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Challenge your Mindset

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7 ways to train your brain to be positive

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Positivity is not something to take for granted. The ability to be positive can impact your life is far greater that you think, with many studies showing it improves creativity and productivity by a large amount. Negativity is a source of energy, but it can be a hard source to control., Training your brain to be positive can help you take more control. Here are 7 ways you can do this.

1) Write – whenever you can and however you want. The best part of writing is it forces you to express your thoughts. You might find you can understand your negativity when you see it written out, even if it’s just a stream of consciousness and doesn’t form logical sentences. Simple keywords will do. It can be a piece of paper to throw away or a diary, a blog or a post-it-note, it’s the writing that helps.

2) Exercise regularly. The brain is an organ. It has muscle and needs nutrition. Exercise won’t physically train the brain, but it will release endorphins and encourage it to concentrate more for an effective work out. Psychologically speaking, working up a sweat makes you feel like you’re moving towards something good – that something is your health. A positive, focussed brain forms part of your health.

3) Dedicate a part of the day to saying thanks. [Gratitude List: Why you should write one] From when you wake up to when you go to bed, pick a spot in the day to think only of the people you are grateful to have in your life. Think of the considerate things they have done for you and how much you love them. There might be more instant gratification in revenge or insults, but that will not release your negativity. It will only encourage it to grow.

4) Plan for the long term. To be positive is about being optimistic for the future. You must be able to see the potential for something, however small, in every day. Set realistic goals over certain periods of time to motivate you. Whilst spontaneity is fun, living in the moment from a negative perspective and disorient you leave you feel lost or hopeless. Save going with the flow for when you’re trained in positivity.

5) Ditch the negative people. People often use the crab analogy to explain this. Leave two crabs in a bucket and they will never leave, remove one and the other will be able to climb out. Likewise, leave two negative people together and they will stay permanently pessimistic. You might love these people dearly, but try and limit your time with your fellow crabs. You all need to climb out the bucket.

6) Reciprocate all kindness. Good deeds are contagious and they have currency. Once you do something nice for somebody, they feel the urge to do something nice for someone else, even if unconsciously. The effect works in the same way as ‘pay-it-forwards’ in cafes – there’s a hidden selfish motivation behind wanting to do good for others, but it benefits everyone. The more you do, the more your mind will feel positive.

7) Rest when you need to. The brain needs to adapt to regular breaks from intense work. You might have a lot on your plate, but be sure to rest. Your brain gets overworked and emotional, causing negativity to grow in strength. If you don’t manage it, it can take over. Break down every task into manageable chunks – for every one you complete, take a 5 minute break.

The key to positivity is commitment. It’s something you have to self-affirm and dedicate yourself to every day. The good new is that the more you commit to the routine, the less strenuous it will feel to be positive. It’s incredible how much your life could change thanks to this change in mind-set. If you want some extra support to change your habits for good then visit our Video Moods series for empowering support.

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This article was contributed by Pink Moods.