During times of change and challenge, our thoughts can become negative. We can fall into a victim mentality and become paralyzed by fear and uncertainty. This can really hurt our productivity and our general well-being. Here are five tips to help you maintain a positive mindset when the world around you feels like it is caving in:
1. Bookend your day with gratitude. How we start and end our days is critical to our success. Our brains tend to be most susceptible to thoughts the first and last 20 minutes of the day. Bookending our days is about guarding our mindset and making sure we are mentally prepared. When we begin our days with thoughts of gratitude, it helps our brain scan for positivity; we can focus on the good things around us and go into the day with a feeling of happiness and gratefulness. As the day progresses, often we fall away from this feeling. What I suggest to many of my clients is to not just begin your day with thoughts of gratitude but carve out a few minutes at the end of the day for the same focus. For me, I take a few moments to close out my day and reflect on: What are three good things that happened today? What did I learn today? Who did I have a positive connection with today? By bookending our days, we begin and end with gratitude and positivity, allowing us to feel more centered and in control of our lives.
2. Laugh. It has been said that laughter is the best medicine, and I believe that to be true. When we laugh, we show signs of joy and happiness. It allows us to shift from a place of negativity or sadness into happiness and elation, even if just for a few moments. I encourage my clients to find laughter in each day. For me, I enjoy watching or listening to comedy shows; often I will deviate from a business podcast to something more lighthearted, or maybe just connect with a friend who I know is funny. When we laugh, it is hard to be sad. It feels good and brings us energy.
3. Get connected. Humans are social creatures, and outside of food, clothing and shelter, human connection is the next basic human need. We need to connect. With all the challenges in life, it is not always easy to get face to face; lucky for us, technology has provided us with ample solutions to help us stay connected.
4. Contribute. Giving just feels good, and, in fact, this is our real purpose in life. Robert F. Kennedy made the statement, “The purpose of life is to contribute in some way to making things better.” When we give to others (either of our time or financially), it connects us together and makes us feel part of something larger than ourselves. We can give in so many ways. Certainly, we can donate money, but we can also donate our time, join a foundation, do charity walks and events or even organize an event ourselves. Many of my clients set up clothing and food drives with their communities and clients. Giving back fills our hearts and souls and is a great way to bring a feeling of positivity to our life.
5. Grow yourself. The famous phrase “You are either growing or dying” is key, and it is also true. One of the best ways to stay positive is to stretch your mind and learn daily. Technology makes it easy to grow; we can learn anything, from sales tools to guides on mindset and positivity and even DIY techniques. I have always had a love of reading, but I find that with the demands of each day, podcasts are working better for me. I have also signed up for online classes around productivity, leadership and Spanish. Staying in your comfort zone may seem ok, but it can become mundane. As we grow, we accomplish new things and create a sense of pride in ourselves and our abilities. It gives us something to look forward to and keeps us in routine.
We all know that being positive leads to success, but that doesn’t mean it is always easy to stay positive. Work with these tips, be grateful, allow yourself to grow, get connected, contribute and laugh and see how positivity will keep you energized and open to seeing the bright things in front of you.
Clara Capano, Owner of Capano Consulting.
Master Instructor and Coach with Ninja Selling. Lead with Service to Others.