Do you ever feel like you are stuck in a “negativity rut''? Your thoughts travel to the worst case scenario almost immediately, your anger is quick to bubble to the surface, your outlook on life’s daily activities is a wee bit miserable, and the smallest problems can seem catastrophic...
My friend, you don't have to stay in that place. You can break that cycle and walk through that valley to the other side. It will take some practice. It will take some concentrated effort and re-training of your brain, but you can do it.
A more positive you is possible. Let’s look at a few new habits that will help you on the journey...
1) Identify negative thoughts and self-talk.
Most likely you don’t even realize you are living with a fixed mindset - it’s how you’ve always reacted; it’s how you’ve always viewed XYZ. When this negative, fixed mindset clouds your view, you are unable to even see the opportunities and blessings that life sends your way.
Awareness is the key. You won’t be able to move forward in becoming more positive without first identifying what needs to go.
Stop and think about how you respond to difficult situations, or circumstances. Grab a journal or notebook and write them down as they happen throughout the day.
Maybe your kiddos or spouse make a mess in the bathroom or leave crumbs all over the table. Write down how that makes you feel. Do you walk past a mirror and see your belly drooping over your pants? Maybe that coworker got the promotion you’ve been working for.
What thoughts cross your mind? Write them down.
Keep this journal with you and jot down your thoughts and reactions as you go about your day. Before bed, review them. Notice any patterns?
We have talked about this before…you get what you think about whether you want it or not...
2) Practice positive thinking.
After a few days you will start to see how you generally react or respond to life’s annoyances...now, how you can change that thinking??
Get out that journal or notebook and pick out a few phrases you caught yourself muttering over and over. Write those down on a new page, but leave room for a re-work.
Perhaps you heard yourself say, “There’s no way this will work.” Now take a moment to think about how you can turn this into a positive statement. How about, “I love a good challenge; I am going to approach this from a different angle.” See or feel the shift?
Let’s try another. Maybe you often think to yourself as you walk past the mirror, “I will never lose this weight. Who would love this?” Yikes - what a punch to your inner self! How can you stop this negative talk in its tracks? Try → “I can make small changes that will lead to healthy results. I am beautiful no matter the size of my pants.”
This exercise will challenge you to have a new perspective. Attack those negative thoughts and take them captive.
3) Start the day with gratitude and affirmations.
We have so many things to be thankful for, but we often overlook them or take them for granted. That soft bed you sleep in - blessing. Those clothes you wear every day - blessing. That car you drive - blessing. That paycheck you receive - blessing. That air you’re breathing in - blessing. See how the simple things in life, the ones we often consider as just “part of life”... we can count them all as blessings!
Starting the day off with a heart full of gratitude can really make an enormous impact on your attitude. According to a study done by The University of California and Washington University, expressing gratitude increases joy. Joy, in turn, increases gratitude. What a great cycle to be stuck in!
You can also set your intentions for the day by repeating affirmations aloud. Start telling yourself the story you want to be a part of. Use positive language; speak truth over yourself. Try these…
4) Utilize those oils to release negative emotions.
We know fragrances can have quite a powerful impact on your emotional state. As soon as you take a whiff, those molecules travel up your nose to your olfactory receptors, that then relay messages to other parts of your brain. Your sense of smell is the only one of the five senses that is directly linked to the limbic lobe of the brain, the emotional control center.
Did you know? Sesquiterpenes can increase blood oxygen levels in the brain. Guess where those are found? You guessed it - those essential oils sitting on your shelf.
So grab those oils and inhale or diffuse them! Find what works for you and use them consistently!
5) Invite in positivity through friends and humor.
Take a few moments today to reflect on the things you surround yourself with - your friends, family, coworkers, music, tv, social media, podcasts, books, etc. Are they positive?
Do you remember that old saying, “Garbage in, garbage out”? Same is true today. If you are surrounding yourself with negative influences, your inner thoughts and attitude will most certainly be negative.
Sift out the bad and start focusing on what positive influences you can begin implementing. If it’s a toxic relationship, take the steps required to set proper boundaries. If it’s something toxic on social media or perhaps gloomy, depressing music… change that! Remove it. Delete it. Do what it takes to set yourself up for success in this area.
Foster the positive relationships you do have. Play upbeat, uplifting music. Read books and listen to podcasts that inspire you, not give you nightmares. Watch comedy shows and laugh! Bring in so much positivity that there’s no room for negativity.
6) Turn failures into lessons.
Maybe one of the most important things you take away from this is to turn failures into lessons.
You are not always going to get this “positivity thing” right. You will have “off” days, moments where you lose your cool, situations that put you in a funk. Don’t let them derail you…even when someone reminds you that you messed up…because they will…I promise...LOL
Take what happened and learn from it. Figure out how to avoid those situations or how to handle them more effectively the next time you encounter them. Break the cycle. Stay the course. Become the change you want to see.