Managing A Postive Mindset
By Antonietta Marinelli | September 11, 2021
Numerous studies have shown that a positive mindset reduces stress levels, increases concentration, and improves resilience. Positive thinking does not mean you keep your head in the sand and ignore life’s inevitable circumstances, but more so it means that your approach to unpleasantness is done so in a more positive and productive way.
Researchers have found that benefits of positive thinking may include an increased life span, reduces stress levels, better psychological and physical well-being, and better cardiovascular health. Furthermore, there’s no question that our state of thinking impacts our relationships, physical and mental health, work, and even our ability to study and with this in mind here are some helpful ways to manage your mindset.
Being mindful and self-aware of your current state can be an effective strategy as part of managing a positive mindset. Having the ability to identify and recognise our thought patterns as they occur allow us to step back and consider what state we are really in. Having a sense of our current state provides an opportunity to respond with strategies such as writing things down.
Writing things down, whether that be on a piece of paper or even your mobile phone helps. When making notes, try to put down your thoughts under the following headings:
• What is the situation?
• What am I thinking or telling myself?
2. Practicing Mindfulness
The objective of mindfulness is to gain control of your emotional reactions to situations by allowing the thinking part of your brain to take over. It has been theorized that the practice of mindfulness my facilitate the ability to use thoughts more adaptively (Cuncic, 2021). A study found that people who engage in mindfulness practice experience fewer negative thoughts. Mindfulness is all about drawing back where your mind wanders off to. To fully practice mindfulness, you must be self-aware of your physical and mental actions. Mindfulness is the practice of “return” - this means noticing when your mind has strayed thinking and bringing your awareness to the present (Cho, 2016). Mindfulness practices can include listening to a podcast, exercise, yoga, or meditation.
3. Breathing Exercises
Also known as ‘the love hormone’. Oxytocin is the hormone that promotes bonding and trust, and is pinpointed in human bonding, generosity, and establishing trust. Something as simple as spending time with someone you care about can help boost your oxytocin production and increase your building of trust and love. The release of oxytocin has a positive affect on your emotions, and one review of research suggests that it has a positive impact on social behaviors related to relaxation, trust, and overall psychological ability (Longhurst, 2018).
References: • Cho, J. (2016). 4 Ways of Creating Positive Mindset In 2017 Using Mindfulness. Forbes. [Accessed 10 September 2021] https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeenacho/2016/12/28/4-ways-of-creating-positive-mindset-in-2017-using-mindfulness/?sh=70e181113702
• Cuncic, A. 2021. Negative Thoughts: How to Stop Them. Verywellmind. [Accessed 10 September 2021] https://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-change-negative-thinking-3024843
• Moore, C. 2021. What Is The Negativity Bias and How Can it be Overcome? Positive Psychology. [Accessed 10 September 2021]
• Klemp, N. 2019. The Neuroscience of Breaking Out of Negative Thinking (and How to Do it in Under 30 Seconds) Inc. [Accessed 10 September 2021] https://www.inc.com/nate-klemp/try-this-neuroscience-based-technique-to-shift-your-mindset-from-negative-to-positive-in-30-seconds.html
• Seppala, E. (2019). Four Ways to Calm Your Mind in Stressful Times. Mind & Body. [Accessed 10 September 2021] https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/four_ways_to_calm_your_mind_in_stressful_times/