Do you choose happiness?
Mindset plays a role in so many of life’s experiences, because mindset plays a role in perception. For example, imagine you are paying in a restaurant and you realize you don’t have enough cash to leave a healthy tip despite great service and food. You watch the waiter walk away with your bill, and hear the waiter swear under his breath. You have a negative mindset, and you then decide the waiter is a disrespectful person, and expected a big tip. You will now never eat at this restaurant again, and your experience is likely ruined.
But if you had a positive mindset, you may realize that something else might have happened. Perhaps the waiter stubbed his/her toe while walking away. Or perhaps they were worried about something and let their emotions related to that separate issue cause them to let out a foul word. Or perhaps they didn’t say the word at all, but rather said a word that sounded similar that you misheard as a result of your mindset.
The truth is that every interaction is affected by the way we view the world. When your goal is to live free of stress and anxiety, it becomes important to create a positive mindset – one with a more optimistic outlook on life and life’s events.
Creating this Positive Mindset
The good news is that everyone can create a positive mindset provided they’re willing to put in the work it takes to create that positivity. It does require commitment, but if you’re dedicated, you’ll often find that over time your mindset becomes drastically more optimistic and uplifting, especially as it relates to the world around you. Steps include:
- Pretending – Interestingly, the most powerful way to create positivity is to simply pretend you’re positive even if you’re not. The human mind is a fascinating thing, and can actually adapt to the way you act. By pretending to be positive, you’ll often find that you start to genuinely feel and act positive, until it becomes a more natural emotion inside you.
- Stay Around Positive People – Who you spend time with can also create positivity. That’s because emotions are, in their own unique ways, contagious. If you mostly spend time with negative people, then your own emotions will be increasingly negative. If you spend time with positive people, you’ll find that their outlook often rubs off on you.
- Harness Stress – Stress is one of the prime reasons that people have a negative mindset. If you find you experience stress regularly, try to turn it into some kind of game or tool. For example, play a bingo game using things that make you stressed and reward yourself if you get a bingo, or wait until you experience stress at work and then only when you experience stress do you work your hardest. All of these make stress less of a negative thing.
- Exercise – Exercise has genuine, tangible benefits for positivity, and is one of the simplest ways to get help for your anxiety. It controls the hormones that affect mood, and increases the particles inside the mind that create happier feelings. Exercise is more than a tool to get fit – it’s a tool to become a more positive person.
- Create a Positivity Journal – Another activity you can try is to create a journal of only positive thoughts. Think of it like a challenge – to come up with 10 or more legitimately positive things that happened in any given day, being as specific as possible and avoiding any passive aggressive positivity (aka “I’m so glad I didn’t have to talk to John today”). Eventually, you’ll find that you start to look for more positive experiences so that it’s easier to write in the journal, and you’ll benefit as a result.
None of these are going to relieve stress overnight, nor are they going to magically turn you into a positive individual. But over time, each of these types of activities will help you start your path towards changing your mindset, and eventually you’ll find you become a much more positive person as a result.
Special guest post by: Ryan Rivera
About the Author: Ryan Rivera’s negativity clearly affected his ability to recover from anxiety. Now he writes about anxiety at www.calmclinic.com.