3 Easy Steps to Start Shifting Your Mindset
The other day I started my day just like any other. Took Phoebs out for a walk, got ready for work and made a cup of coffee. As I went to put some creamer in my coffee, I knocked the entire full mug over spilling it everywhere. I'm talking not just the counter and floor but it splashed on the walls, trickled down the front and inside of the cabinets and inside the drawers. It was everywhere.
Normally I'd be seriously annoyed and angry that I had to clean this insane mess up but instead of swearing and grumbling I just said "well, that sucks", cleaned it up, made another cup and got on with my day. It wasn't until halfway through the day when I realized I didn't let this define my whole day like it normally would have. I mean think about it, if something bad or annoying happens first thing in the morning you usually let it set the tone for the day... "Well I guess this is how my day is going to go!" we grumble.
When I realized this, all I could think was hell yeah, girl, you got that mindset thing down! I know spilled coffee is such a minor thing to get upset over but it was such a perfect example of how working on consciously shifting my thoughts to be more positive has made a really big impact on my overall mindset.
Here are a few steps I've taken over the last few years to slowly but surely start shifting my mindset from negative to positive:
Practicing gratitude on a daily basis is really powerful way to shift your mindset from negative to positive since you're actively focusing on the positive things in you life. It's a reminder that no matter what is going on in your life, you always have something to be grateful for. I personally like to write down 3 things I'm grateful for in a gratitude journal (I found one at TJ Maxx!). There's something about actually writing these down (and my goals) that just feels so concrete to me and really helps transform my frame of time.
When I first started doing this, I was writing down a lot of the same thing over and over. I mean we're always grateful for our loved ones, our health, etc. So I tried getting a little more creative and started trying to take challenges from the day and being grateful for those. This started to prime my thinking that when a problem arose that it would be alright. There was an opportunity hiding in this challenge somewhere. Instant shift!
But remembering to do this on a daily basis can be tough. Things come up.. life happens and before you know it a day or two goes by before you realize you haven't been doing your daily gratitude practice. While it's easy to leave yourself a note on your mirror or computer screen, I personally tune those out so I actually set a reminder on my phone. Not only do I have a notification pop up with sound but it also stays on my phone's screen until I mark it as completed.
PRACTICE MINDFULNESS & SELF-REFLECTION
Being mindful during difficult situations will help you keep things in perspective. You can basically go from "why me?" to "what is this trying to teach me?" or "what opportunity will come from this?" Essentially you need to train your mind to be observant and aware in the present moment so you can actively shift your thinking from negative to positive if needed. I know... easier said than done.
Because it can take a long time to train your brain to be present in each moment, this is were self-reflection will come in. Whenever I find myself frustrated with a situation and I don't instantly make that shift in the moment, I spend time reflecting on it later. This is when you can ask yourself these questions to help shift your mindset and put things into a more positive perspective.
Practicing the self-reflection part will start to train your brain to make the shift more quickly with each situation which will soon help you make that shift in the actual moment.
Did you know some research suggests we have anywhere from 12,000-70,000+ thoughts a day? With other studies suggesting that about 70-80% of our thoughts are the exact same from the day before with the majority of those thoughts being negative. So day in and day out, we stuck in this vicious cycle of negative thoughts.. with a lot of those being negative towards ourselves.
Listen, we're all our own worst critics and we often feel like we're not good enough. There's so much outside pressure to be perfect that it's really easy for those negative thoughts to creep into your mind.
Because of this, it's important to make a conscious effort to be kinder to yourself and this is where affirmations come in. Affirmations are short positive sayings/phrases that we say to ourselves to help foster positive thinking and self-love. Sayings like:
- I am enough.
- I am brilliant and beautiful.
- I am overflowing with happiness.
- I love myself unconditionally.
- I am worthy of the best.
Start everyday by saying at least one affirmation to yourself (ideally you'll actually be looking at yourself in the mirror). Tell yourself how capable, smart, beautiful, amazing and worthy you are! It's going to feel a little ridiculous but trust me it works. It will start to slowly change your perspective of yourself and help build your confidence and self-esteem over time.
Taking the time to mindfully practice these 3 easy steps each day will start to train your brain to think more positively. It's a process but I promise it works.