Today you’re going to learn how to have a positive Mindset. Having a positive mindset is not just all about smiling. There’s more to that. And in the real world, this soft and fluffy term is often dismissed because for many, positive thinking rarely carries the weight of high impact words like “persistence” and “work ethic”.
But that’s the past.
How to have a positive mindset:
Today, researches have shown that a positive mindset can indeed create a long-lasting value in your life. More than just having an upbeat attitude or being happy, positive thinking can improve health and build skills that last much, much longer than a smile. Consider the study below:
Dr. Barbara Fredrickson is a psychology researcher at the University of North Carolina. Her research team studied 5 groups of people. Two groups were shown video clips that convey positive feelings of joy and contentment. The other two watched a video that created feelings of fear and anger. The last group was a control group.
Afterward, the participants were asked to imagine themselves in a situation similar to what they’ve watched. They were handed a piece of paper and were asked to write sentences starting with the phrase: “I would like to…”.
The study reveals that participants who experienced joy and contentment wrote more responses (even more than the neutral group) than those who went through the torrents of anger and fear –- suggesting that people who have a positive mindset see more options and possibilities in their life compared to those who don’t.
SEE ALSO: How To Change Negative Thinking To Positive Thinking For Good?
How Negative Thoughts Affect Your Brain: The Parable of the Tiger
Let’s say you’re walking through a dense forest and in the middle of your walk, a tiger leaped onto the path ahead of you. What will you do? Within seconds, you feel a chilling, paralyzing fear crawling down your spine. You’re sweating cold sweat. Instinctively, your brain shuts out the outside world and all you can think of is SURVIVE. You scan the area, looking for a tree to climb or a stick to grab — that’s all you can think of. You don’t see other options because at the moment, what matter’s most is saving a life or a limb.
Don’t worry. The chances of stumbling upon a tiger in a city is zero. The problem is, our brain is still wired to respond to Negative emotions in the same way. For instance, when you are angry with someone, the feeling of hatred and anger consumes you to the extent that you can’t think of anything else. The same is true when you are stressed out by all the obligations you HAVE to fulfill. Or when you failed your exam. Or when you are not eating healthy. In short, a negative mindset prevents your brain to see through your problems and explore other choices around you.
A Change in Perspective: The Two Travelers and the Monk
Once upon a time, there was a traveler who walked from a village in the mountain. On his way down, he met an old, wise monk working in his field.
“Young one, where are you going?” asked the monk.
“I’m going to the village in the valley. Can you tell me what it’s like to live there?” came the reply.
“What was it like to live in the mountain?” the monk asked promptly.
“It was terrible!” the man exclaimed. “I had to sleep on the dirt floor, no one spoke my language and the food is nasty!”
“One night they gave me a stew that had dog in it! Eeew!”
“I don’t think you’ll enjoy the valley too…,” said the monk.
The next day, another traveler passed by the monk. “Wise one, I came from the village in the mountain. I’m on my way to the village in the valley. Can you tell me what it’s like?”
“Sure! But can you first tell me what it’s like to live in the mountain?”
“It’s the best!” came the reply. “We don’t spoke each other’s language so we had to communicate using our hands and facial expressions. The food was exotic and I love it! I never slept on a dirt floor before so the experience was superb!”
“Son, after hearing what you said, I’m sure you’ll love the village in the valley!”
Which traveler are you?
Focus and perspective play an important role in developing a positive mindset. Perspective gives you the lens through which you view the world while focus allows you to “zoom in” all your time, energy and talents to what really matters most.
Do you choose what you focus on? Many people feel that they can’t control most of the things they focus on. While it’s true that there are certain events we can’t control, it doesn’t mean that we completely surrender our fate and will to chance and luck. Consider this: how many hours do you spend each day mentally re-experiencing past events hoping that a new outcome will surface? You can choose what you focus on and it is your responsibility to focus on things that you want to get out of life.
Remember, what you focus on is what you experience. As single-focus creatures, focusing on trivial matters is just a waste of time and precious mental resources. Changing from a negative mindset to a positive mindset requires a change of perspective and focus. It’s a must. You can’t expect different results by doing the same thing over and over again. Like the story of the two travelers, the difference between optimism and pessimism is merely changing the glasses though which you view the world around you.
And this article will show you how.
10 Reasons Why Having a Positive Mindset is Awesome!
Think positive! It may sound simple but truth is, it is easier said than done. So does that mean you have to quit reading this article? Absolutely not! Because it this section, we are going to talk about 10 reasons why having a positive mindset is awesome and why it’s worth every effort!
1. The Law of Attraction: Positive Mindset Attracts Positive Events
Are you familiar with the Law of Attraction? In a nutshell, it means “like attracts like”. So if you make positive thinking a Habit, you are most likely to attract great, positive things in your life!
2. Great Relationships
Do you know what’s the problem with most relationships? People OFTEN tend to look at the negatives and ignore their partner’s positive qualities. When you choose to have a positive mindset, you are more inclined to notice the positive attributes of the people around you — allowing you to build great relationships and more meaningful friendships.
SEE ALSO: How To Focus On One Thing At a Time To Be More Productive Person
3. Better First Impressions
Do you still remember the story of the two travelers? If you are to be trapped on an island, would you choose to be with the first traveler or the second? Why? Me? I’ll go with the second traveler. People are often attracted to kind and positive personalities. If you have a positive mindset, for sure you’ll make a hell of a first impression which can lead to great relationships in the future.
4. Healthier You
Having a positive mindset is very beneficial for your health. Science shows that people who have a positive attitude are less prone to depressions and illnesses. Harvard researchers even associate optimism with heart health and lower risks of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases!
5. Radiant Beauty that Shines from Within
Yes, having a positive mindset makes beauty shine from within. And it comes naturally. Positive thinkers are happy, smiling people and somehow, other people find these qualities very attractive.
6. A Boost of Motivation
Got a big challenge ahead? While negative thinkers often say “I can’t do it”, optimists are always on fire! A positive mindset provides a boost of motivation which is indispensable in completing your tasks easier and quicker.
7. A Life Filled with Good Things
Life is governed by two important laws. One is the Law of Attraction (which I mentioned earlier) and the other is the Law of the Harvest — what you sow is what you reap. When you complain and mourn about life and destiny, you might end up losing even the good things that you already have. Sowing appreciation and gratitude, on the other hand, can bring more good things into your life.
8. Turn Your Problems into Opportunities
When negative thinkers are faced with a problem, most of them would say, “I quit!”. Not you. Positive thinkers see problems as opportunities. It’s just a matter of looking at a bottle as half full instead of half empty. A positive mindset helps you see through the clouds of doubt. You’ll notice solutions and will eventually learn that all problems can be solved.
9. Say Goodbye to Stress
Do you know what’s the culprit behind stress? It’s worry and negative thoughts! And worrying about stress will just do more harm. It can even leave you feeling helpless! A positive mindset helps you overcome stress more easily. Good things and positive thoughts will eventually dispel stress out of your life until you hear about it no more.
10. Success Becomes Easier
We all have our own share of challenges in this life. But science and experience have taught me that people who think positively are more likely to achieve success than negative thinkers. A positive mindset helps you find solutions and opportunities in the midst of problems. It gives you better control of your emotions too!
If you are to sum up these ten benefits in a single word, what would it be? If you’ll ask me, I’d say “HAPPINESS”. Yes, developing a positive mindset is not as easy as most people think but know this: at the end of the day, it’s all worth it!
How To Build Good Habits
A positive mindset is also not an act, but a habit. That’s why in this section, we’ll talk briefly about how to build good habits. Pay close attention because next we’ll discuss some practical tips or habits on how to develop a positive mindset!
Your Habits Define Who You Are
You are the product of your habits.
So what are habits? Inspirational author, Stephen R. Covey, defines habits as “the intersection of knowledge, skills and desire.”
Knowledge is the “what”, skills is the “how” and desire is the motivation or the “why”. If you want to build a good habit that fosters positivism, these three must be present.
5 Steps on How to Build Good Habits
1. Throw Away Your Old Habits
If you put more water on cup that’s already full, what do you think will happen? Obviously, the contents will spill right? The same principle applies with habits. If you want to develop new habits that foster a positive mindset, you have to get rid of your old, bad ones.
2. Start Small
People like to dream big — so they start big. But at the end of the day, they end up feeling exhausted and burdened. They forget their goals. When building habits, I’ve learned that starting small is key. What’s important in this process is consistency, not quantity. If you are diligent enough to do a habit everyday — one small step at a time — there’s a big chance that the habit will stick.
3. Gradually Increase
Once you’ve nailed consistency, you can start focusing on increasing the frequency or intensity of your habit. Remember, once percent gains will add up at the end of the day. But mind you, one percent losses add up as well. Keep this in mind: “It doesn’t matter where you are, what’s important is where you are going.”
4. Get Back on Track Quickly
Don’t expect perfection. If you encounter a few lapses or failures along the way, just keep going! According to studies, missing your habit for a day or two does not have a considerable impact on your long term progress. But be warned, “Nobody is Perfect” is not an excuse. Don’t expect to fail (negative thoughts). Instead, plan for failure (note that I used the word “for” not “to”). Here are some questions to guide you along the way:
What are some situations or things that can prevent you from doing your habit?
What are some daily issues that can pull you off course?
How will you work around these situations?
5. Have Patience – Lots of It!
Building a new habit isn’t easy. Patience and consistency are crucial to making progress. Time will come (and trust me it will) that things will get hard. And when you find yourself hanging by a thread, don’t quit. Instead, pause for a moment, take a deep breath and remember your goals and motivations.
Are you still with me? Great! Now that you know how to build good habits, let’s move on to the next part and start making one!
11 Practical Tips on How to Build a Positive Mindset
A negative mindset does not only stop you from enjoying life, it could also have a significant impact on the lives of others! Since the energy you bring is contagious, the best thing you can give to yourself and other people is an unwavering, positive mental fortitude. But how?
We are creatures of habits. Previous, we talked about how to incorporate good habits into your life. In this section, I’ll show you 11 practical habits that build a positive mindset. And if you let it, can permeate your very character, allowing you and the people you interact with lead a happier and more successful life.
Are you ready? Read on!
1. Keep a “Thank You” Journal
I must admit. The human mind is unfair. Studies have shown that it tends to focus on negative things. That’s why a single negative event can oftentimes ruin an entire day. May I suggest a habit to offset this imbalance? Write a gratitude or thank you journal. By writing down at least 5 things that you are grateful for each day, you are “rewiring” your brain to focus on positive things. And as a result, you’ll feel happier and free from stress, depression and anxiety.
2. Have Fun with Your Challenges
Life has no dead ends — only reroutes. Experience has taught me that we don’t control 100% of our life. In fact, there are only very few stuffs that we have complete control over! People who have positive mindsets don’t let the “uncontrollable” ruin their life. Instead, they give their best effort — which you can control — and make no room for regrets if things don’t go their way. Make it a habit to look at challenges and problems as opportunities for growth. Don’t resist it. Instead, enjoy it! When a challenge comes your way, pause, smile and tell yourself “I can do this!” It may be hard at first but trust me, once you’ve mastered this habit, it’ll do wonders! Let me leave you this quote from Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Come what may, and love it!”
3. Learn to Accept Rejections
Don’t reject rejections — learn to accept it instead. After all, everyone experiences rejections at least once in their life. Most people would say, “expect the worse”. Why would you do that if you can choose to say “expect the best”? If you focus too much on the bad side, you’ll risk missing all the good things that come your way. Remember, when there are cracks in your heart, they let the sun in!
4. Describe Your Life with Positive Words
Can you pause reading for a while and describe yourself? Remember, you are what you think. Chaotic, busy and boring — the way you perceive yourself will affect your mind and body. On the contrary, describing yourself with positive words like lively, simple or involved allows you to see yourself at a perspective that provides happiness and contentment.
5. Make Someone Smile and Take Responsibility
A simple smile and hello can have a tremendous effect on your personal well being. How would you feel if a stranger smiles at you? How will he feel if you smile back? I’ve tried this for months and I can’t stress enough the happiness I feel by doing this simple habit.
6. Problems? Have a Solution Ready!
Don’t get me wrong. Positive thinkers have problems too — they just take it differently. A person who complains without providing any solution is nothing but a whiner. People with a positive mindset give constructive criticisms. And when they point out things that are wrong, they offer ways to make it better.
7. See The Light in the Midst of Darkness
Hope. For negative thinkers, it’s an illusion. But for optimists, it’s tangible. I can’t blame the former. With all the negatives and violence we see in the media — tragedy, crime, natural disasters, war — its hard to stay positive and hope that good things will come. But good things do come. How? In the form people rising up and joining hands to help the distress, to show compassion and to spread love. Don’t overlook these unsung modern day heroes. Hold on to their stories and selflessness — see the light in the midst of darkness.
Do you know that our breath is directly linked to our emotions? For instance, when you are focusing or concentrating on something, do you find yourself holding your breath? Do you feel your breathing patterns change when you are anxious or angry? How about when you are happy? Here’s the take away: you can change how you feel by breathing too! Research shows that breathing can decrease anxiety and depression. It increases happiness and optimism, strengthens our ability to regulate our emotions, improves trauma symptoms, improves sleep and reduces impusitivity, cravings and addictions!
9. Don’t Let Yourself Get Dragged By Other People’s Negativity
Remember, a person’s mindset is contagious. While it is important that you maintain a positive mindset (for you and other’s sake), it’s equally crucial that you stay away from other people’s negativity as well. For example, your day was going pretty well but then your office mate can’t stop complaining about the hot weather. When you arrived in the office, the weather did not bother you at all but since he or she brought it up, you find yourself nodding your head in agreement. And few months after, you’ll get into the same trap by complaining how cold the weather is outside! Don’t be fooled! Studies show that complaining leads to negative thoughts and emotions. It hampers your ability to appreciate whatever you have at the moment — decreasing your optimism and satisfaction.
10. Say “Get” Instead of “Have”
I have to get to work. I have to buy groceries. I have to pay my mortgage. I have to do the laundry. I have to do something! Let’s do a little experiment and change “have” to “get”. I get to work. I get to buy groceries. I get to pay my mortgage. I get to do the laundry. The word “have” is often associated with the need to fulfill obligations. Heck, the word itself is stressful! And when these obligations aren’t done? It’ll produce more stress!
“Get”, the other hand, is associated with being grateful for the things that you are accustomed of having. A job that sends children to school, groceries that fill hungry tummies and a house that provides shelter — you see my point? Give it a try and in no time, you’ll see yourself becoming happier and less stressed!
Do you have a calendar or a planner? Can you take a quick look at it? Done? Great! Most of the time, we are too busy scheduling meetings, conference calls and other chores that we forget to schedule PLAY. When was the last time you blocked out an hour in your schedule to experiment and have fun? Don’t get too busy earning a living that you forget how to truly live. Every week, spend at least an hour to play and enjoy all the positive emotions this life has to offer!
I hope you find its contents helpful and valuable. A positive mindset is one of the secrets of a happy, fulfilling life – a life you so well deserve!
For most people (like you and me), a positive mindset is not a gift — it’s a skill that you can learn through patient and consistent effort.
Let me close with this quote from one of my favorite speakers:
“If not you, who? If not now, when?”
This is your life. And it is only YOU who can take full control of it. So what are you waiting for? Get up and get moving! The best time to start is NOW!
As you live the habits and tips suggested, I promise that you’ll become more and more optimistic every passing day. And one day, when we meet each other at the crossroads, against all the curve balls of life, we can both stand tall and say with proud hearts — We will because we can! (b)
Artykuł How To Have a Positive Mindset That Will Change Your Life pochodzi z serwisu Perfect 24 Hours.