I want to add more positive messages into my brain and cut out some the of the negativity that follows me around. How would I even go about this? I don’t want it to be fake and all pollyana! Well, let’s start with some of the automatic negative thoughts that you might be carrying around. It might look like “I’m never going to get this right.” or “I might as well give up now because it never works for me.” or even “I am not good enough/thin enough/smart enough for this.” UGH! Aren’t you tired of those old, unhelpful messages? I know I am. They trip me up and can affect my mood instantly!
This is our week to focus on positivity! There are many ways to do this. I’m going to throw out a variety of ways to add this into your day. One might speak to you more than another so go with what feels best to you! Even better, try out a few and see what sticks!
1. Inspiring quotes— One of my favorites is “…to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” By Ralph Waldo Emerson. What is one of yours? Write it on a few post-its and stick them around. Maybe one in the car, one on your mirror in the bathroom or your computer at the office. I love the simplicity and power of post-its! Surround yourself with this inspiration daily.
2. Start a gratitude journal — Knowing at the end of the day you will write 3-5 things you are grateful for can help you look for positive nuggets throughout your day. They may be big ones like a good report at the doctor or one of the kids made the tennis team. They may be smaller ones like watching the sweet hummingbird getting in a drink today in the backyard. Unlock your own positive power! The whole act of looking for moments of gratitude can truly shift your focus.
3. Finding a mantra or affirmation —This one might seem more silly but it is backed by so much research it is worth your thoughts! If you have ever taken a yoga class you may have experienced mantra work.
Here are some examples: Breath in calm, Breath out anxiety. I accept myself as I am. I am exactly where I need to be. I lovingly take care of my body today. I will treat my body with kindness today. I have the power to create change. I am a powerhouse. I am in control of my own thoughts.
These are also great for post-its around the house or office!
4. Quiet time or prayer— If this fits for you, I hope you will carve out some quiet time with God. Asking for help to renew your mind daily is a powerful tool. We can retrain our brain and thinking at any age. This concept is called neuroplasticity. This is the brain’s ability to change and strengthen new pathways. If you feel like you have struggled with negativity or pessimism you can work to change these pathways! Making a conscious effort in what you tell yourself is greatly important! If you wouldn’t say it to a close friend or one of your children you shouldn’t be saying it to yourself!
5. Mindfulness and meditations— Hopefully by now you have experimented some with this concept. Sometimes I use the image of a snow globe when I am feeling overwhelmed. Your mind might be cloudy like the snow globe is after you shook it all up! Intentionally, take a few slow, deep breaths as you imagine the snow globe slowly becoming more and more clear. Allow yourself a few minutes to just breathe in the peacefulness.
I love the app Buddhify. It is full of 5-20 minute guided mediations. Some are for helping you sleep, others are just to take a moment while you are in the pick-up line to stop and pay attention to your breathing. Over time this stress relieving act will greatly reduce your reactivity to life and allow more positivity.
6. Read something new— Want to explore more on positivity? Here are a few books to look at: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, The Gratitude Diaries by Janice Kaplan, Taming your Gremlin by Rick Carson (working on your inner critic) and Positivity by Barbara Fredrickson.
Why is this important? Will it really make a difference? YES! When we talk about how much food can heal our bodies it is just as important to talk about our thoughts healing our bodies! The mind-body connection is enormous and we must give it the respect it deserves. Let’s use this week to become more aware of the mental chatter in our mind and how it affects us. Becoming more curious about your thinking and less judgmental may be a great place to start. What’s going in there? What messages do I want to shift? Learning about your own style of thinking can be empowering! You got this!!!