In celebration of Positive Thinking Day (13 September), local Life Coach, Evelyn Alessandri, shares five tips to help you maintain a positive mindset.
“Positive thinking can impact your physical and mental health. Positive thinking isn’t magic and it won’t make all of your problems disappear. What it will do is make problems seem more manageable and help you approach hardships in a more positive and productive way,” explains Alessandri.
Here are some tips to help you train your brain to think positively.
1. Focus on the good things
If you’re faced with challenging situations or obstacles, focus on the good things no matter how small or seemingly insignificant they seem. If you look for it, you can always find the proverbial silver lining in every cloud — even if it’s not immediately obvious.
2. Practice gratitude
Practicing gratitude has been shown to reduce stress, improve self-esteem, and foster resilience even in very difficult times. Think of people, moments, or things that bring you some kind of comfort or happiness and try to express your gratitude at least once a day. This can be keeping a gratitude journal, thanking a co-worker for helping with a project, a loved one for washing the dishes, or your dog for the unconditional love they give you.
3. Spend time with positive people
Negativity and positivity have been shown to be contagious. Consider the people with whom you’re spending time. Have you noticed how someone in a bad mood can bring down almost everyone in a room? Surround yourself with people who will lift you up and help you see the bright side.
4. Practice positive self-talk
We tend to be the hardest on ourselves and be our own worst critic. Over time, this can cause you to form a negative opinion of yourself that can be hard to shake. To stop this, you’ll need to be mindful of the voice in your head and respond with positive messages, also known as positive self-talk. Research shows that even a small shift in the way you talk to yourself can influence your ability to regulate your feelings, thoughts, and behaviour under stress. Here’s an example of positive self-talk: Instead of thinking “I really messed that up,” try “I’ll try it again a different way.”
5. Start every day on a positive note
Create a ritual in which you start off each day with something uplifting and positive. Here are a few ideas:
– Tell yourself that it’s going to be a great day or any other positive affirmation.
– Listen to a happy and positive song or playlist.
– Share some positivity by giving a compliment or doing something nice for someone.
Positive thinking isn’t about burying every negative thought or emotion you have or avoiding difficult feelings. “The low points in our lives are often the ones that motivate us to move on and make positive changes. When going through such a time, try to see yourself as if you were a good friend in need of comfort and sound advice. What would you say to her? You’d likely acknowledge her feelings and remind her she has every right to feel sad or angry in her situation, and then offer support with a gentle reminder that things will get better,” says Alessandri.
Evelyn recently launched Positivity Cards to help people live a happier and more authentic life by bringing awareness to the choices you make and actions you take. “Each card in the 52-card deck has a positive focus for the week. Decide on a day of the week to pick a card, display it on the stand and place it where you will see the card every day,” explains Alessandri.
The Positivity Cards retail for R340 and are available online via www.evelynalessandri.com
“This Positive Thinking Day I encourage you to consciously make an effort to think positively. Let go of negativity and choose to fill your day with uplifting practices like a morning affirmation, making a list of things to be grateful for and mindful reading. You will see a boost in your mood and even your productivity,” concludes Alessandri.