“Think Positive, Be Positive, Speak Positive”… Yes we know … and yet, it’s an uphill task, especially when we are in the eye of the storm and all we see and feel is darkness. It’s just an irritating advice. Yet, deeper in our hearts we know that it’s always good-over-evil and that ‘two negatives cannot make a positive’. So what’s the deal here, when we know that it’s our positivity and optimism, that can take us from Good to Great. Negative thinking, on the other hand, leads to outcomes that cause us distress.
Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you are right”. Our thoughts become self-fulfilling prophecies; what we expect often comes true. Now, I am by no means saying, we have to be positive all the time. I strongly believe that all emotions are granted to us because they uplift us and motivate us to go towards self-actualization, hence each one has a hidden agenda. The question is; do we actually hear them for what they are and pay heed?
Research shows that when we work with a positive mindset, performance on nearly every level—productivity, creativity, engagement—improves tremendously. It is almost a no-brainer. So how do we step ahead of these attitude and mood spoilers?
Is it even possible to bounce back, timely, to ensure that we keep surging ahead in the wake of uncertainty and negativity, that plagues us, makes us languish in our daily routine?
I think, as we keep bouncing back from this deadly coronavirus, as our bodies are winning over it, time and again, we also need to acknowledge our thoughts and mental make-up for this win. Body cannot fight alone…it needs all its soldiers; our mental and emotional strengths to fight this war and come out with minimum unscathed, if at all.
There are few ways that we can insulate ourselves from the negativity that starts languishing in us over time;
Self-Love & self-care;
This is one of the most important steps to remain optimistic. Looking after ourselves, no matter how tough it gets; through healthy habits like eating, sleeping, resting, relaxing, exercises,
finding time for activities that simply make us happy, conversations that make us smile and fuel our mind and heart, are self-care and self-love that builds resilience over time. These help us to bounce back as they help in the secretion of happy hormones.
Let go at times
This is not easy, I know that, because of that monster called ‘ego’ that comes in the way and pushes us to take some of our knee-jerk actions and reactions. Giving people the benefit of the doubt, taking a moment to examine what another motive can be; works towards helping us to ‘let-things-go’ and develop a forgiving attitude.
Research shows that those who are grateful for the good in their lives are more resilient and optimistic. Gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. It helps us to feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve our health (40% more likely to exercise says research), deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. We learn to trust… the fundamental of state for positivity…
Open yourself up to humor
Yes Humour, a very powerful emotion, that sends signals to our mind that we are peaceful and relaxed. Studies have found that laughter lowers stress, anxiety, and depression. It also improves coping skills, mood, and self-esteem. Being open to humour in all situations, especially the difficult times, giving ourselves the permission to laugh, is an attitude of faith and trust that ‘this too shall pass. It instantly lightens the mood and makes things seem a little less difficult. Interestingly mind does not know a fake smile or laughter for a real one and hence when we laugh or smiles, it deciphers that we must be in a happy state and it rushes to make us feel more of the same feelings, emotions, and thoughts.
We might not be able to undo years of pessimism and negative thoughts overnight, however ‘when things get tough, the tough get going (I had this poster for years in my room when I was a teenage girl; today I understand what it was doing for me) small steps can help us to approach today with a positive mindset.
By no means, any of these are full-proof, they are, however, mindful steps to care for our well-being, which is our utmost responsibility.
About the author, Ms. Nidhi Sharma is a counseling psychologist a life & career coach practicing in India, and is an advocate of growth mindset and positive psychology. Her secret mantra and inspiration are ‘taking life from Good to Great. If you wish to accelerate your growth in 2021 and transcend the times, connect with her and take a complimentary Life Coaching session.