Life is for the most part a challenge, and as it brings us expected and unexpected ups and downs, we can take some control of our lives through our thoughts. We are the constructors of our reality, often without doing so consciously. Moving to a more conscious thought practice can change our life outlook and ultimately provide positive direction in our lives. Neuroscience has shown that pathways can be strengthened and positive messages are powerful in regard to altering the complicated neural connective make up of our brain. The following are practices that can help to steer some of those connections to build a more positive and purposeful future.
1. Allow life to happen and accept what is. If you are unhappy with something you can change, take action to change it. There will always be things; however, you will not be able to change. Your own resistance is what becomes frustrating when it comes to things in life beyond your control. Accept people and situations as they are and decide instead if there is action to take concerning your own perception. Choose where in your life there is a place for what you cannot change; and allow yourself to learn as you adjust your thoughts and viewpoint.
2. Take chances to expand your comfort level. Become excited to not know what may come next. Explore your curiosities and follow your dreams. Healthy risks are inspiring and motivating, look for and embrace opportunities to experience everything to the fullest. Don’t hold back, embrace your fear and express your enthusiasm as you feel the rush of overcoming it.
3. Allow yourself to feel emotion, really experience it. This is the essence of being human. Even heartbreaking emotions, need feeling to the fullest to move beyond. An outpouring of tears can begin with desperation, but with a conscious mindset there is a progression where the tears will begin to cleanse and bring a new understanding. Feeling joy and ecstasy to the fullest, releases positive chemicals in the brain. Feel positive emotion to its height to counter life’s painful aspects.
4. Make the most of every moment and be grateful. The small things are often lost in the busy nature of life. Take time to notice the beauty of the world and practice being thankful for nature and for the people in your life who make your day better, even in a small way. Nothing that makes you smile inside, even for an instant, is insignificant.
5. Tell yourself again and again you deserve all life has to offer. Every day brings a new beginning. You should expect great things to come to you. If opportunities do not turn out as you expected, or you experience a moment of misjudgment, learn, adjust and move on. There will always be more and better things to come. If you are too busy being regretful or thinking yourself unworthy, terrific things will pass you by. Regardless, there is a new moment ahead always, just continue moving forward.
6. Build relationships with people who have a healthy outlook and lifestyle. We adapt to our environment and enhance ourselves by being with others who are like-minded. Try to become comfortable asking people around you to talk less in a negative manner or remove yourself, wherever possible, from these situations. Notice the change in your own perception when you are influenced most often by those who live their life with hope and optimism.
7. Deal with moments where your mind is reactive. When you have a negative reaction, stop, stand back, take a few deep breaths, and observe how you’re feeling. It is important
to address issues around emotions such as fear and anger. Take time to evaluate and understand where the emotion stems from and if there is a constructive action to take. Be your authentic self, do not try to hide negative feelings, and instead learn to express them in a way that allows you to be true to yourself, then let go and move on.
8. Make time for play and relaxation. Ensure you experience laughter and inject humour into your every day. Allow for time to seek out activities you enjoy, look to your artful side. Personally, spending time with children refreshes my perspective. Embrace the childlike spirit inside you and follow it to the lighter side. Have fun, be silly and give yourself permission to be reward with the things you love and the experiences that allow you to unwind.
9. Practice stress management. Meditate, exercise, eat healthy, and practice a healthy lifestyle. Take care of your body and your mind will function more effectively. It is especially important to find quiet reflective time to turn off patterns of thought and find your inner voice. Scheduling time for self-care and meditation should become as important as booking a check-up at the doctor or dentist.
10. Do something for someone else and make giving to others a part of your life. Something as simple as a genuine smile or recognition to someone for a job well done is a place to begin. Consider becoming part of a worthwhile project or take on a mentoring role. View yourself more globally, as part of a world that needs you to give graciously and receive gratefully. The feeling this perpetuates is priceless.