The Time is NOW to Embrace All The Awesome a Positive Mindset Brings (including 10 Tips to Get Started!)
By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Let’s clear up a misconception, DreamChasers. Having a positive mindset is not being ignorant that bad things happen or having your head in the sand, so to speak. Rather, you approach a negative situation in a positive way and believe the best will happen, not the worst. While some people do appear to be wired more towards optimism, a positive mindset is a skill or habit, so it can be learned.
Did you just roll your eyes? Are you wondering why you should care?
Judgement free zone, DreamChasers. A short 7 years ago that was me. I never called myself a pessimist, I believe I called myself a realist to feel better. But, I definitely took the “prepare for the worst” mentality; that way, anything else was a huge win. (Spoiler, that’s pretty negative thinking.) One of the best things that has helped me on the journey to my best life is to continually work on positive mindset skills and habits. I mean, in its simplest form, if you are anticipating an outcome, why not expect the best possible outcome?
You all might have noticed by now, I like to know the how behind things. Knowing how helps me to understand the why and the what. Add in a little science base to this, and, bam, you are really speaking my language. So, this shouldn’t be a surprise that I went looking for the how behind a positive mindset. There are studies showing a huge list of health benefits to being positive, including the following:
The interesting thing about these studies is the exact mechanism of why positivity has such profound effects isn’t known. It could be that positive people lead healthier lives in general with more physical activity, better diet, less tobacco use, and less overuse of alcohol. It might be related to coping with stress and decreasing the negative effects of stress on the body. Or, it could be the endorphins and other life-enhancing hormones and chemicals released in the body. Most likely, it is a combination of all of these things, which is why it is hard to nail down. Regardless, here’s the take home; if something as simple as being positive can improve your life this much, why not try it?
The first step to a positive mindset is getting control of your self-talk and that little jerk, the Inner Critic. (For more information on this, check out this blog ). Put simply, self-talk is the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head. These automatic thoughts can be negative or positive; it might come from logic or reason while some comes from lack of information, typically resulting in a limited belief. When you stop to listen to this inner voice, you might notice a tendency towards positivity or negativity. Negative self-talk shows up in one of four ways:
There might be one or more of these that resonate with you; that is where a negative mindset is showing up in your life. My go-to was hands-down expecting the worst for any situation. Once I realized that was my roadblock to a positive mindset, I could dive into where it came from and start putting strategies into place to flip the script on that negativity. Here’s the thing, DreamChasers, this is just an automatic response or habit, which means, you can change it! Isn’t that powerful? Will it take practice? Yes. Will it take patience, grit, and perseverance? Yes. Will it be worth it? Yes. (Still not convinced? Go back and re-read the health benefits of positivity. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, DreamChasers.)
Got your attention? Per the usual, SoulShine is here to help you on your journey. Here are 10 Ways to Shift To a Positive Mindset:
Now what? Start. Just start, right now. Start practicing that positive mindset and turn that Inner Critic into your Inner Cheerleader. Your future self is already thanking you!
Erika Fehrenbach Prell is passionate about inspiring and educating, others on their path to complete wellness-mind,body, and soul. This desire led Erika to the helping profession of nursing, and she obtained her Master's Degree as a Nurse Practitioner in 2007. Erika specialized in cardiac surgery, largely influenced by her personal experience with heart disease. While she loved working with this population, her heart's desire has always been to impact lives on a larger scale and from a proactive, not reactive, place. The universe answered when her path crossed with Jackie and SoulShine was born. Erika finally feels she is walking in her purpose and is excited for this journey to unfold.