Mindset – it’s a crucial part of how we perceive and live in this world – energetically and physically.
Not long ago, I realised I was stuck in a negative mindset. Sure, I was a go-getter, I seemed happy (and I felt happy most of the time), I was passionate about my work and I found fun and joy in most things I did, but what I actually thought, what went through my mind in most interactions or events, was actually very negative. I can’t, I won’t, I don’t, I’m not. Even in the most positive of relationships, events, moments, I still had these negative thoughts that diluted all of the joy and love I could have been experiencing in that moment.
Maybe you can relate to one or more of the following:
I can’t do this / that
I don’t have the money, skill, time, confidence
I’m not strong, beautiful, smart or good enough
I won’t be able to create this, do that, find this, make that
I’ll never have [house, money, car or any material possession]
Here I was living an amazing life with amazing people and yet I defaulted to this negative thought pattern every time, and it started to permeate the relationships in my life (personal and business). I’d blame others for any issues, compare myself or my business to others, and rather than being grateful, accepting and appreciative, I snapped at people and suppressed my real feelings. I knew it had to change, and it took a pretty harsh personal life experience to initiate that journey.
I began to recognise when I was thinking in the negative or could feel it coming, I’d even catch myself in the thought itself, and consciously shift it into the positive. Even when faced with a moment, person or event that could only seem negative (like an argument or a loss), I found the positive in it. A recent article about the destructive nature of complaining suggests that this small act rewires our brain to think more negatively, and it can cause serious problems to your physical health.
So how the hell do you find the positive in sad or hard times?
When faced with a negative interaction or event, it’s difficult to find a ‘silver lining’ – but even just knowing in that moment that this experience is something you will learn or grow from, that right there is the positive thought. Practising gratitude, really acknowledging and even being grateful for that sad, negative or bad experience because you know it will only provide you with an insight, a beautiful memory or a learning. It’s not to say you shouldn’t feel sadness – you should always feel your feelings, but how you then think about them is is where the positive mindset comes into play.
At the start of this year I did four small, small things that have helped in reprogramming my mindset from negative to positive.
- I stopped watching or reading mainstream news channels (other than the ‘new baby elephant at the zoo’ story – it’s negative, and you are subconciously digesting it)
- I practised meditation every day – I struggled to sit still or focus my thoughts for longer than a minute, but I just kept doing it, and day by day, using a simple mantra based affirmation and focusing on my breathing, I started to experience more clarity and peace and less stress or fear
- I chose to be and act in kindness to every living thing. Even when that thing or person irritated or angered me – I just chose to be kind (simply through listening, or not reacting with judgement, or speaking calmly). It was amazing how much this small change in behaviour changed the way those around me would react. You can’t change how other people think, feel or act, you only have the ability to choose how you do
- I started being grateful for all the little things I used to take for granted. When I caught myself thinking about what I didn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t, haven’t, I focused on what I did, could, would and have and gave thanks for it.
I recently completed my Reiki Level 2 certification, and in Reiki they use a simple mantra, that has also helped shift my interactions and mindset.
Just for today I let go of anger
I let go of worry
I am grateful
I fulfil my duties with honesty and integrity
and I will be kind to all living things.
Of course it’s an internal struggle most of the time, and I make mistakes, lose my sh*t, break down or make a bad judgement, but I’m now SO much more aware of when I do it, and use it as a sign or a teaching that I simply need to move some feelings or emotions that no longer serve me.
It’s all a learning curve, but I’ve found that life is much more enjoyable, peaceful and fun when you begin living with a more positive mindset.
Jenna, PT x