*This is a collaborative post.
The importance of a positive mindset has been stated a lot in recent years, with all sorts of different individuals, courses, and highly successful self-help books, films, and more, driving home the fact that a positive and empowered outlook and perspective can work wonders in improving people’s lives in a number of different ways.
By contrast, it’s also true that a negative mindset can be deeply harmful in a variety of different ways, ranging from souring interpersonal relationships and undermining connections, to preventing us from seizing upon the opportunities that present themselves to us.
In fact, the “nocebo effect” is a known medical phenomenon, and refers to the opposite of the placebo affect. It is a state where individuals who are expecting worse health outcomes, end up experiencing those worse health outcomes apparently as a result of their expectations.
Finding effective and reliable ways to consistently counteract a negative mindset in your life can be extremely important for ensuring that you are capable of living your best life.
Here are a few daily tips for counteracting a negative mindset.
Find regular opportunities to engage in physical activity
Finding regular opportunities to engage in physical activity throughout the day can be a very powerful way of helping you to achieve a greater sense of well-being, and a more positive outlook and mindset, on a daily basis.
Not only has research consistently found that excess time spent sitting down is very detrimental for overall health, as well as for mood – sedentary living also tends to encourage excessive rumination and dwelling on negative thoughts.
Engaging in regular workouts can certainly be very helpful, but finding ways to be more physically active throughout the day, at a low to moderate intensity, seems to be where a lot of the magic actually happens.
Going out for a stroll during your lunch hour, or bringing a standing desk into your office or home office set up, and pacing around while working, are just a couple of examples of things that might significantly help to shift your mindset in a more positive direction over the course of everyday life.
Don’t sit around and allow rumination to take hold, but get up and take action
Following on from the previous point: sitting around and allowing rumination to take over, whether you have a problem that needs dealing with, or would potentially like to take action to improve something in your life, but allow some self limiting beliefs to get in your way, can contribute significantly to a negative mindset.
For the most part, trying to think your way out of a negative thought loop, or a sense of perceived limitation, never really works. What does work is actually getting up and taking action – as your mindset, assumptions, and internalised views about things will tend to shift bit by bit as a result of the actions you take, and the new experiences you end up amassing.
In practice, “taking action” could mean almost anything depending on the situation you find yourself in. It could be the case that you should take steps to find a pest control solution for an infestation on your property. Or, maybe, instead of ruminating on how hopeless your career prospects seem, you should just polish up your CV and start applying for a range of different jobs and see what happens.
Focus on the good you can do in each moment
A negative mindset tends to be connected to feelings of powerlessness and futility – and it also tends to feed and exacerbate those sensations of powerlessness and futility.
One thing that can very often end up contributing to a negative mindset, or detract from a positive mindset, is allowing yourself to get overly caught up in imaginations and projections about the future.
This tends to be innately disempowering, because none of us “live in the future,” and it’s impossible to know exactly what the future holds, or to deal with it directly.
Instead, we only ever have the present moment at our disposal. So, focusing on the good you can do in each moment – for yourself, for your loved ones, and for others – can be a very powerful way of helping to establish a more positive mindset in your life.
Regularly engage in activities that can help you to step back from your own thoughts
Activities that help to create a bit of a “gap” between you and your thoughts can help to keep you from becoming wrapped up in a negative mindset, and perceiving it as the unquestionable truth.
Practices that people have used for this purpose have included various forms of meditation and yoga, talk therapy, and even long strolls in nature.
*This is a collaborative post.