When things are stacking up against you, I know how hard it can be to stay positive. Even if things seem like they are going well, sometimes all it takes is just one trigger for all that positivity and confidence to simply fall apart.
I remember when I failed my driving test(s). The first time, I accepted that it was just one of those things, the second and third however, I did the grown up thing and just took myself to bed. Did it help? For about 5 minutes yes! But eventually, you have to get up and face the world so you may as well do that sooner than later.
Staying positive isn’t easy. It’s actually pretty hard work, our brains are hard wired to look for threats and when it finds one, it focuses on it. Threats can be perceived by the brain as being something as simple as worrying about a deadline – so you can be sure it happens to everyone.
There are times when you have to consciously choose to stay positive and you can train your brain to do so…
Here are three tips on training your brain to stay in positive mode…
Everyone is going to be faced by challenges whether it’s on a daily basis or once in a blue moon, we all have to deal with different shit. However, when things are going well, and there are positive things around you – it’s important to stop and take stock of these moments. Even if it’s something as small as having a choccie biscuit with your cup of tea.
Reflecting on the positive events in your life helps your brain store these moments up. Consider keeping a gratitude journal where you can write down your blessings as and when they come. Or maybe make it a weekly ritual that you start to document all the great things that you’ve actually got going on in your life. It doesn’t have to be long, drawn out essays, just keep it short, sweet and to the point.
Affirmations work on the basis that the more you hear something, the more you’re likely to believe it’s true. So if you’ve got a self confidence issue, standing in front of the mirror and telling yourself that you are worthy – works!
Try to chose at least two affirmations that represent you, your ethos and your goals.
I love this one from Tiny Buddah…
Keep your head up and your heart open.
Repeating your positive affirmations will help you make sense of and handle negative aspects of your life.
Don’t give in to negative thoughts
After my car accident earlier this year I had a week where I just felt awful. Not just in a physical sense but about everything. I didn’t want to get up, didn’t want to work and I didn’t want to even leave the house. I had to force myself to quit moping, get up and just get on with things.
Our brains zone in on negative thoughts, they expand them and can (at times) blow them out of all proportion. If you’re constantly worrying about something, those negative thoughts become bigger and badder.
A good tip I discovered was to try and distance yourself from the negative thoughts and look at them from an outsiders point of view. Observe it and then take practical steps to actually solving the problem.
So for example: rather than thinking “I’m a failure” try looking at it from the point of view of “I’ve worked really hard, this hasn’t worked out because of XYZ so what can I do to achieve my goal on the next attempt”.
It’s not easy to do but if you keep at it then you’ll start to look at things in a completely different way.
How do you stay positive?