Refill Your Glass!
“It’s taking something that’s a negative and turning it into a positive. It’s something that is going to be with me for the rest of my life so I might as well make the most of it.”
Megan Giglia – Paralympic Cyclist
Not many of us face the life changing adversity of many Paralympians however we can all learn from athletes and their positive mental attitudes. Those that train and work with elite athletes say that mental attitude counts as much as physical skill for performance success. Research now tells us that optimism and having a positive outlook leads to greater success and happiness in life.
Our thoughts create our lives – however we can often be on autopilot and remain in our own groove of thinking – our choice of thinking is habitual, developed over a lifetime and shaped by the feedback of those around us such as parents, friends, teachers, colleagues and also by our own self-talk that we’ve developed over our lives.
How often do we check in on our habitual thinking to find out if we are talking to ourselves in the ‘right’ way, to be helpful and positive?
Dr Joe Dispenza, a leading author and lecturer says that we have sixty to seventy thousand thoughts per day and that 90% of them are the same as the day before. If you think the same, you will always get the same. Our inner dialogue is powerful – we talk to ourselves constantly, analysing situations, making judgements about events and either questioning or reinforcing our current perception of the world around us. We are also creatures of habits – we may have the same routines each day which make us feel comfortable and safe and the brain likes to take an easy route to understanding – fitting new experiences into our current thought framework is an easy route.
The difference between glass half full and glass half empty people is not what they experience (which leads them to be happy, healthy or successful), but how they interpret their experiences.
We know from Neuroscience that the brain is elastic and that it is possible to change our thoughts. This proves we can all make conscious decisions to view the events in our lives optimistically, rather than negatively, and exercise more control.
Here are some hints and tips to nurture a positive mind-set:Take the positivity challenge: for ten days choose to see the positive in all situations and in all interactions with others. Avoid negative influences eg the media or negative people.
Be conscious of your inner dialogue: does it need to change to be more positive and optimistic?
Visualise what you would like to happen, where you would like to be in the future (not what you want to avoid), like an athlete visualising themselves crossing the finish line first.
Watch your language: use positive language always both internally and externally.
Take the initiative: don’t wait for others to get things done or expect things to happen for you – set goals for what you want to achieve and take steps to get there.
Dr. Barbara Fredrickson.