through positive self-talk in the form of positive mantras and affirmations you can guide yourself to a more optimistic mindset each day.
- Start with the words “I am.”
- Use the present tense.
- State it in the positive. Affirm what you want, not what you don’t want.
- Keep it brief.
- Make it specific.
- Include an action word ending with –ing.
- Include at least one dynamic emotion or feeling word.
- Make affirmations for yourself, not others.
Positive thinking goes hand-in-hand with smart goal setting. When starting your goals planner, it’s important to write down the ideal situation, determine its importance, craft clear-cut goals, a target date to complete this and then take the small steps to achieve them.
- Step 1: dream big and filter with reality. The size of the goal doesn’t matter but the achievability of it does.
- Step 2: think about why you want to achieve your goal, how it will benefit your health or lifestyle, and what you need to do to get there.
- Step 3: break down your goal(s) into smaller steps that are specific, measurable and time-based.
- Step 4: write down your goals and put them where you’ll see them to increase your chances of sticking to them.