It’s easy to be positive when all is going well. What if things go south and it all turns to shit! Are you still able to think positively?
How do we do that?
Firstly, don’t put too much pressure on yourself by thinking that you constantly need to be happy and if you’re not there must be something wrong with you. When you’re constantly hounded by bad news and things keep going wrong, no one wants to hear, “Well just look on the bright side.” Unless that person wants a slap! So….Let it out! Vent it! It’s good for the soul. Don’t bottle it up, otherwise you’ll go crazy.
However, we can’t get stuck in that place and we need to look forward. When we are thinking positively then we will attract positive outcomes, the same goes for the opposite. When we think only about the negative we become fixated on it and it’s hard to think about anything else let alone a solution.
Have you ever had so much work to do that it takes ages before you start it? And you stress over it for days? That’s what happens when we think negatively; we can’t broaden our thought process. Our brain goes cross-eyed and we stress…then we stress about being stressed.
When we think positively then we are able to see things much clearer and with a better thought process. We are able to think of more options and ideas.
You’re probably thinking, “That’s easier said than done when you are feeling like shit!”
But positive thinking isn’t just something that you either have or you haven’t. The brain is an amazing machine and there are ways in which we can help create positive thoughts. It takes practice but it works. There have even been scientific studies to show that practicing certain methods can transfer into other situations later on. It’s like re-wiring your brain to thinking differently when stressful events crop up.
What are these methods?=
Meditation is one method and it’s FREE. There are so many different types of meditation – it’s not just about sitting on top of a majestic rock with circled fingers repeating the words “ohmmm…”
Just breathe (mindfully)
Bring your attention to your breath. Breathe deeply into your stomach and relax as you exhale. Five minutes out of your day to breathe mindfully is something we all have time for…really! If you are thinking that you can’t sit and clear your mind then that’s ok. That’s what will naturally happen. Allow these thoughts to come into your mind but the key is to not fixate on them. Allow them to come and go and then return to your breath. This might happen 20 times and that’s the whole point. You’ll have better days than others but with practice you may be able to focus on your breath for longer and be more present.
This isn’t going to instantly change your thoughts from negative to positive but it will help calm you and as mentioned before, help to re-wire the brain to cope more effectively next time. And the time after that. It will also help to create the space needed to think of helpful solutions to overcome those pesky life hurdles.
Time for YOU
Another method is ‘you time’. Ensuring you allocate time to do things that you enjoy. And don’t take life too seriously – be silly and play. Do things that make you laugh and smile. Hang around with people you love and who bring out the best in you. Don’t just do this occasionally when the time arrives, make time! We make time for work and deadlines, so why not for ourselves?!
Coach Alex – Coach at Perform Three Sixty