I was out on a bike ride with my husband. Tired and grumpy from training for an upcoming race, I was more negative than usual. My husband noticed I was having a hard time shaking it. He reminded me about how developing a positive mindset would help my riding. Too often people tend to give up just because something is hard.
I will admit my initial reaction wasn’t very kind. But once I calmed down, I stopped to analyze what kind of story I was telling myself. I looked at how it was affecting my attitude, and what changes I needed and wanted to make.
The next day we went out to ride again and rather than vocalize any of my negative thoughts I replaced them with positive ones. I’m getting stronger. My body is healthy. Instead of looking for results that were missing I found ones that were a blessing.
A single footstep will not make a path on the earth. So a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives. –Hendry David Thoreau
Creating a positive mindset isn’t easy and is usually uncomfortable. It means taking a step outside of yourself and looking at your thoughts objectively. As with any desire, if you want it bad enough and are willing to work outside of your comfort zone, it can be yours. The most important thing is to believe in your ability to make it happen.
Some people believe they’re just born negative or it’s part of their personality they can’t change. Wrong! The truth is, anyone can change their outlook with the right tools, a little bit of time, and a bit more practice. If you’re struggling to develop a more positive mindset, try using one of these techniques.
Don’t Be Afraid to Streak
When you do a certain number of activities in a row, your brain gets a tiny boost of endorphins. Game creators know this which is why many online games require you to “chain” an action. For example, during a cooking game, you may have to chop the vegetables, stir the soup, and serve it to a customer.
When you do those same actions repeatedly, your brain releases endorphins as if you’d done the same thing in the real world, instead of the virtual one.
Knowing this secret, you can now use it to your advantage. Maybe your goal is to get healthier. Try tracking your water consumption and work to hit eight glasses a day. If you want to build your online business, attempt to write one blog post every day. Do you want to improve a relationship? Make a goal to do three kind things for them each day.
Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results. – Willie Nelson
Change Your Language
The average human has around 40,000 thoughts a day, and the clear majority of them are negative. But the good news is boosting your positivity can be as simple as changing your thoughts.
Start listening for certain keywords in your mental soundtrack and change them. For example, instead of thinking, “I’m a terrible mother,” focus on the positive by saying, “I’m learning important skills to be a better mother to my kids.”
When it comes to your mindset, look for phrases like: never, hopeless, impossible, too late, not enough, or worthless. You may not realize it, but when you think these words, you’re sending yourself a subtle message filled with negativity.
I truly believe in positive synergy, that your positive mindset gives you a more hopeful outlook, and belief that you can do something great means you will do something great. – Russell Wilson
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Be Open to Change
Many people associate change with something negative. For example, you might be thinking of a move to another city and only consider what you’re giving up. You’d miss your friends, your favorite restaurant and your comfortable home.
But change can also bring amazing things into your life, too. People with a positive outlook know this, and that’s why they don’t fear change. They choose to embrace it. If you’re worried about an upcoming change, make a list of positive things that could happen as a result.
View Everything as an Experiment
It’s easy to approach life like it’s a test and there’s only one right answer. But the truth is there can be many answers, and all of them can be right, depending on where you find yourself right now.
For example, you may think checking out a new vacation spot is a terrible idea. You go to the same beach every summer, and you like the way it is predictable. But what if your best friend from High School is hiking the Grand Canyon and you miss each other because you weren’t willing to change your plans.
You don’t have to love something new when you try it. But you do need to approach it with an open mind and a willingness to experiment. Go ahead and try a new hobby you’ve been dreaming of, order something different from your favorite restaurant, or go on a road trip adventure with your best friend.
All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Developing a Positive Mindset
Developing a positive mindset won’t feel natural at first. It might even feel a little bit cheesy. But if you keep reaching for the positive, you will experience a radical mindset shift in the coming weeks. And just like when I was on my bike ride with my husband – we have to remember it is a process — one that requires a little more effort but helps so much.
What helps you the most when it comes to developing a positive mindset?
I designed the Creating Positive Habits Journal to help you develop a positive mindset. It takes you through important exercises each day to get your mind looking for ways to be grateful, recognizing how you are growing, and includes thoughtful writing prompts to allow your brain to make new connections and create a more positive habit. You can learn more here.