It is not easy to change your mindset, but having an open and positive mindset is a game changer. Personal development is what drives the decisions you make for your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Simply changing your way of thinking can transform your life.
Mindset Work's Importance
Spending time on mindset work is extremely important. During this time, we begin to understand ourselves, and as we do so, we become more compassionate and patient with ourselves.
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Our culture and society thrive on the busyness that life brings not only into our lives but also to our dinner tables. With that comes some of the consequences of relying on “band-aid” solutions and quick fixes to get us through certain stumbling blocks in our lives. Those solutions never last, and it is necessary to make the time and effort to slow down, ground ourselves, and refocus our attention.
Changing your thinking means not only being more optimistic, but also giving your mind the space it needs to grow and expand. It's about examining everything that hasn't worked for you and remaining open to new possibilities.
How to Alter Your Thoughts and Change Your Life
Here are 7 easy ways to change your mind:
1. Be present
Don't want to go to the gym? Go ahead and do it. Don't feel like playing the piano after committing to daily practice? Do it and have fun with it.
The payoff of showing up and committing to something goes a long way. It boosts confidence, and as your confidence grows, your mindset shifts.
Of course, showing up isn't always fun, but by completing the smaller goals on your list, you'll be able to tackle the larger ones that may seem out of reach.
2. Locate an Anchor
We all require an anchor, or something in which to place our faith when our thoughts wander. Hold on to it, whether you are religious, have a spiritual connection with a higher power, or have someone who grounds you.
When my father first introduced me to the Law of Attraction when I was 17, I thought it was ridiculous and never gave it much thought. After ten years, the Law of Attraction has become so ingrained in my daily life that it has become the anchor in my belief system. That anchor is also what motivates me to become a better version of myself. When I've convinced myself that light doesn't exist, it's a light at the end of the tunnel.
An anchor's purpose is to anchor you when your mind and/or external factors are weighing you down. It is about having faith and trust in that one thing or power when everything else appears to be going wrong. This is one of the most important things you'll need if you want to start changing your mindset.
3. Inquire as to why
It's really that easy. To change your thinking, you must first investigate what is causing the reaction.
- Why does it bother me that someone else took the parking spot I was hoping for?
- Why do I feel uneasy when I dine alone in a restaurant?
- Why do I feel good after buying a new outfit?
We ask “why” about many external factors, but we rarely ask “why” about ourselves. It's also a good way to get to know yourself as you would a friend.
As we begin to answer these questions, we realize that it is our own values that bring us happiness, sadness, guilt, or joy, rather than external factors.
Now, talk to yourself and reflect on your responses when you ask these “whys.”
As an example:
I'm irritated at this person for taking my parking spot because I'm busy and have a long list of errands to run. I don't have time to look for another job.
Reflection: how am I managing my time, and are time constraints causing me undue stress? So that I don't feel overwhelmed, I should prioritize my errands.
I'm uneasy when I dine alone in a restaurant because I don't want people to think I don't have any friends.
Reflection: I am concerned about what others think of me, including strangers, and this affects my emotional well-being. I don't think like this when I see another person eating alone, so when and why did I start thinking like this about myself? I should start eating out by myself so that I can learn how to step outside of my comfort zone.
The reason I feel great after buying a new outfit is because I am confident.
Confidence is important because it determines how I present myself to strangers and clients, as well as how I carry myself in general. How do I keep this confidence without splurging on a new outfit every time I need a pick-me-up? To play that part, I could wear my glasses or carry a book with me.
These mindful yet direct conversations with yourself are simple ways to change your thinking. Reflection is essential for understanding your strengths and weaknesses.
Here's a great article on the power of self-reflection, as well as ten questions to ask yourself.
4. Push Yourself Outside of Your Comfort Zone
As previously stated, we all have a comfort zone. We, like turtles, feel cozy and safe inside our shells, but in order to change your mind, you must be willing to step out of that shell, no matter how much it feels like home.
We will only begin to change our mindset if we allow ourselves to be exposed to the possibilities of change. Getting out of your comfort zone can be one of the most difficult things you can do, but it all comes back to confidence.
Some of the most important friendships I've had to date have all stemmed from the five seconds I decided to step outside of my comfort zone, introduce myself, and strike up a conversation.
Try to learn something new every day, even if it makes you feel a little uneasy at first.
Still not sure how to get out of your comfort zone? Check out this article:
Is Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone Really Beneficial?
5. Consider Things from a Different Perspective
I once asked a friend what she meant by self-love. “Self-love means being a parent to yourself,” she replied.
I was not expecting that response, but it set the wheels in motion for me to consider other definitions of what self-love could mean to others and to myself.
Changing your thinking also entails being open to other people's perspectives, especially if they differ from your own. You'll notice that the more mindset work you do, the more you'll approach new opinions and ideas from a grounded and calming place. Things that used to make you angry will gradually turn into a source of fascination for you.
6. Be Patient
Here's the deal. You take the same route to work and leave at the same time every day. While exiting the highway, you stop by your favorite coffee shop to order your daily brew, then you're out the door and straight to work.
Have you ever noticed the color of the corner building right before you exit the highway during your daily routine? Have you ever noticed if your barista is left-handed or right-handed?
Most likely not, because we tend to live our lives on auto-pilot the majority of the time.
According to science, we make approximately 35,000 decisions per day[1,] so it stands to reason that our minds are on auto-pilot half of the time. There are significant drawbacks to having this “auto switch,” such as the feelings of mindlessly scrolling through your phone or being so deep in your thoughts that you are mentally checked out.
Slowing down is one way to change your mindset. Slowing down allows you to find yourself in the same tune and vibrations as the rest of the world. You start to notice what resonates with you and what doesn't. You begin to become more present.
If you want to change your life, you must first be present in your current life. Being present allows you to begin to shift into a state of gratitude.
7. Get Rid of the Excuses and Find Solutions
How frequently do we use the word “but?”
For example, “I'd like to eat healthier, but I'm so busy that I can't meal prep,” “I'd like to buy a new car, but I'm still paying off some of my debt,” she says. “I'd like to start my own business, but I don't have the time or money to do so.”
Remove the “but” and consider how you would feel if these external factors were not an issue.
This is a simple but effective technique for changing your mind. It all comes down to tapping into those emotions and removing the roadblocks that we spend so much time focusing on. Instead, start shifting your attention away from the buts and toward the “hows.”
Changing your mindset is an ongoing process that should be as enlightening as it is rewarding. It is about getting to know yourself better and developing a friendship with yourself along the way.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but it all boils down to taking that first step.
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You have heard it all before: "Live life to the fullest", "follow your dreams", "be who you are" and "if it is meant to be, it will be". These are all wonderful quotes that are meant to help you live a happy life but they miss the point. Our lives are interconnected with each other and with the world.
No matter how hard you think you try, there’s always going to be a certain level of stress in your life. And when stress gets out of hand, it can start to negatively affect your life. But this doesn’t have to be the case. There are some easy steps you can take to improve your life in the long run, and we’ve found a few that can help you enjoy a better life and get rid of stress.