I never considered myself an optimistic person. In fact, I was always a “glass half empty” girl. Wait, let me be honest, I was really the girl that was convinced the glass was always empty! That pessimistic attitude went clear back to childhood and I carried it with me into young adulthood and beyond. It was like a cloud of bad luck just followed me around. If someone was going to trip on the sidewalk (in front of the boss’s office window) fall down and rip their dress pants; it was going to be me. If someone was going to get dinner spilled down their back at the Italian restaurant and ruin their shirt; it was going to be me. I went through life with that attitude and things happened.
Now, I know that my mind was bringing those things into existence. Our minds are so powerful and we often don’t give them the credit they deserve for creating the things we think about. Since I have learned this lesson and what to watch for within myself, I find that I am more upbeat in general. When my thoughts start down a negative path, I have tools to quickly get me back on track. When I use these tools faithfully, my days are filled with positivity! Listed below are the practices I used to make the shift.
Essential oils. I cannot even explain to you the impact these little gems have had on my life. There are so many oils to pick from, but my first choice for bringing more positive thoughts is Frankincense. This oil is a mood lifter like no other. It also has awesome benefits for every system in the body. When I first started using this oil, I was in a very negative mindset due to a break-up. After using this oil for a couple of weeks, I found that I was no longer dwelling on the past and I was looking toward the future. I use this oil daily and as soon as I get the first whiff from the bottle, I feel my mood shift and my mind clear.
Affirmations. Another thing I did was reprogram my sub conscious by using daily affirmations. Instead of thinking “I’m not pretty enough”, I started affirming to myself that “My body is a work of art”. Every time I caught myself slipping into the “I’m too fat, my hips are too wide, or my nose is too big” mentality, I stopped and reaffirmed that “my body is perfect, just as she is”. This is not to say that I don’t sometimes struggle with those old feelings, but now I have more positive thoughts in my mind too, and I can flip the negative thought on its head.
Gratitude. There is no denying how powerful gratitude can be; but practicing it can be difficult if you are stuck in a rut of negative thinking. I am NOT a morning person and I don’t think I will ever be. Upon waking in the mornings, literally the first thought in my head was; “I hate mornings”. I needed to change that because it was setting me up for bad days. So, as soon as that thought penetrated, I would say: “I am so thankful for mornings. It is a new day and I love it”. I’m still not a morning person, but I no longer hate mornings! Gratitude has changed my perspective!
Uncharted Territory. One of the most powerful tools I have found for shifting me to a more positive thought pattern has been getting outside of my comfort zone. Stepping into uncharted territory allows for more space in our minds. When you take that first little step and find that you survived, your mind shifts and sets a new line for the level of scariness. Each step after that just expands the line a little farther. As a general rule, I never talked to strangers. One of the first things I did to change that was to compliment a stranger. I remember when I did this the first time, my heart was pounding, my armpits were sweating and I wasn’t even sure I could speak. But I managed it and now I do this practically every single day! I have been able to build real relationships that were never possible for me before.
I encourage you, if you are looking for more positivity in your life, start using some of these tools. Pick one or go for all four! Your glass will start filling up and possibly even run over!
Sherry Parks is a Rediscovery Coach who helps women rediscover themselves and reconnect to the core of who they are.
To contact Sherry for more information about coaching join her women only Facebook group Lives in Balance.
Originally published at medium.com