Having a positive mindset is what I believe to be the most important part of beginning any self-love journey. Lately, I’m all about doing things that make me feel good. This doesn’t mean I choose to completely avoid the mundane, because I mean, taking summer classes even though I didn’t really have to: not fun. There will always be mundane tasks we have to do in life. But in the free moments, there are ways to foster a powerful, positive mindset that will make every day a lot brighter.
1. Practice Mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness throughout your day will train your brain to think about things differently. Focus on the inner dialogue you have during everyday tasks and ask yourself: “Would I treat someone I love the way I’m treating myself and talking about myself in my mind right now?”. We’re all guilty of thinking to ourselves “I’m dumb” when we do something wrong. Or how many times have you heard yourself say “I’m not good enough”, when in fact, you are good enough. Take small steps forward to mindfulness and you will feel the effects of it in your everyday life.
2. Do Something Fulfilling
Let your mind just be for about 30 minutes to an hour each day. If you enjoy art, take some time to paint anything that comes to your mind. My way of feeling fulfilled is going to the gym. Not only does this help me reach my goals, but it also makes me feel like I’ve achieved something. If you don’t have much time in your day, listen to some audiobooks and podcasts: you can listen to any topic you want! They are very easy to listen to during your commute or even at work, and you’ll walk away with some much information after just one episode or book.
3. Stop Comparing Yourself
Not many people would believe that this has been one of the biggest challenges for me. I think in the age of social media and constant contact, unhealthy comparison is a huge problem. How I’ve learned to try to overcome this is to fully realize that no one’s life is as perfect as it seems; it’s something to meditate on. Plus, everyone is on their own timeline. You have special skills, talents, and blessings that someone else doesn’t have. Showing gratitude for your uniqueness is the best way to combat comparison and build a positive mindset.
4. Show Gratitude
And that leads me to the first thing I tried when I decided to have a better inner dialogue: gratitude. No matter what you believe in, you can still express gratitude for life. You are alive and that is a fact, and that in itself is something to be thankful for. Even after a bad day, try to look for the little things that you are grateful for. I’m grateful for clean water, food, shelter… and then realize that those aren’t just little things, those are big things to a lot of people in the world.
You can also start writing things you’re grateful for in a gratitude journal.
5. Change Your Routine
If you already have a morning and night routine that works for you, then skip this one. But if you’re struggling to find a pattern in your day, start thinking about how you can add tasks to create a concrete routine. I find having a morning routine pretty useful, especially since I’m getting up at the same time every morning for work now. In order to remember my routine, I write it down the night before on a dry erase board. Start with little things like having a glass of water right when you wake up, and build your routine from there.
6. Be Conscious About Your Diet
I’ve learned the hard way about how your diet can affect your mood, and ultimately, your growth toward a positive mindset. I know a handful of you reading this probably have some kind of intolerance that you are most likely ignoring. The best thing you can do for yourself right now is to cut whatever food you think or know you are intolerant to. Not only can this improve your mood, but your quality of life in general.
But you’re probably wondering how diet can affect your mood, right? I was shocked, too, when I found out that ignoring my gluten intolerance was the reason I had terrible mood swings and random crying episodes. (Note: that this is only part of the reason that you shouldn’t ignore intolerances and that this is my own experience. Mood swings and depressive states from diet don’t affect everyone).
If you want to learn more about how you can slowly start eating better, read this.
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