You may have heard advice from experts about creating a “positive mindset”. From life coaches and personal development gurus to motivational speakers, this advice is pervasive in our culture. Maybe this is the first time you’ve heard this term and are asking yourself what it means. Whether you’re encountering it for the first time, or the fiftieth, the first step on this journey is understanding what having a mindset really means.
The human mind is a powerful system and far superior to any computer – it’s where we develop our dreams, thoughts, emotions and ideas. The cerebral cortex comprises more than 15 billion neurons – each one connected to thousands of others passing electrical signals to each other.
Incredible, isn’t it?
The brain’s neurons enable our mind to make sense of what we can see or feel in any given situation. If that situation is stressful, the perception that results from a negative-leaning mindset can be misleading. Some manifestations of this include poor health, misinformation, or internalising the negativity causing rude or aggressive behaviour.
However, by cultivating a positive mindset through exposure to positive feelings, thoughts and images, we train the mind toward more positive tendencies. Some of the most common ways to do this are:
> Listening to the advice of personal development gurus and motivational speakers;
> Creating a relaxing place for the mind to make sense of the barrage of information it encounters daily from the numerous media surrounding us;
> Enjoying uplifting music or reading affirmations and positive quotes and books;
> Spending time with positive people and removing the negative people from our lives.
By training our mind to concentrate on the positive, it becomes more apparent to us when we enter a negative thought pattern. Negative thoughts are part and parcel of being human. But by recognising this tendency, we can begin to reverse this pattern and move toward a more positive mindset.
I have encountered my fair share of trials and challenges in the past. I’m certain I will face many more in future. I have never given up and let them get the better of me. In a way, I recognise the value of these testing times as they take me out of my comfort zone and force me to rise to the challenge. This can be daunting, but I know that I must maintain belief in my own abilities and dispel thoughts of inadequacy or unworthiness. From the smallest trial to the biggest test, a positive mindset is essential to overcome them all. My advice to anyone who does not already have a positive mindset is to start cultivating one today.