Developing Positive Thoughts Through The Third Wave
“Whether you think you can, or you can’t, you’re probably right.”- Henry Ford
Think positively they say, but is switching off negative thoughts as simple as experts make it appear? And if it is, how can we go about it? The Government of Kenya recently declared new lockdown rules following a concerning increase in COVID-19 cases from the third wave. With this, it feels like we are back to square one with cessation of movement, an 8pm curfew and millions at risk of losing their jobs again. The impact of this will be felt heavily by the economy and subsequently, it will exacerbate our anxiety and stress levels. The effect of the pandemic on our mental health needs to be addressed through a wellness lens because now more than ever, we all need to take deliberate steps to be mentally resilient.
Science has proven that whenever we feel particularly stressed or exhausted, we tend to have negative and gloomy thoughts which leads to our bodies becoming tense and this significantly narrows our mental outlook. When we start developing feelings of hopelessness and think we can’t cope, this becomes our reality. So let's plan to stay in the right mindset, shall we?
Anthony Robbins a world-renowned life coach highlights a powerful distinction between successful and unsuccessful people in his book ‘Awake the Giant Within’. He states that the two groups interpret their experiences in different ways; successful people never dwell on the past failures but shrug them off as an annoying ‘blip’ that isn’t worth thinking about. They choose to focus on the future, the next goal, and expect to succeed no matter what happened in the past.
Unsuccessful people on the other hand, tend to hold on to the memory of past failures and keep replaying it over and over in their imagination assuming it will happen again. You will never be successful if you expect to fail. Experts emphasize on the importance of being able to develop the right attitude as a key asset in achieving any goal you set your mind to. In light of the new month and a chance to hit the reset button, here are seven practical tips for getting into a positive mindset.
1. When faced with a problem, try to look at the facts without emotions because often it’s our emotional reaction to problems that creates the most distress. Being objective as possible will allow you think more clearly and discover solutions emotions can mask.
2. In a difficult situation, ask yourself if you can change anything and if the answer is yes, then take action (no matter how small) because this will empower you. If you can’t change anything, ask yourself how to accept the situation for what it is because this will enable you to spend less energy worrying. As a result, new solutions will often present themselves.
3. We underestimate the power of music which has the extraordinary power to change our mood and banish gloomy thoughts. Take time to curate a playlist of your favorite songs that bring joy and hit the replay button!
4. Feeding your senses with positive and beautiful sights and sounds will uplift your mood. Take time to look at nature, walk in the park or stare at magnificent buildings or better yet, visit art galleries. In the famous words of William Blake, a world-renowned artist, “We become that which we behold.”
5. Exercise is mental medicine. Taking time to exercise your body will calm your mind and release uplifting chemicals such as endorphins into your bloodstream. Endorphins are called ‘feel-good’ hormones, because they boost our mood and can make us feel quite ‘high’ on energy. You may not enjoy physical activity, or like the idea of going to the gym but any movement- be it taking a walk, running, dancing, yoga, weeding the garden or even vigorous housework can positively impact your mood.
6. Enhance your environment. This can be done by adding flowers to your living space; creating a relaxing atmosphere with candles or low lighting; or burning your favorite incense or essential oils such as jasmine, bergamot, rose or lavender.
7. Rest is crucial and most certainly underrated. A well-rested mind will produce creative solutions to whatever challenges that you face.
The Chinese character for 'crisis' has two meanings: 'danger' and 'opportunity'. When we are faced with danger, we can either be overwhelmed or seize the opportunity. Every crisis presents us with an opportunity to rethink the status quo and make adjustments where necessary.
Yours in Wellness,
Editor: Loise Machira
Images: Strikingly, Pexels, Getty Images, Glamour, TripSavvy
Stay Calm, Stay Healthy (Reader’s Digest) by Linda Blair
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