Tips for a positive mindset: when motivation fails us
The next time you start worrying about the things you haven’t done, haven't started, or feel demotivated by a long list of ‘to-do’s’, have a go at these simple steps to try and reset your mindset;
Stop. Find a quiet space to reflect, free from interruption and take some big deep breaths.
Make a list of the things you HAVE achieved, however small, in the last week, month or during lockdown.
Focus on the value and benefits these achievements have given you AND OTHERS, both at the time or since. Make a note of all the positive outcomes that you enabled, experienced or even imagine being delivered to others.
Recall and revel in the good feeling(s) that come up, paying particular attention to the warmth, enjoyment, smiles that you saw, felt or can imagine amongst everyone involved. Allow yourself a smile as you reflect and consider the mutual appreciation and positive vibes. Underline some and take a minute to reflect on how amazing it is to have achieved so much good despite the never-ending onslaught of negative news.
Then, as you reflect on these positive qualities, physically tick ✓ them off and allow yourself a mental pat on the back for delivering or being part of that added value to yourself and others.
When creating your list, you should include;
The friends or family you have spent time with on zooms, quizzes or calls during lockdown that you might not have otherwise done. Think of the support and connection you have given them and definitely make a note of the laughs and any silliness that brings a smile to your face.
The time homeschooling, entertaining and appeasing bored kids. The ludicrous lesson plans and creative attempts to maintain some sense of normality in this very unusual time. Even the extra pizza and TV nights the little ones have enjoyed (just getting on with family during this extended staycation is quite frankly, a miracle).
The adaptations you have made to your home and schedules, to accommodate you, your family or work. Setting up a home office, splitting child care tasks, reduced trips to the supermarket. Enjoyed a few extra walks? Using your bike more? Appreciated a room tidy up or reorganisation to create much needed space?
The box sets, puzzles, songs, hobbies you got to finally start, enjoy a few times or finish thanks to the additional time at home.
The comfy clothes you’ve enjoyed, the environmental benefit of reduced washing (we all adopted the extended home wardrobe multi-wear reduced washing pile - right?), the more creative meals made, gifts given and 'have to make do's' as a result of shopping restrictions.
Active reflection is key: by remembering the positive effects and re-living acts of kindness, your brain will release the hormone oxytocin. In addition to helping reduce blood pressure and supporting overall heart health, oxytocin is also associated with increasing self-esteem and optimism; both super useful when it comes to motivation.
And by physically ticking ✓ each off, you are reminding your subconscious that you are capable, you can AND DO deliver and most importantly, that despite a global pandemic, there are still smiles to be had.
Have a go, either once a day, or once a week and let me know if you notice any changes?