30 weeks into 'Covid" Times - it is easy to be frustrated at the constantly changing restrictions, the lack of social contact, be worried about the financial insecurities ... just to name a few. For many, the stresses and strains are taking their toll - personally and professionally. There are no definite timelines, no immediate answers or solutions - so how do we survive & thrive over the next few months.
OPTIMISM - positive thinking brings a host of benefits. Optimists cope better with stress and take more direct action in the face of adversity. When something bad happens, their habitually positive habits of thinking kick in and they look for ways the situation isn’t as bad as they thought and things will get better.
But how do we think optimistically if not naturally inclined - here are 5 tips to help the mind focus positively and the benefits this can reap.
REFRAME - Turn our Nats Into Pets - instead of allowing Negative Automatic Thoughts (or irritating ANTS as I like to think of them) we can train our brains to turn them into Positive Empowering Thoughts. Instead of thinking 'I can''t run a 10K' - think 'I'm going to work on improving my fitness to make running easier and aim for a 10K'. Optimists experience less depression and anxiety and have fewer negative emotions. This is worthy of a whole blog post but as a starting point this is a key fundamental.
IDENTIFY SUCCESS STORIES - it is easy to listen to our inner critic and focus on other people's successes - but looking at past achievements can really help us appreciate what we have to offer.
FIND SOLUTIONS - pessimists tend to focus on the problem whereas optimists look to find the solutions. Dwelling on disappointments and disasters won't change the situation whereas planning how to move forward gives structure and positivity.
LEAVE THE PAST BEHIND - hindsight is a wonderful thing but in its absence we need to look forward and not back. Accept and move on.
FAKE IT - it's not easy to suddenly change mindset. It takes time and practice to move from a. fixed to a growth mindset but there's nothing wrong with smiling and going with the flow. Studies have shown that it is possible to trick oneself by going through the motions and ultimately acting the way you want to feel will help you become more of an optimist.
Studies suggest optimists generally live better, longer, happier lives. Relationships, sleep, morale and health are all shown to be improved in optimists. Think about it - it makes total sense that having a sense of hope and positive attitude about the future would make us more content in the present.
So let's smile and use optimism - "hopefulness and confidence about the future or the success of something" to shape our October and bring some light to the darker winter days that are coming our way and keep an eye on our blog articles on how to use mindset, food & fitness to live our best life.