Mind Games: How To Train Your Brain To Stay Positive

posted by Khalidah
As a woman, conquering challenge and failure is very necessary to the success to our everyday lives. We can learn to cultivate that resilience by training your brain to stay positive when the going gets tough. By consciously increasing our focus on the positive, we start to even the balance by finding a happy medium.  We can address failures and challenges without letting them get us down, allowing us to be more productive, and expecting to succeed.

Here are some tips to help train your brain to stay positive:
1. Repeat positive affirmations.  What makes advertising success is repetition. The more often you hear a message, the more likely you are to believe it. The same goes for messages about who you are and what you are capable of doing. By repeating positive affirmations with conviction several times each morning, you are training your brain to believe them. Choose two to three affirmations that represent your values and goals, such as 'I can handle whatever comes my way,' 'There is plenty of time,' or 'I'm getting better every day. The repetition will influence the way you interpret negative events, making you more resilient.
2. Challenge negative thoughts. Each time a negative thought arises, we choose how to respond. If left to our own devices, we tend to dwell. Our brains home in on negative events so they seem much bigger and more significant than they are. To combat that, start by imagining the thought as separate from yourself, as something you can observe and deconstruct. But over time, it'll become automatic and negative thoughts will be less likely to come up. No one does this naturally; you have to learn and practice.
3. Express gratitude. Negative events loom large unless you consciously balance them out. When you're faced with challenges, it's important to take notice of what's going well. Reflecting  on the good in your life can help balance things, giving your brain the extra time it needs to register and recall a positive event. To help your brain store positive events, reflect on what you're grateful for and the reason behind it, at least once a day. Write down your blessings, such as the opportunity to pursue a career you love or a family that supports you. If you prefer a daily habit, then keep a nightly log of good things that happened that day. Remind yourself to stop and smell the roses.
4. Change unhealthy self-talk. You may have been running negative messages in your head for a long time. Past research explains that you can learn to shift your thoughts and that, over time, you can literally change your brain. Consider trying some techniques from cognitive-behavioral therapy, which works in part by looking at how changing your thoughts can change your life. For example: Are you really a terrible mother if you didn't make it to the class play? You're probably involved in innumerable other ways. Or disappointing your girlfriend once doesn't mean you're doomed to disappoint her all the time. 
photo credit: We Heart It

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