Mindset is everything.
We hear that a lot, I know, but it couldn't be truer.
The truth is that the mind believes what you tell it to, be it good or bad. What's more, it is inclined to believe it even more when it is about ourselves, as we don't have anyone to disagree with us.
Whilst this is great if we feel that life is going well and we are feeling positive, it is not so great when we are feeling negative. And with the ever mounting pressure and expectations put on us by society, particularly as parents, and by ourselves, it is easy for us to feel negative.
Then the rollercoaster and downward spiral begin.
There is a part in our brain called the Reticular Activating System, which is a net or filter of nerves. Its job is to seek out supportive evidence for our beliefs.
This is, as I mentioned, great if you already think you are a great parent or spouse, but what happens when you think you are not so great?
Your reticular activating system does as it is wired to and seeks out supporting information for this.
The key to a positive mindset lies in having control and intention over your thoughts, which will lead to your RAS supporting them.
The best way to do this is to hijack this process.
By adopting these 3 rules into your life, you will see a profound change in how you feel, which, let's be honest, is all that we want.
Affirmations sound a bit woo woo, I know, but seriously who cares if they work?
By hijacking your negative thoughts and flipping them to positive ones, you trigger your RAS to begin to look for supporting evidence for the affirmation.
If you have a tendency to be a bit crazy like me with the negative thoughts, just start repeating the affirmations (in your head that is, so you don't look too loony).
Let's say you wake up in the morning feeling fat. That feeling of fat makes you feel lazy, which leads to you feeling useless, and before you know it, you have lost all motivation to get stuff done.
Stop and tell yourself you are slim, energetic and motivated. Done. Now repeat. And repeat. And then repeat again. It is really that simple. Soon you'll actually start believing the positive things you're telling yourself and you won't be faking it anymore.
But don't stop with the affirmations even when things seem under control. You've been telling yourself negative things for your entire life, retraining your brain and changing your thought patterns won't happen overnight. After all, the brain is a muscle you have to constantly train, just like any other muscle in your body.
When you stop training your body, you slowly start losing your defined shape. Well, the brain won't lose its definition, but it will definitely start losing its "mental shape" and strength.
2. Daily Gratitude Diary
Journalling is not limited to teens, far from it, and it can be such a nourishing and empowering process.
Again this process brings in the role of the RAS.
Make a time, ideally in the morning within the first 30 minutes of waking up to sit down with your thoughts and write down at least 3 things in your life you are grateful for. Write the words in sentences in pen and paper, no phone text or computer typing allowed.
The process of writing reaffirms it as your repeat it in your head. Be aware of what you are doing, be mindful and get in the moment.
Putting your gratitude onto paper can be hugely powerful. When you are in a place of gratitude it is so much more difficult to be upset or stressed.
And don't think that you won't have anything to write because you don't have any big things happening in your life that you can be especially grateful for. You can write down the most mundane things you're grateful for, like having a good night's sleep, or feeling less bloated in the morning, or meeting up with an old friend.
In fact, learning to practice gratitude for smaller things will make you a lot happier and will fill your heart with joy. You'll start noticing many more things that you might have taken for granted and that you can now feel grateful for.
Gratitude is truly one of the best gifts you can give yourself.
3. Daily Goal Setting
This is goal setting with a difference.
Write your goals down as if they have already happened!
So for example your goal may to be a yoga instructor or a long distance runner. Sure those things are going to take time, practice, consistency and a hell of a lot of hard work, but they are also going to take belief!
Visualise yourself achieving that goal in great detail. Imagine how it makes you feel, what you're wearing, how everything smells, what sensations you're having, and then write everything from the perspective of having achieved it.
With this mindset shift you are well on your way to achieve your goals.
Each day revisit these goals and write them down as if they are already yours. Dare you!
So there you have it.
Yes, these positive mindset tricks may seem a bit far-fetched and a tad out of your comfort zone, but isn't your best life out of your comfort zone?! Of course it is!
Now go and grow and believe!
Yours in wellness,