Wrap Up and Where to Go from Here

 

You did it! You’ve reached the end of your thirty-day journey toward positive mindset and self-growth. Chances are pretty good that, if you’ve read each article and taken their suggestions, you’re feeling much more hopeful than you did at the beginning of this endeavor. You’ve learned so much, and you should be proud of yourself! Let’s review all we’ve covered during this time and give you some practical ideas of where to go from here.

What You’ve Learned

You’ve covered so much material over the last month that you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed right now. Don’t be. Most of the concepts covered in these articles are related. They go together to form a cohesive set of skills that will improve your mind and attitude as you work toward self-development. We’ve explored the ways in which your thoughts and self-talk influence your entire life. This is a big one. You’ve also discovered ways to change your thinking so you can change your habits. An exploration of goal-setting and its impact on your success in life was an important part of this journey, as well. Finally, we covered some brain science and the fact that your mind’s function can be influenced through outside actions and input.

Tools You’ve Gained

Not only did you explore the concepts that make up a positive mindset and lead to self-growth, you’ve also gained some concrete tools for accomplishing the positive thinking and skills you need to become the person you want to be. Here are just some of the tools you now have at your disposal for making positive, lasting change:

? Morning ritual
? Gratitude journal
? Reading habit
? Personal Development Plan
? Visualization
? Reframing your thoughts
? Self-awareness
? Goal setting
? Positive thinking
? Tricking your brain
? Learning methods
? Self-confidence boosting

This is an impartial list of all the tools you’ve gained throughout this month of intentional living. However, you can make quick reference of it when you need to grab a strategy from your tool bag to help you turn your thinking around or refocus your goals.

Where to Go from Here

Where you go from here is truly up to you. The tools you now possess can be utilized in any way that makes sense for your life and your learning style. Self-growth is a constant process. It never ends. You may wish to start with your self-development plan as a guide for implementing your new knowledge. It’s possible you could even create an entirely new plan for how to approach each day with a positive mindset toward learning and development. This plan can include the tools that resonate most with you. Please do take care not to overwhelm yourself. Implementing all of the tools and skills you’ve learned at once is impossible and will be counterproductive to your success. Pick your favorites, make a short plan and get started. Know that you can tweak your plan or add to it as you go along. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

Hopefully, you now feel empowered to pursue your journey of self-growth and a positive mindset with renewed excitement. You have the knowledge, the tools and the attitude to become the best version of yourself and live your fullest life. Enjoy!

Keep Your Mind Young by Never Stopping to Learn Something New

When you’re on a quest for personal development and want to become the very best version of yourself, it’s imperative that you understand the importance of learning. Striving to comprehend new things, gain additional information and become knowledgeable in a wide assortment of topics are all aspects of learning. The concept goes far beyond that of formal education, so there’s no need to enroll in a class or program in order to learn. Engaging in anything that keeps your mind active will do. If you want to keep your mind young, never stop learning. Read below for just a few of the benefits continual study and curiosity can bring.

Stay Healthy

From a practical viewpoint, taking time to learn new things can keep you physically healthy. Reading up on nutrition will teach you the best ways to nourish your body. Seeing a personal trainer gives you the information you need to keep your body healthy and fit. Keeping up with the latest blogs on the spiritual practice of your choice can lead to less stress. No matter what type of learning you pursue, keeping your mind active is a form of exercise that can ward off Alzheimer’s and dementia related illnesses in your later years, contributing to a longer, healthier lifespan.

Fight Boredom

Boredom puts you in a mindset in which life seems dull and devoid of interest. That’s a destructive place to be, and staying there for long will make it harder to pull yourself out of it. Being bored takes a toll on your mind, body and spirit. Mental stimulation is the opposite of boredom and can be achieved simply by engaging your mind. Pick up a hobby. Choose something new to learn that will enhance your current career or take some time to research a completely different career that interests you. Anything that uses your brain in novel ways will do.

Gain Critical Thinking

By constantly learning, you’ll be filling your brain’s toolbox with hordes of information that can be used in fresh ways. You’ll be surprised at the innovative solutions you gradually begin to notice yourself developing as you gradually become exposed to new ideas. This critical thinking and creativity can push you ahead in your career, as well as in other aspects of your life.

Grow Connections

As you take various steps to learn, you’ll likely find yourself in new situations and places. Even if that learning is online through virtual means, you’ll encounter others who pursuing similar knowledge. Putting yourself out there physically through classes, clubs or volunteer experiences will definitely grow your network. Meeting new people offers scores of benefits in its own right. These connections can challenge you, expose you to new ideas, assist you in obtaining goals and enhance your life through friendship.

Live Better

Developing new skills can lead you to your passion. When you find a hobby or pursuit you’re passionate about, your life is positively changed forever. Even if you never discover one great passion through your efforts to learn, you will improve yourself in some way, whether it’s through a job promotion, meeting new people, improving your thinking skills or increasing your health. Your life will become deeper and richer for taking the effort to learn.

By continuing to learn, you will keep your mind young and grow your spirit. There’s no better activity when it comes to self-improvement than striving to gain knowledge. Have fun with it.

The Health Benefits of Positive Thinking

Thinking positively does more for you than simply making more attractive to be around. Sure, no one likes to hang out with a Negative Nancy or a Debbie Downer. However, self-criticism and complaints harm more than your social life. Such cognitive habits can actually have a real impact on your health and wellbeing. Take, for instance, how your muscles get tense, your eating habits may change, your sex drive can take a nosedive and you fall into patterns of sadness or anxiety when you’re feeling blue or stressed out. Conversely, happy and more realistic views can ensure that you live a longer, more healthy life. There are a whole host of good things that come from being an optimistic thinker. Let’s go over the health benefits of positive thinking in order to help you understand its importance.

Better Heart Health

Negativity and stress impact the heart’s ability to function and contribute to cardiac issues. Making a routine habit of positive thinking actually has been shown to lower heart problems like stroke or heart attack. When you’re generally happier and more optimistic, you tend to engage in healthier habits that contribute to the strength of your heart such as daily exercise and eating well.

Improved Immunity

Stress takes a toll on how your body copes with disease and other threats. The wear and tear of constant worry leaves your immune system weakened and vulnerable. Positive thinking keeps stress at bay. Being happy can actually strengthen your immune system, helping you to fight off disease and live a healthier life.

Live Longer

Yep, science has shown that it’s possible to extend your life through the power of looking on the bright side. In one study, participants who viewed aging in a positive light lived on average 7.5 years longer than those who were negative about getting older. This proved to be a bigger increase than the average four years added life expectancy that come with lowering cholesterol and reducing blood pressure. That’s quite a significant finding with amazing implications regarding the importance of embracing promising thoughts.

Become More Resilient

Resiliency is the ability to bounce back from life stressors. Resilient people deal with events like tragedy and loss with effective coping strategies and in ways that help them to move on successfully with their lives. Those who don’t possess this trait are more likely to languish in a compromised state such as depression or addiction when faced with harsh circumstances. When you possess a positive mindset, you tend to be more resilient because your self-talk is helpful to your situation, pushing you to move past the current obstacle instead of immersing yourself in the emotional pain. The overall life benefits of resiliency can be transformative.

As you can see, the health benefits of positive thinking are quite dramatic. The studies and effort researchers have put into this topic demonstrate its importance and relevance to well being. You can drastically improve your whole life just by making concerted efforts to turn your cognitions around. That definitely seems worth the effort.

Journaling as a Tool for Self Growth and Positive Thinking

Negativity is a trap that can feel nearly impossible to escape. Even those who are usually inclined to see things in the affirmative can fall into the occasional rut of stinking thinking. That’s because once it takes hold, your brain adapts to the ideas it is being fed. In order to get away from the grip of such patterns, you must make an intentional effort to change. This means doing something tangible on a regular basis that can have an impact on replacing the bad habit with a better one. One incredibly powerful way to do this is through keeping a journal. Keep reading to discover how to use journaling as a tool for self-growth and personal thinking. You’ll be out of that rut in no time.

Decide on Your Focus

First of all, you’ll want to decide on the type of journal you wish to keep. Your focus can be on gratitude, personal reflection, learning, goal setting or a mix of subjects. Having an idea of the kinds of things you want to write will simply give you a bit of a structure in which to frame your daily scribbling. In fact, you can literally scribble in your journal if you’d like. Drawing can be incredibly therapeutic. Having a general idea of the contents of your journal will definitely make the next step easier.

Choose Your Journal

Next, you’ll want to choose a type of journal to keep. Many like to write in a paper notebook of some kind, as the practice of physically feeling the movement of their writing implement is soothing. Plus, it’s nice to have something tangible to pick up and read at your leisure. If you’re a modern thinker and prefer to see the words fly across the computer screen, go ahead and set up your journal in a word processing program. During this time, you may also want to consider adding additional sections to your paper or digital notebook to include areas for random notes, pictures or any other components you think will be helpful. Get creative with this part.

Create a Consistent Practice

Journaling only works if you do it regularly, and it can be a tricky habit to pick up if you’re not accustomed to writing often. So you’ll want to choose a time of day in which you’ll be most likely to write and set up a regular place for your journaling. Doing so creates a framework for your mind, telling it that it’s time to get down to writing; it helps to entrench your new habit. If you’re a morning person, journal first thing to start your day off on the right foot. As a reflective thinker, it may help you to write in the evening as a way to process your day, note the good things and make a plan for managing obstacles.

Even if you rarely write and don’t consider yourself to be a writer, you can gain a lot by keeping a journal. Writing regularly is a focused activity that is useful in any type of self-growth activity, as it will help you to process your actions. Journaling is especially great for shaping positivity thinking because you are able to see patterns in your thoughts, as you work to change them. Writing also works to stimulate the creation of neural pathways that contribute to even more positive thinking.

From Positive Thinking to Positive Action

 

Positive thinking is a wonderful thing. You’re starting to understand the ways in which your thoughts influence your feelings and behavior. You may wish to take more control over your situation by intentionally turning the thoughts into more actionable steps. This is actually something you can do by implementing some proactive strategies. Read on to discover how to go from positive thinking to positive action in your approach to life and goals.

Make It Known

The concept of manifestation is a powerful one. It relies on the idea that your desires will come to you if you make them known, that what you believe you receive. This philosophy may or may not resonate with you, but the premise does have merit. By stating your intentions to the Universe, you’re setting them into your subconscious and will be more likely to act on them.

Be Accountable

Don’t stop at telling the Universe of your plans. Tell the world. Let you friends, family and social media followers know of your intentions and goals. This will make you accountable for acting on them, rather than just wishing for them to become a reality. People are bound to ask you about your progress, and you’ll want to be able to give them a positive report. You can even ask some of your closest people to help hold you to your goals by checking in with you on a regular basis. If you’re a writer, keeping a blog of your progress might be a good way to maintain accountability, as well.

Document It

Along these lines, documenting your goal plan and progress is a fantastic way to implement positive thinking into positive action. If you decide to blog about your experience, your words offer written proof of your progress and push you toward completion. Taking photos is another awesome method for keeping track of your actions and pushing yourself further.

Check In With Yourself

Sustaining a goal is a difficult task. It’s easy to get excited during the planning stages when the idea is new. Once the novelty wears off and the hard work begins, it can be tempting to give up. Keep yourself on track by checking in during the hard times to remind yourself why it is you’re striving for this particular thing. Goals require motivation to come to fruition. Find your motivation, the thing that’s pushing you to keep going. Then remind yourself of it regularly. You might even want to make desire visible somehow. You can write it on your mirror in lipstick or place an inspiring photo next to your computer as a reminder.

Find a Model of Success

Choosing a successful person to model your behavior upon and to inspire you is a wonderful way to ramp up your efforts. It’s important to understand that you don’t have to be exactly like this person, but having a role model sure can help you to envision your goal. Choose a person in your life or one you’ve read about as your model. Study them to learn about their background, how they got to where they are, advice they offer and other such tidbits. This proof of success shows you it’s possible to accomplish your desires and gives you a sort of roadmap to make it happen.

These tips should get you moving from positive thinking to positive action. Once you start taking action toward your goals, you’re likely to gain momentum and find satisfaction in each step you complete.

Boost Your Self-Esteem with Positive Thinking and Self Growth

 

The process of self-growth involves several aspects of the self such as leisure, relationships, body, education, spirituality and career. You can work on one or more of these aspects as you strive for self-fulfillment. As you begin to make changes and pursue different realms of your consciousness, you’ll likely so discover that your thinking has become more positive and your confidence has grown. These are happy byproducts of pursuing self-betterment that go beyond the area you’re trying to improve. Take a look at some of the ways you boost your self-esteem with positive thinking and self-growth. You may be surprised at the connections.

Update Your Look

When you want to become a better version of yourself, it may be a good idea to start with your physical appearance. While looks aren’t everything, we all know that a new hairstyle or fashionable clothing item can put a little spring in our step. Take a look at your resources and decide which kinds of updates you can make to your appearance. Even if you’re cash-strapped, simply styling your hair a different way or adding an accessory like a scarf or new lipstick shade can be a good start.

Modify Your Social Media

Social media like Facebook and Twitter can be fantastic for catching up with old friends or encountering inspiring new people. It can also be a killer of self-esteem because it adds to the pressure to compete or to believe that everyone else’s life is better than your own. Modify your accounts by hiding those whose updates bring you down. Whether it’s the high school chum who is constantly bragging or the co-worker who’s always complaining, switching up the statuses you see can go a long way toward improving your attitude.

Get Moving

Exercising gets the feel-good hormones going in your body. You’ll feel more upbeat and less depressed if you move. You’ll also gain an increased sense of self-worth when you see yourself becoming fit and energetic. If you’re not in the best physical shape, start out small with walks around the block. Be sure to talk to your doctor first. Adding some sort of physical activity to your routine is a sure-fire way to pump up your confidence.

Recognize Small Accomplishments

Sure, you may not always complete your biggest goals. Resist the temptation to get down yourself because of this. Nothing kills self-esteem like feelings of failure. Instead, recognize the small accomplishments you made toward your goal. It can be so easy to overlook just what you manage to do in a day’s time. To prove this, sit down at the end of your day and make a concrete list of everything you’ve done. This exercise can show you just how many things you’ve finished. It can also help you to fine-tune your time management and see areas in which you may wish to make change.

Be Proactive

Sometimes life can seem overwhelming. You may feel there’s nothing you can do to change a situation. It’s easy to let worry overwhelm you, zapping your confidence. Things are rarely as dark as they appear, and there is usually something you can do to work toward a solution to your issues. Assess the situation that’s got you feeling down. See if you can’t identify one action you can take that will alleviate some of your worry or make the problem better. Being proactive gives you a sense of control and adds to your sense of self-worth and competence.

Give these things a try when you’re feeling low on self-esteem. In order to reach your self-growth goals, you need to feel confident that you are on the right path. Getting down is natural. Staying there is a sure path to failure. You can beat the blues with positive strategies.

Reach Your Goals by Visualizing Who You Want to Become

 

Visualization is quite a powerful tool. There are a number of ways you can “trick” your brain into changing its course or functioning in a more positive manner. Visualizing is one of these tricks. When your brain is being used to picture an imagined scenario, it doesn’t recognize whether this is a fantasy or reality. Your subconscious is enlisted to help make your dreams come true. You truly can reach your goals by visualizing who you want to become. Read below for some suggestions.

Enlist the Use of Props

You may think that pretending is only for kids. However, grownups can utilize this type of thinking to their advantage also. When you’re visualizing your desires, go one step further by using props to fuel your fantasy. If you’re looking for love, try imaging the type of partner you’d like to have. Then write a letter to that person stating all the things you love about them and what you’re looking forward to doing together in life. Taking such actions will help to cement your vision into your subconscious, helping you to go through your days seeking your vision.

Lay Them Out

You’ve probably heard of a vision board. This collage is a tool that lets you actually picture the things you desire for your life. Get a poster board and cut out words and photos from magazines to attach. Create a collage that speaks to your senses and makes you feel excited. If you’re a more digitally-minded person, you can always make your vision board in a computer program like Adobe Illustrator or with a website such as Pinterest.

Be Repetitive

Once you create a vision in your mind, be sure to utilize it on a regular basis. Take time daily to reflect on your desire and let it become ingrained in your mind. Repetition is the key to visualization success. Simply seeing a dream in your mind’s eye once won’t make it a reality. It must come to reside in your subconscious in order to be effective.

Meditate on It

Meditation is a process of cleaning your mind and being in mindful silence. Set aside time to meditate before you visualize your goals. This step will prepare your brain to receive your visions. Meditation brings your mind into present focus, clearing away negative thoughts or nagging worries. Starting with a clear head is bound to improve your visualization process.

Incorporate Your Senses

Bring all five of your senses into your visualization technique if you want to make it stronger. Imagine the feel of your vision, how the scenario might smell or sound. Incorporating these aspects makes your dream more real, strengthening its impact and setting it even more deeply into your subconscious. It will help to make things seem more real for you.

Give these techniques a try when practicing visualization to reach your goals. Keep trying every day, and you’ll begin to notice small changes coming to fruition.

7 Tips for Cultivating Positive Thinking Habits

 

The number of ways to turn your negative thinking around is practically limitless. There truly are tons of little tricks you can employ to turn self-criticism or negativity around. However, thinking of such tactics and using them when you’re feeling down can be a real challenge. Fortunately, you’re not on your own here. These seven tips for cultivating positive thinking habits can be your guide to begin a practice of productive vision to guide your life.

Say an Affirmation

Daily affirmations are a wonderful practice for cultivating positivity in your life. An affirmation is simply a positive statement. When you say affirming things to yourself, you eventually begin to believe them. These simple, concise sentences are incredibly powerful and can quickly turn your thinking around when you need a boost.

Engage in an Activity You Love

If you’re feeling stuck in a pool of negative thoughts, one sure way to push them aside is to engage in something you enjoy. By physically changing your location and activity, you can shift your mindset. It’s hard to be a Negative Nelly when you’re having fun. So grab that book you’ve wanted to read or head to the nearest ice cream shop for a sweet pick-me-up.

Surround Yourself with Good Vibes

Hanging out with upbeat people is a sure way to chase away the blues. Your friends are usually a good source of perspective. Sure, they’re likely to tell you good things. They’ll also tell you the truth. After all, they know various aspects of your personality, and they wouldn’t hang out with you if there weren’t good qualities in your personality. Spending time with happy people is also likely to spread that positivity to you. Happiness is contagious, you know?

Smile

Yes, seriously. Just smile. That’s all you have to do. Our brains are wired to recognize this universal symbol as a sign of happiness. If you are able to plaster a smile on your face as you go through your day, your mood may soon follow its lead. It may seem silly or simple, but it works.

Help Someone Out

Instead of focusing on your own difficult situation or problem, why not consider ways you could help someone else? Stepping out of yourself allows you to forget your troubles for a while, and doing something nice generates all kinds of feel-good chemicals in your brain. You’ll probably also gain perspective on life and strengthen a friendship. If you’re helping a charitable group or stranger, you can also benefit by creating new networks and bonds.

Walk Tall

Another way to trick your mind into being more positive is to change your posture. When we’re down, our body usually reflects that through slumping or slouching. If you stand tall with your chin up instead, you’ll instantly feel more confident. Stride through your day with a spring in your step and watch your foul mood disappear. It really works.

Take a Humor Break

As with other strategies, actually removing yourself from one situation and moving to another can be quite useful. When you’re indulging in pessimism and need to break out of the cycle, find some humor. Even just a half hour television comedy can be the best medicine. Better yet, finding funny friends to cheer you up is always a good idea.

Give any of these seven tips for cultivating positive thinking a try. You’ll never know what a difference they can make until you give them a shot.

How to Turn Negative Self Talk Positive

 

You may not be aware of this fact, but your life is actually shaped by your thoughts. The way you view the world and your place in it determines how you feel, act and live. While we can’t all be sunny and happy all the time, how you talk to yourself does set the tone for everything you do. If you are lost in negativity, that dark cloud will color your world It’s important to learn how to snap yourself out of the pattern of self-sabotage by discovering how to turn negative self-talk positive. Follow these suggestions to flip your thought process.

Recognize Your Triggers

Before you can end your poor thinking, you need to be able to recognize it. Take time throughout each day for a week to pay attention to the thoughts that cross your mind. When you note a self-critical one, write it down. You may also want to take notes regarding the kinds of behaviors that usually come from such thinking. Some people may reach for comfort food when feeling down on themselves, while others become irritable with those around them. Self-awareness is crucial to changing habits.

End All or Nothing Views

Hardly anything is ever one way or the other. Including concepts such as never and always are usually signs that you are having unrealistic thoughts. Watch out for telling yourself that you should do something or labeling yourself with critical terms. You don’t always mess up, and you aren’t a failure. Re-phrase these admonishments by telling yourself that you sometimes are forgetful or that you are having a tough time right now.

Brainstorm Awesome Words

One quick way to pull yourself out of a slump is to think of happy and lively words. You can just make a list in your mind or actually write them down. While it may seem like something that’s too simplistic to be effective, you may just be surprised at how quickly your mood shifts with this technique. Thinking of energetic words and phrases has a way of shifting your mood and acting as a catalyst for positive thinking.

Be Grateful

Another useful strategy is to employ gratitude to push away the nasty self-talk. You can’t be bashing yourself while you’re thinking of all the wonderful things you are fortunate to have in your life. List big items that transform your life, but don’t forget about the little things. An attitude of gratitude can really put life in perspective and set you on a path to positivity.

Consider the Worst

Yes, that’s right. Put your worries in perspective by thinking of the worst thing that could happen. Then take a moment to decide if even that situation is really all that terrible and the likelihood of it happening. Quite often, the worst-case scenario isn’t as bad as we’ve made it out to be in our heads, and it’s not even something that’s likely to occur. Gaining perspective makes it much easier to push fear and doubt aside in order to be proactive in our lives.

Be Your Own Friend

When you find yourself deep in self- criticism, take some time to think about what you’d say to your best friend or a loved one in the same situation. Chances are, you’d never talk to someone you care about in this manner. Better yet, consider the words you would use with a child. You likely couldn’t imagine crushing a child’s spirit with such scolding. You shouldn’t treat yourself this way, either. Instead, tell yourself what you’d tell that child or friend. Then act on the words.

These techniques are really quite simple, but they may take some time and practice to embrace on a regular basis. Keep practicing, and you’ll see a turnaround in your negative self-talk and in your life.

Positive Thinking and Self Growth Increase Your Overall Happiness

We all want to be happy. That state of being means different things to different people. However, it turns out that possessing productive thoughts helps us to move toward that feeling of contentment. There are a number of contributing factors to this concept. Essentially, by now you’re aware that the way you think has a strong influence on the way you feel and behave. Therefore, it only makes sense that positive thinking and self-growth can increase your overall happiness. The information below details the ins and outs of the matter.

Happy Thoughts Reinforce Happiness

The brain is a magnificently complex organ, but you probably are aware that its “wiring” can be shaped through outside influences. One way this works is through the concept of pleasure. Our brains are configured in a way that reinforces pleasure. Therefore, your mind essentially rewards you when it is exposed to something good. It’s a chain reaction in which happiness begets happiness. The trick is to get the positivity ball rolling in the first place. Once you do, you’ll reap all kinds of rewards. Being positive increases your mental productivity, which leads to enhanced cognition, or thinking skills, and positive thoughts stimulate the growth of nerve connections.

It’s All About Chemistry

The ways you think actually alter the chemistry of your brain. Negativity slows your brain down and diminishes its functioning. Consistent negative thoughts can rewire your brain in a manner that contributes to sadness and depression. Positive and happy thinking stimulates the production of the feel-good chemical, serotonin, while decreasing the mind-slowing chemical, cortisol. If you want a productive and sharp brain, making a concerted effort to think good thoughts can definitely go far toward achieving that goal. Thoughts rooted in positivity support the growth and health of your brain, particularly in the prefrontal cortex portion that controls thinking and emotional response.

You Can Train Your Brain

So, as you can see, what you do has a significant on the way your brain works. In turn, the brain responds accordingly, essentially resulting in a cycle. This could be why individuals often seem either optimistic or pessimistic. While this is an overly simplified explanation, it is true that your mind reacts to the input it is provided and that you can set your path to one of positive or negative functioning that tends to become the norm. There’s no need to despair if you tend to be a negative thinker. By focusing your attention, thoughts and actions on a more helpful mindset, you can begin to break free of the negativity cycle. Training your brain to be more upbeat can reinforce the pathways that perpetuate that type of thinking. Begin this process by stopping yourself when you notice a poor reaction to a life event. Take proactive steps to reframe the thoughts in a better way.

The more you practice this process, the more natural it will become. You’ll find yourself reacting positively more often and your happiness increasing by the day. Focusing on this intention will help you achieve the happiness you seek.