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No anxiety, no fear, no insomnia, feel your calm

How to develop a positive mindset

How to develop a positive mindset

By Eva Amari | 2020/10/27

I recently read these words: We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them -- Albert Einstein

Alternatively, in other words, if we want to solve the problem, then we have to change our old thinking first.

Einstein's quote reminded me of a book I read a long time ago called "Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Resolution."The author of this book, Paul Watzlawick, talks about two types of change: First-order change and Second-order change.

Paul's "First-order change" actually refers to trying to solve a problem within the same frame of mind: you adjust your practice, but the things you focus on and avoid, the way you see the world, and your values don't change. Such a change is, in many cases, an ineffective change that does not solve the problem. The Second-order change is the opposite; it involves a change at the level of perspective, values and beliefs.

Image source :Pixabay

If a person has been trying to make changes, trying various ways but found that the problem is still there, such as still so confused and anxious, still full of disappointment and dissatisfaction with themselves, then it is likely that what he has done is only the First-order change, and what he needs is the Second-order change.

Most of the problems and worries in our life are caused by the wrong perspective and focus. As long as you look at it from a different perspective, you will often find that the problem disappears on its own, and there is no need to solve it at all.

The phrase goes: If you look for the bad, you will find it; if you look for the good, you will find it too. Everything has its bright side and dark side. If you always see the dark side, your life will be full of dissatisfaction and complaints, but you will live a positive life if you can always see the bright side.

What is particularly amazing is that once you have a positive mindset, you may find that not only will you have fewer worries and anxiety, but many things will begin to move in a positive direction, such as a more harmonious relationship with family and friends, and a stronger sense of action.

So if you want to make a difference, I think that the most effective way to do so is to start with a change of mindset. How about developing a positive mindset? You can refer to the following three suggestions.

Keep a daily growth diary.

Research has found that when people are experiencing emotional distress, putting their feelings into words or simply putting them out will help regulate their emotions greatly and make them feel much better. The research is the meaning and value of journaling. However, it is essential to avoid complaining when writing and writing out the events and your feelings, such as what happened and how the event made me feel at the time.

Another significant benefit of writing out events and feelings can help us do cognitive reappraisal, specifically by changing our perspective on what would otherwise cause us pain or frustration.

For example, suppose today the leader criticized you did something bad. You may instinctively see the criticism as a negation of yourself and feel very frustrated and ashamed because of it. However, if you can look at it differently and see it as an opportunity for progress and growth, you will not have negative emotions but will think about gaining growth experience from it to do better next time.

The human brain has an innate negative bias, which means that the brain is more sensitive to negative information than positive information and is more likely to interpret what is happening from a negative perspective.

There is an evolutionary level to this: it is important to understand that negative information in the natural environment usually means threats, and if these threats are not noticed immediately, we are likely to die as a result. Although positive information is valuable for long-term survival and development, it has little impact on immediate survival. Survival in the present is more important than long-term development in that the brain allocates more attention resources to negative information.

However, it is difficult to realize this negative thinking tendency in our daily lives, but with the habit of journaling, we can consciously examine and adjust our thinking tendencies when we write in our journals and train our subconscious brain to look at what is happening in our lives from a more positive perspective. Once this habit of thinking is developed, we will naturally look at the good side of whatever we encounter in the future.

In addition, we can also cultivate the habit of gratitude in our diary, such as writing down a grateful thing that happened today. It does not need to be a big event, but any ordinary and small thing: it can be a warm smile or a word of encouragement from others, or the care and attention from family members that we usually ignore, or even something that we take for granted—for example, health, peace, sunshine, air, flowers, trees.

Numerous psychological studies have shown that gratitude exercises effectively increase happiness and life satisfaction and make them more positive. It is easy to understand because gratitude makes us consciously focus on the wonderful things in our lives, and if we see the good in our eyes, then our hearts will naturally be filled with positive energy.

*advice: you can see the growth diary as a simple reflection, review and summary of the day before going to bed, fix a time to write every day, do not write too much, 300-500 words is good, so it is easier to adhere to. It does not matter if you miss a day or two now and then, start over.

Image source :Pixabay

Learn positive self-talk.

I wonder if you've noticed that whether it is a cognitive reassessment or a gratitude exercise, they are essentially using the conscious mind to influence the subconscious mind. This is because the main factor influencing our emotions and behavior is not the conscious level thinking, but the subconscious level thinking. To change ourselves, thoughts at the conscious level alone don't do much; we must change our thinking at the subconscious level to achieve the changes we want.

In fact, in addition to journaling, there is another potent tool that can help influence and change our subconscious - Self-suggestion.

What is self-suggestion? Simply put, it is what we say to ourselves in our minds. We often use this tool, but we use it unconsciously, and we usually give ourselves some bad mental cues.

For example, when we worry that we cannot do something well, we will unconsciously keep repeating in our hearts: "I cannot do it well," or "I am sure I will fail." Another example is that when we are faced with something we don't want to do, we will secretly say in our hearts: "I really dislike this thing," or "I don't want to do it."

These are negative self-suggestion that help us achieve the desired results, stimulate more corresponding negative emotions, and bring obstacles to our actions. The power of belief is mighty because what you expect is what you get; this is called the "Pygmalion effect" in psychology.

However, if we know how to use self-suggestion consciously, we can take full advantage of it to create positive emotions for ourselves that are conducive to action and move us in the direction we want to go.

How exactly do you do it? First of all, no matter what you do, you must figure out why you want to do this thing and what you want the result to be. This is important because when you are not motivated, you can strengthen the motivation by recalling why you want to do this thing and imagining the scenario after the result is achieved, which is a positive cue.

When doing something, if you feel much resistance inside, then it may be because you keep repeating some negative cues in your mind, such as: "I don't want to do it," "I will do it later," "I do not do well" and so on. At this time, you should consciously give yourself some positive mental cues, such as telling yourself: "I want to do it," "I am ready to do it now," "I am going to try to do a good job."

It is worth mentioning that the wording of self-suggestion is essential, do not say to yourself "you must..." and so on, because it will make us feel a sense of oppression, it is likely to trigger the inner resistance emotions, but to use the first person "I, "to say to themselves: "I want to ...", so that the expression can meet the psychological needs of our autonomy when we tell ourselves that this thing is our own choice to do, rather than forced to do, our initiative will be stronger.

Although such positive self-suggestion may not necessarily make you take action immediately, it can at least reduce your inner resistance. As long as you continue to strengthen this positive cue until this force is more significant than your inner resistance, action will become less difficult.

10 minutes daily priming.

The final suggestion is an exercise that will get you into a positive state as soon as you wake up every day. This exercise is called "Priming", a method created and designed by Tony Robbins, one of the most influential life motivation gurus in the United States. It is also the exercise he must do after waking up every day.

Priming is a term in psychology that is specifically used to describe the phenomenon that prior experiences affect subsequent states and behaviors. For example, when you watch a passionate and inspiring movie in the cinema, you will suddenly feel as if you have the motivation to strive and have more confidence in yourself; when you are in a bad mood one day, you will feel everything is going wrong this day, and you cannot be satisfied with anyone around? These are all typical Priming Effect.

Tony Robbins designed the priming based on this effect: since pre-experiences unconsciously influence our state and behavior, why not put this psychological effect to good use for ourselves? If we can start the day by actively creating some positive and beautiful experiences for ourselves, won't the rest of the day benefit from it?

Image source :Pixabay

The specific steps of this exercise are as follows :

(I made some adjustments based on the exercise designed by Tony

1、Sit down: Look for a relatively quiet place and sit down. Put your feet on the floor, shoulders back, chest up, neck straight and head up.

2、Breathing: Adjust your breathing and breathe deeply. While breathing, you can put one hand on your chest and feel the force of your heart beating. Perform 3 sets of breathing exercises, 10-15 times per set, with 1 pause between each set. (Recommended duration: 2 minutes)

3. Gratitude exercise: Think of three things you should be grateful. They can come from your past, your present, or your future. They do not need to be anything major that changed your life, any small thing will do, such as a teacher who encouraged and helped you in the past, a family member who cared for you in every way, the beautiful weather today. Get into an imaginary picture of the first event, move to the second event after a minute, and then move to the next. (Suggested length: 2 minutes)

4. Self-healing: Now is the time to care for yourself. You can imagine colored light shining on you, filling your whole body, healing all the places in your body that need to be healed, taking away all the hurts and fears in your mind one by one, and then enjoying feeling the warmth and comfort, you feel when your body and mind are filled with light. (Suggested duration: 2 minutes)

5. Share the love: Share the energy you have just received through healing with others. Let this energy overflow into your body and imagine it pouring out to your family, friends, co-workers, clients, and even strangers you have only met once. (Suggested length: 1½ minutes)

6, self-motivation: the next two minutes, think about your three most important goals, it can be a long-term goal, such as what kind of person to become, what kind of ability and talent; can also be the medium-term goals of this year, such as to achieve a breakthrough; or short-term goals of this week, such as to complete a task.

Imagine all these goals have been achieved now, experience the sense of excitement and joy after they are achieved, and think about what efforts you need to make today to achieve that goal. Encourage yourself and tell yourself, "No matter what difficulties I encounter, I will face them positively." (Suggested length: 2 ½ minutes)

7. Embrace the new day: Take some time to stretch your muscles and think back to all the positive exercises you did just now. You have adjusted yourself to your best self now, stay in this state and get out, share the day, and don't make any regrets for yourself today.

This initiation exercise will not take a long time, about 10 minutes, and you can do it before breakfast. Of course, if you experience emotional pain during the day, you can also stop, look for a quiet place, and take 10 minutes to readjust yourself.

Image source :Pixabay

To summarize again at the end :

How to develop a positive mindset ?

1、Morning: 10 minutes start-up exercise

Before breakfast, spend 10 minutes priming to align yourself to your best and set a good emotional tone for the whole day.

2、During the day: give yourself a positive psychological suggestion

In the process of action, if you encounter emotional obstacles, you must pay attention to the negative thoughts inside and then give yourself positive mental cues in time.

3. Evening: insist on writing a diary

Every evening, fix a time to spend 15 minutes writing a diary. 300-500 words are acceptable, to make a simple review and summary of the day. If you have encountered something unhappy, write out what happened and how you feel, then reassess your perception of the matter, and if there is no unhappiness, then write about the little things you are grateful for.

If you can keep these three things going, you will find that your whole being is becoming more positive and in a better mindset after a while. Once you have developed a positive mindset, you can use it in conjunction with a morning journal (planning system) to help you make better progress toward your desired goals.


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