HOW TO SHIFT YOUR MINDSET FROM NEGATIVE TO POSITIVE
Kerry Wekelo, COO, Actualize Consulting
Negative thoughts are inevitable – and if I were a betting person, I would imagine 2020 has also been an incredibly challenging time for you. For me, this year has been one for the records in challenging times. Even my beloved hometown of Staunton, VA flooded. I have been called many names while trying to maintain a positive outlook. Some people have referred to me as “hippie-dippy,” “lofty,” and “fluffy.” Instead of dwelling on others and their negative words, I have to say, “ouch,” and move on with a positive mindset. How do you go from negative to positive thoughts? Here are some things that may help you Pause to Pivot to the Positive.
1. Remember the Negativity Bias. “The negativity bias is our tendency not only to register negative stimuli more readily but also to dwell on these events. Also known as positive-negative asymmetry, this negativity bias means that we feel the sting of a rebuke more powerfully than we feel the joy of praise.” Simply stated, if you receive 9 compliments and 1 negative comment, you will focus on the negative comment.
2. Pause to Allow Your Feelings. In my 3P Method of Pause to Pivot to a Positive, I find this step the most important. If you sweep your feelings under a rug, they will fester to the surface. Sit with how you are feeling for as long as you need.
3. Find Gratitude. An easy practice is to ground yourself in gratitude for an occurrence in your day. For example, try an affirmation like, “I am healthy.” It can be that simple.
4. Lift Your Spirits. What are activities that you enjoy? Keep busy with those types of actions. When I am feeling negative emotion, taking a walk or run is the quickest way to shift my mindset. For others, it may be listening to your favorite song. Reflect on what you enjoy doing that you can add to your routine.
5. Avoid Triggers. Minimizing contact with negative people and media sources can aid your sanity.
6. Get Rest. Lack of sleep greatly affects your mood and could cause you to be more anxious or irritable.
7. Pivot. This is the most difficult step. How can you move to a positive resolution or what is the lesson learned? Employing this mindset enables you to more quickly shift to the positive.
8. Use Positive Self-Talk. When you are in the tunnel of negativity, it can be very hard to see the light on the other side. Use phrases like these to give yourself a pep talk and act as a flashlight:
a. “This is tough, but so am I.”
b. “Everything will be better sooner or later.”
c. “I can handle this!”
Learning how to re-train your brain to think more positively takes devotion. Using any of these tips will help save time and energy by focusing on moving forward - especially knowing that negative thoughts have more of an impact on the brain. Great things happen once you are able to shift your mindset.
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