Last night, in a FB live video, Leslie Migliorelli and I talked about overcoming things in our lives like depression, anxiety, feelings of embarrassment, knowing we wanted to make a change, but not knowing where to start. We shared just blips of our own personal journey's. Lets be real, everyone hits obstacles in their lives...and we all overcome them. Maybe not in the exact way we had hoped, but whatever obstacle you hit last year, 10 years ago, yesterday even...here you are today trucking forward. THAT is something to be grateful for. Do not carry those things forward with you, carry their lessons, but not their weight. It won't serve you and it will only slow you down.
I wanted to share some practices that can really help get you into a positive, growth mindset. Maybe you've already heard of some of these a 100 times, and maybe not at all, but if you are currently in a state of stuck, what do you have to lose to try? My Mom used to make fun of me and tell me that I was born in the wrong decade, according to her I should have been a hippie (this isn't always said in a complimentary way)...coming from the hippie, the irony is not lost on me. If some of my suggestions make you roll your eyes, I'm going to repeat...what do you have to lose?
My number one suggestion is to remove the negative and put in the positive. I know, it sounds obvious, but this can feel overwhelming and often unnatural for many. If the thought of "removing" anything is daunting to you, then add so much positive that there is less room for the negative.
Ways to start boosting your own positive mindset:
Develop a Mindfulness and Gratefulness practice, and write something positive down each day about YOU!!
Everyone has positive qualities...EVERYONE!!
My first challenge to you is to write down a list of ALL of the qualities you have, that you find positive and that you love about yourself. It can be your knack for organizing, your compassion, your eyes, your butt!! Whatever it is write it down by saying, "I love [blank] about myself" or "I love that I [blank]..." you get the idea.
After you make your list of everything you love about yourself, add the following each morning and each evening before bed:
-write one thing down that you love about yourself (it can be from your list or a new revelation!)
- write down three things that you were grateful for. (if this is hard for you at first it's okay for it to be small things. Like "I'm grateful I got a shower in." As you develop this practice you want to go deeper into what you a grateful for. Like not just, "I'm grateful for my daughter," but maybe "I'm grateful for all of the joy and lessons spending one on one time with my daughter has brought into my life." "I'm grateful for the unexpected time at the park today with my daughter it really made me feel...") Sometimes it takes a little bit for you to get deeper, but you want to write from your heart what you're grateful for, why, and how it makes you feel.
Start being Mindful. What do I mean by that? take time to pause in everything you do... some examples:
Eating... SLOW down, enjoy and appreciate each bite, by putting your fork down between bites and actually spending time to pay attention to your food, how it tastes, feels, where it came from. Most of us go through a meal with out even remembering a thing about it. We are so pre-occupied "multi-tasking," thinking about things we need to do, work, the house, the kids...Half of the time, I don't even think we taste it. Eat things you feel good about. Eat things as close to nature as possible. Honor where your food came from, and how.
I'll be honest being mindful about your food might be one of the most difficult areas, but I challenge you to try.
Be mindful in your listening to others...are you forming your own thoughts and opinions while someone else is talking to you? of course you are...we all do this at times. Take a moment to try to truly be present and hear what others are saying to you. If you find your mind wander bring yourself back to the person talking to you and what they are saying.
Be mindful of your words and actions. We all get overdone. When you feel yourself reacting or responding reflexively, push pause and start over. Sometimes this might mean apologizing, and starting over. If you are a parent, I can't stress this enough. Apologizing to your child, is not a sign of "weakness" it' is teaching your child how to apologize and regulate their own feelings and behaviors. We are not perfect and we don't want to set unattainable expectations of them either.
This one is a biggie...be mindful of your thoughts. We literally are what we think. When you find yourself having negative thoughts, correct them. Don't put yourself down. We do this in ways that are so ingrained we don't even realize it. Like, "I should have gone for a walk yesterday, instead of watching tv." This seems small, but it is HUGE, it starts the pattern of self doubt, negative feelings of yourself, and excuse making to talk yourself out of something you actually want. There is only today, you can't go back and change yesterday, and tomorrow isn't here yet. When you hear yourself negatively talking about yourself, stop and change the narrative. When you hear yourself be judgmental or negative of others, stop and change the narrative. Don't beat yourself up over it happening, just correct it and move on.
If you find this hard at first, try to ask yourself, "how does this thought serve me?"
I think you are seeing a trend in mindfulness. It's being present fully in the moment with an loving heart and ear....for yourself and for others.
Start putting good stimulus and information into your body and brain. Instead of TV or mindlessly scrolling social media, take some time to connect with loved ones. If you live alone this could look like a family or friend zoom! Or if your comfort level is ok with going to see people, GO SEE PEOPLE!! Connection and community is at the heart of every living soul. Engage in a spiritual practice (this can be religious, but doesn't have to be!!)
If you are home with family, make time to connect with them, turn off technology, play a game together, engage with one another, learn about what's going on with everyone, LAUGH together.
If you need a break from your loved ones because your boxed in 24/7, then take it!! Get outside, go for walks, connect with a friend. When you take a break with loved ones you are around often, that break allows you time to explore other areas of YOU and respect your autonomy, and guess what...that gives you something to talk about and connect on, with your family when you take some time together.
Get out in Nature!!!! ~the end. No really, this is another thing I will arguably say is for everyone. Get outside. Be present, go somewhere you are surrounded by the elements, hear the birds. The saying "stop to smell the flowers" is timeless, and true!! Fresh air is good for you, the sun is good for you, nature is good for you, moving...good for you. No excuses, get yourself outside and don't have an agenda.
READ GOOD BOOKS!! Don't love reading? Listen to some audio books. I actually love reading, but some of the first "books" that really helped me change my mindset were audio books. Audio books give you the convenience of listening to them when you might not be able to read. Like on a drive. For me I binged on self development and relationship improving books while I was doing mindless barn work. It made the time go by fast AND it made me feel so much better and lifted my mood. I would actually fall asleep to it sometimes! It also gave me TOOLS to start implementing in my life. Which I was so excited for. When you gain tools, that means you can actually use them to do something, and get into action.
One way to really become grounded and present is to BREATHE and meditate. Breathing and meditating is for everyone. No, that is not a typo, it was not supposed to say "isn't."
Everyone can do some intentional breathing, it cost nothing and just 2 minutes of it can literally change you physiologically. Look up some intentional breathing practices and try some! Check out our "Breathe" post for some tips or reach out. And yes, Meditating is for everyone!! The key is finding what feels good for you and what gets you into that state. For me, I love doing guided meditations with Boho Beautiful on youtube, but you know what else I find meditative? gardening...going for a long run (after that initial 2-3 miles of sucking, I get into a flow and my mind is blank) It doesn't have to look like a yogi, cross legged on the floor chanting OM, although you'd be amazed what that can do for you too. Find the meditation practice that works for you, and don't not try something because you think it's silly...who cares?! ...and again, what do you have to lose??
If you can find a meditation practice that works for you first thing in the morning, or at the end of your day (or both), I encourage it!
Another way to really lift your own spirits and mood is to pay it forward. Helping others, offering value to others, giving back... just feels good.
You know what happens when you start implementing these things and staying consistent with them? You don't have time for randomly scrolling, you don't have time for the news, you don't have time to waste on negative things. You start growing, you start spreading positivity to those around you, you start taking steps towards your goals.
Here are some book recommendations from myself (this is just a sampling lol), and also Leslie's, from our talk!
Marisa: You're a Bad Ass ~Jen Sicero (awesome as an audio book), Life Lessons with Kevin Hart (awesome as an audiobook, A Return to Love~Marianne Williamson, The Power of Now ~Eckhart Tolle
Leslie: Outwitting the Devil ~Napolean Hill, Three Feet from Gold~Greg S. Reid & Sharon Lechter (I second this), Super Attractor~Gabrielle Bernstein
Would love to hear from you if you have any questions, and to hear feedback on how this journey goes for you.
~Much Love and Peace, Marisa