A positive mindset is an emotional and mental attitude that focusses on anticipating happiness, health, and success. With the end of 2020 in sight but an unstable start to 2021 on the horizon, it is vital to take some time to process the year that has gone and prepare for a brighter future.
It’s OK to not feel OK could very well be the most overused phrase of 2020, but the truth is that many of us have felt far from OK these past few months. Our sense of resilience has been tested more than once and as the days get shorter and colder, it is important to focus on ways to develop our emotional strength. The definition of resilience is adapting and responding positively to stress and difficult situations. Importantly, this is a skill that is acquired and can be practised to your advantage. One of the key things to understand is that the most resilient people believe that they, not their circumstances, were the controllers of their own futures.
Plan a trip
Although we don’t know when we will next be allowed to travel restriction-free, we do know that it will be a momentous occasion. Travel experts are predicting that 2021 will be about the once in a lifetime trip. After months of being restricted to our own homes and country, people have had the time to plan and research their next holiday. It may be centred on helping local communities, learning a new skill or visiting your dream destination, whatever it is, make it a meaningful experience and something to create lasting memories.
When the going gets tough, the tough plan ahead. Goal setting in both personal and business life will give you a strong sense of purpose and structure. There doesn’t need to be a huge amount of difference between corporate and life goals, but it is important that both align with your values. Only set goals that you can control 100% as often we depend on others to make them happen. Wanting to get married or change the behaviour of a partner is something we have very little control over so if these are our goals, we are very likely to fail and become disappointed. Dream big and plan for success. Don’t waste your time thinking about how you can fail, instead, focus your time, energy and plans on the route to your success.
Start to create a positive mindset with small daily habits. Practice gratitude by thanking someone each day for something big or small. Daily journaling can help you focus on the positives, increasing your optimism and sense of well-being and it’s a good way to unwind and reduce screen time too. Get your body moving every day, whether it is a set exercise class or just a stroll outside. Think about getting a step counter to see if you can increase your daily movement.
Have a laugh
Studies have shown that laughter lowers stress, anxiety and depression and improves coping skills. Even just smiling will cause the brain to release dopamine, which makes us happier. Try and start the day with a smile and see if it lifts your mood.
Declutter and organise
Set aside an hour a week to declutter and organise. Not only will you create a streamlined and calm space, it will reenergise you to give you a clearer and more focussed mindset. A clutter-free home can be the start you need to address the rest of your goals and give you the positive energy you require to tackle them.
Adults need seven or eight hours’ sleep each night but it is all too easy to become distracted leading to late bedtimes. Being tired and lethargic leads to not wanting to exercise and making bad choices in terms of food and drink. Build a good sleep routine by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, including weekends. Keep the hour before bed as quiet time by taking a bath, reading and sipping on a cup of herbal tea. Write down how many hours of sleep you are actually getting and how rested you feel. Work out if your moods are dictated by your sleep patterns, which is good incentive to change. If you are having trouble sleeping, try and nap during the day to allow your body to catch up on rest.
Building a positive mindset takes time and effort. Consider how you look after your body with exercise and apply the same rigour to your mindset. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave. Negative thoughts and feelings can trap you in a vicious cycle so whether you seek professional help or just schedule in time to talk to friends or family, think about how you can look on the positive side in terms of dealing with problems.
Tips for positivity
- Make a to-do list daily or weekly to keep you on track.
- Unplug from phones and screens one hour a day.
- Spend time in nature.
- Explore meditation.
- Make time to speak to or see friends.
- Acknowledge your accomplishments and re-evaluate your goals.
- Let go of grudges, get some professional help if needed.