Achieving a positive mindset is a very difficult task; or at least, it can seem that way when you have to deal with the daily stresses of your personal and professional lives, together with all the outside stresses and negativity that surround us every time we open up social media or read the news.
But reaching that positive mindset is essential to our physical and mental health, to our work and careers and to our overall wellbeing.
Which is why I think it’s so incredibly important to work on your mindset every day – it’s a continuous daily process where you’ll encounter plenty of ups and downs. But it’s those who keep at it that will achieve success in the end: finding their happiness, both from a personal point of view and a professional one.
Why is a positive mindset so important?
But first, what exactly does “positive mindset” mean?
I’ll start by talking about what it isn’t: it doesn’t mean being happy and smiling all the time. it’s not thinking and believing that everything is good and rosy, because it isn’t – life is hard, no matter who you are, where you’re from or what you do. Life isn’t sunshine and roses and there will always be struggles, hardships and challenges along the way in most areas of your life.
So no, a positive mindset doesn’t mean pretending to be happy and cheerful.
Instead, a positive mindset means focusing on the bright and the good side in your life – and expecting positive results to come from your efforts.
And in order to achieve a positive mindset, you need to implement positive thinking into your daily life.
There are various benefits to achieving positive mindset; most notably though, it helps you with your stress and stress management.
And cutting down on your stress offers a plethora of benefits, both for your mental and physical health. Stress can literally make you physically ill; on the other hand, positive thinking can help improve your life overall, decrease depression and even increase your life span.
But how exactly do you achieve a positive mindset?
In this article, I’m going to share some of my best tips and strategies for achieving and maintaining a positive mindset; but be aware: this is something that you need to keep working at every day if you want it to work:
Make a conscious effort to see the positive side in everything
Take a second to think about how you react to things:
Do you focus on the negative aspects primarily?
Does your mind automatically go to the worst possible scenario?
Do you only see things as either good or bad (mostly bad!)?
Do you always look for blame when something goes wrong?
That is pretty much the definition of negative thinking – and something that can have a truly negative affect on your life.
Whether you do it all the time or just sometimes, it’s important to work on these habits and make a conscious effort to look at the positive side rather than the negative.
This exercise is very simple in theory: whenever something happens, simply choose to look at the positive aspects.
You’ve lost a client? Focus on the amazing work you did together, what you’ve learned from the experience and on the time you’ll now have to find new clients.
Your business is hit by outside forces? Focus on how you can evolve – and what new ways you can apply to grow your business even in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges.
Whatever happens, there’s always a positive side. But it’s up to you to find it.
So before your head automatically to all the bad things that can happen and all the things that can go wrong, make an effort to think of the good: there’s (almost!) always a positive side.
Bed head or bird song?
Do you drag yourself out of bed in the morning dreading the day ahead?
Beginning the day with a positive mindset and focusing on the positive aspects of your life will have a huge impact on the rest of your day.
For example, I use several strategies every morning to help me start the day right.
Most mornings, I either take a few minutes to meditate and concentrate on my breathing so I can start the day as relaxed as possible.
I also try to focus on what I have, rather than what I don’t have: my daughter, my hubby, my lovely (and sometimes annoying!) cats (aka cute little monsters that poop everywhere), my family and friends.
Other mornings, when I have more time, I’ll also take some time to read a positive book (I really recommend Happy, by Darren Brown if you haven’t already read it).
The way you wake up and your mindset in the morning will set the tone for what the rest of the day will be like.
So make an effort to start the day with a positive outlook by focusing on the best parts of your life and by doing things you enjoy so that you can look forward to the rest of the day.
Try to remove negativity from your life as much as possible
And I’m largely referring to negative people because the people you talk to day in and day out will have a huge influence on your mental attitude and positivity.
Know the saying “tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are”?
It might be a simplistic way to look at things as people are much more complex than this but there is a lot of truth behind this saying because the people that we spend the most time with will surely have an influence over our way of thinking, whether we notice it or not.
People who are very negative will very likely spread that negativity to the people around them, even when you don’t necessarily believe the same thing or look at things the same way.
It’s difficult to be positive and happy when those around you aren’t; when those around you are very negative about life, it can influence your own way of thinking, as well as have a great effect on your mood.
And yes, I know it’s difficult to cut people from your life and I’m not saying that you should stop meeting with certain friends or members of your family because they’re too negative. But what you can do is limit the time you spend with them – and make a conscious effort to surround yourself with more positive thinking people because positive people will also spread that state of mind to the people around them.
Take breaks to recharge
To maintain a positive mindset it is imperative that you take a break on a regular basis.
Everybody needs to take time out to recharge those batteries.
It is very easy to get stuck behind the desk if you are working on a project for a client, without taking any time to stop and rest. I am as guilty as anybody of this.
To combat this, I now make sure that I give myself time outs during the day. This could be for a few minutes or an hour.
By taking a step back, having a break, and starting again has made me more productive. Also, make sure you take time out with the family and a break from all technology so you are able to reconnect. When we go out for a family meal or with close friends all mobile phones go in the middle of the table and the first to pick theirs up (and it hasn’t rung) pays the tip. I haven’t paid a tip yet!
Achieving a positive mindset can bring a plethora of benefits to your health, both physical and mental. What’s more, I firmly believe that it helps you be a better entrepreneur and business owner – and will help you grow your business.
However, in order to achieve it, it’s important to understand that it’s a continuous effort; the tips outlined in this article will help you – but only if you keep following them and putting them into practice, day after day.
“The victory over our inner self is a daily struggle. Be strong and do not give up.”Lailah Gifty Akita