We all hear the talk about staying “positive” and being in a regular state of gratitude. But what does that really mean and how do you achieve it? I’ve shared a few of my favorite ways to call in positivity below but before we get there, a quick reminder.
Staying positive and feeling grateful are very beautiful and worthwhile pursuits – but they can also be really hard. Especially when you’re going through a rough patch or have a long history of negative thoughts, old programming or traumatic memories inside your body and mind. I recently met someone who reminded me that the key to a positive mindset is to stop focusing on feeling good all the time and instead to start getting good at feeling.
What does that mean? Well, the reality is that none of us will keep a positive mindset all day every day. There are so many things in life that are out of our control. Things that will make us feel frustrated, fearful, angry, scared, sad, jealous, hurt etc. In these moments, it’s not about forcing yourself to find positivity or telling yourself everything is ok. E.g., you might get angry because someone cut you off in traffic. Or get a phone call that a loved one is sick. Or see someone you know or admire doing something you wish you could do. In these moments, instead of trying to neglect your emotions by telling yourself to be grateful for what you have, what if you instead actually tended to yourself in that moment. Put your hand on your heart and recognize the feeling. The anger. The pain. The jealousy.
To some degree, reminding yourself in any moment of what you’re thankful for does work because it’s an acknowledgement to the mind that there is more going on in your life than just this moment you’re experiencing and that you have a lot of positive things around you too. It’s about saying, hey, stop the negativity and remember – we have a lot to be thankful for right now. We do this at times because the brain can get fixated on something negative or unexpected or anything it can’t control. It takes you down a spiral staircase that can feel unending with its stories and tales of how bad it can get. In those moments when you’re spiraling down, it’s important to have a way to pull yourself back up – often reminding yourself of all the good things you have going on in your life can help. A gratitude list. A moment to connect with yourself and think of 5 things you feel so thankful for in that moment or even creating a list of what you want to call into your life and reminding yourself with an affirmation that you are worthy and capable of it: I am worthy of endless abundance, love, health and joy.
The discernment in creating a positive mindset is navigating which you is needed. And that is something only you can decide. Do you need to sit with yourself and the feelings that have come up? Or do you need to get out of the negative spiral and remind yourself of the good things in your life? A tip: when you’re fighting the feeling or trying to escape it, push it away or ignore it, that is usually your signal to go inward. Try asking questions and getting curious with yourself about what’s really beneath the initial trigger or emotion. If you feel overwhelmed with negative thoughts or when there’s a lot of chatter in the mind, it can feel very sticky, or permanent and negative. In those instances, I recommend journaling. Getting your pen to the paper and just writing. Writing everything that you’re feeling. Much of what comes up may be the subconscious mind and it could be ugly or mean. Don’t worry about what it’s saying initially. There are so many layers it can take you through before you start to hear what feels like the deep, heartfelt, loving truth. There may be tears. There may be fears. Let it all come up so it can rise and empty. This is my personal positivity practice. Getting to the root of my deepest feelings, negativity and fears. Every time I feel lighter. More thankful and released from my negativity in some way.
Other tips for positivity:
* Phoning a friend. Someone you know will listen. Let them share some words of love if it feels good but most importantly, just ask if they have time to listen.
* Moving your body. This is a sure way to move the mind. We tend to forget that our brains are inside our physical bodies. If you move your body, you naturally move and shift your mind.
* Mindfulness. Similarly, if you feel you need a physical shift and feel heavy or lethargic energy, try doing a breath work or meditation practice as it can help awaken and shift your body and this will shift the energy of the mind.
* Sunshine. 10 minutes of fresh sunshine or simply getting outside and into nature is proven to help shift moods.
* Take control. If you’re being hard on yourself or feeling helpless, focus and connect on what you can do and prioritize those things by making a commitment to show up and take positive action.
* Give. Tune in and see if you feel disconnected from your friends, family or community or perhaps yourself. Do you need to give to yourself? Do you feel called to share or give to your friends, family or larger community? There is a part of our human heart that craves connection and wants to share so find out what part of you is being called to show up and give.
Kelsey Patel is one of Hollywood’s leading wellness and reiki experts. She is not only a sought after spiritual empowerment coach, yoga teacher, reiki healer and meditation teacher, she is a multi-faceted entrepreneur and inspirational speaker, who has just written her first book, Burning Bright.
Her own life story is a part of her public and private workshops and international retreats. Kelsey is known for her ability to connect with all types of audiences in a real, authentic and uplifting way. Her mission is to inspire human beings and give them the tools to relate and connect to their own best self and live life in a purposeful, fun and balanced way. Kelsey’s workshops, classes and self-empowerment tools are a constant in clients’ daily lives, allowing them to take their intentions and goals to the next level.