This is a really interesting question as the answer makes a huge difference to your wellbeing.
How often have you heard people say “think positive” or even caught yourself saying it to yourself to a friend when they aren’t feeling at their most optimistic? This is not something that has sat comfortably with me for quite a while and then I realised just why.
Thinking positive is not the same as a positive mindset. Positive mindset is actually being and feeling positive. It’s a small nuance but it makes a huge difference how you live your day.
If your day hasn’t started particularly well or you have some news you may be anxious about receiving and at the forefront of your thoughts, it is very easy to say to yourself “think positive”. The reality is that simply thinking positive is never going to diminish the anxiety you are feeling, the rumination of the situation, or how you really feel. It’s a bit like when people say to “smile” – some days you just can’t – it’s not a physical problem but in action (usually for the benefit of others ) will mask what is going on for you, just as thinking positive in an attempt to quell negativity.
How do you switch to a positive mindset?
What is really going on – probably thoughts of disappointment, failure or anxieties mostly about things out of your control. Preparing to deal with these things is better approached as a positive mindset.
Thinking positive isn’t being mentally prepared for failure – which could happen, and this is no match for the negativity you feel in the moment and only add to distress if things don’t go your way.
Positive mindset is not negative, it is about accepting what the outcomes could be and doing all you can to influence a positive outcome.
In order to adopt a positive mindset and truly flourish you have to accept what could happen – it’s not what you want , but it could happen – that way you will be positive and feel positive in all you do, regardless of the outcome
> Identify what is making you feel negative
> Accept that things may or may not go the way you want
> Do everything with optimism armed with a positive mindset.