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  • Writer's pictureMonica A. Teasley, Esq.

Cultivate An Optimistic Mind

Life has its ups and downs, and often the highs are really high, and the lows are really low. The Year 2020 was very long and very low. To survive a year of “truly low-lows,” you need to have an optimistic mindset; otherwise, you may drown in despair.

Although 2021 seems to offer better prospects for the world, things will not be “normal” any time soon (and there are legitimate questions about IF things can ever “go back to normal.”) We may be experiencing a new normal, and some of our family, friends, neighbors, and business associates find themselves in dire straits.

As a society, we have to make it through this time. How we approach Life depends greatly on our mindset. If we accept challenges with the optimism that we are strong and we’ll get through, we’ll roll with the punches. If we approach each day already defeated, stressed, angry, and unhappy, every day will be exhausting and joyless.

To stimulate positivity it’s important to cultivate a positive mindset. That’s right: positivity needs to be cultivated. A garden during drought will not survive without some tending. The time we are living in right now for many is the equivalent of a spiritual, mental, financial, and physical drought. Here are some habits that may help you cultivate and nurture positivity so that your spirit can weather the drought.

1. Make time for self-care

Self-care allows us to replenish ourselves, our inspiration, and our emotional state. Taking care of others, dealing with the daily stressors of life, or working (whether as employer or employee) can drain energy, spirit, and time. When we are severely stressed or overwhelmed, self-care tends to gets pushed aside. We feel as though there’s so much going on that there’s no time to rest. Instead, we continue to push ourselves until there’s nothing left to give, and we collapse. Self-care is like the directions we receive on an airline: “Put your oxygen mask on first; then help another.” If you’re not breathing, you won’t be able to help anyone else.

Make time for self-care. Get a massage. Take a bubble bath. Read an uplifting book. Get a good night’s rest. Do low-key workouts such as yoga. Any of these activities will help keep you in a positive frame of mind and sustain you over long periods of time,

2. Read

Reading exposes you to new ideas, teaches you things you might never have the opportunity to experience. Reading is a well from which you can draw endless inspiration. Starting your day with an inspirational reading sets you up to have a positive day. When you read frequently you train your brain to be alert and ready for work.

Read anything that is positive: blogs, fiction, non-fiction, or anything that inspires you.

3. Surround Yourself with Positive People

You are a reflection of the five people with whom you spend the most time. Think about that: If you’re surrounded by smart people, your standards will be raised, and you may become smarter. Conversely, if you surround yourself with people that aren’t as smart as you, you will not be challenged to be better and, in fact, your standards may be lowered.

One way to cultivate a positive mindset is to surround yourself with bright, positive people. Negative people have a problem for every solution. Avoid them. They will bring you down. Those with a positive mindset, however, have wholesome approaches to life, and the more time you spend with them the more their positive philosophies may affect you. Bring people into your circle that embody the qualities you strive to embody.

4. Find A Mentor

Finally, a key to cultivating a positive mindset is to be mentored by someone whom you admire and who models the behavior you seek to emulate. There’s no faster, more effective way to learn in life than to be mentored. Mentors have overcome many of Life’s challenges and have developed philosophies, habits, and techniques that have helped them prosper spiritually, mentally, and often financially over time. They’ve overcome challenges. They’ve discovered their own secrets to success and have developed unique approaches to problem-solving.

Think about someone whose life you admire. Ask if you might have a conversation over (virtual) coffee. Over coffee, explain who you are and what you want to achieve. Tell him or her why you admire them. Ask if that person might be willing to meet for 30 minutes once a month to help you work through decisions that you need to make. Once you have a mentor, prepare for each meeting. Frame your conversations in a positive light. Don’t expect your mentor to solve problems or make decisions for you. Bounce your ideas off of them. Listen. Act. Achieve.

Even in these times of drought, Life has much to offer those who approach challenges with a positive mindset. Create your own Positivity and from it you will create your own Possibility.

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