Choosing to Think on the Bright Side
Another Monday rolls around and you can feel the dread welling up inside you as you get ready for work. You’re sitting in traffic...again...frustrated by the inability to freely go at your own pace. You feel the anxiety building up as you blankly stare at the never ending mountain of laundry piling up. The kids are once again asking, “What’s for dinner?” and you’re asking yourself, “Why does dinner have to be everyday?!”
Ugh! The daily routine is numbing and you find yourself clinging to the hope that one day things will get better.
The quickest way to change how you feel about your life and about everyday frustrations is to change the way you think. Your thoughts have more power over your life than you might realize. Luckily, according to the science of neuroplasticity, you can change the way your brain is wired by changing the way you think.
We train our brains to think in specific patterns by repeating the same thought processes over and over again. As long as you keep supporting those existing patterns you will create more of the same in your life. Henry Ford famously said, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always have what you’ve always got.” So, change what is happening in your brain to change what is happening to you physically and mentally. Change your mindset.
Having a positive mindset is a deliberate daily choice. You can choose to dread Mondays or you can choose to count your blessings. You can choose to fight the traffic or choose to embrace the time you have in between needing to be here or there. You can feel anxious about household chores like laundry or be grateful that you have a house to maintain. It’s all a matter of perspective.
Making this shift is easier said than done though. There are certain things you can do to increase your chance of positive mindset success. Here are a few suggestions:
Gratitude - Practice finding the good in your circumstances, even though things might not be exactly how you want them. Start your mornings by reflecting on your blessings and write down 3-5 things you are grateful for. This will help jump start your day.
Meditation - Train your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts. This practice has been proven to reduce stress, improve sleep patterns, develop concentration, and improve overall health and outlook.
Control Your Reactions - There will always be circumstances that are out of your control, but you can control your reactions to those circumstances. You can do this by developing self discipline, keeping proper perspective, and reflecting on past experiences.
Love Yourself - Consistently set goals and continue to grow, but know that you are enough! Set aside time for self care to create and maintain balance, rest, and peace in your life.
These are just a few ideas to get you started on the path of looking on the bright side. There are many resources available to assist you in achieving this new way of thinking. I love the book, Switch on Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf. It goes over the science of neuroplasticity in a relatable way and then instructs you on exactly how to make the changes.
Overtime, these thought patterns will stick in your subconscious mind and new habits will form. Then, it will be like second nature. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “You become what you think about all day long.” So, make a choice to think on the bright side.