Ep 1 Podcast Here For You: Stay Positive Transcript
#1 Recognizing the difference between reckless optimism and realistic optimism
It’s important to remember that the goal isn’t to be oblivious to potential negatives in our lives, the goal is to develop a positive mindset despite that. Reckless optimism is harmful not only because it doesn’t make us stronger as people, but because when we force ourselves to ignore the negatives, the negatives find us when the problem is to large to ignore. It’s important to recognize both the positive and the negative in any given situation because we can create a way to overcome the worst by creating an action plan that combats the negative and enhances the positive. For example, (I’m going to give a really cliche example rn so it’s easier for you all to relate to my point), but when we see our grades, we may see some grades that don’t seem to be as good as we want them to be and it’s instances like that where we need to make an action plan in order to succeed. The difference is our approach to this issue. An extremely negative action plan would essentially allow this instance to have the power to guide our future outcomes. This means that we let this one experience hurt future outcomes by pondering over what went wrong, by letting this one-time define us as a person by blocking any sort of positive thought, by constantly ranting about this and we say things like I won’t be able to get into my dream school, I won’t get into college, I’m going to have no career, etc. Many of us, myself included, have been guilty of this practice, sometimes without even realizing it. The key to avoid the practice of attracting negative thoughts & events is to create more positives for each negative. I like to follow the golden 5 to 1 ratio. For example, failing a test brings our grade down at the moment is one negative event. 5 positives for this instance may include that: removing distractions while studying, being able to talk to a tutor/teacher to eventually get a better grade, looking at all the ways you could potentially raise those grades with a counselor, making a schedule for time management, and being able to review over what went wrong so you could identify the problem and prevent this from happening again. These positives create a healthy action plan because you allow yourself to still be optimistic because your goal motivates you (in this case your goal is better grades for college and mastery of the class), so you manage to effectively utilize your resources in order to make your goals a reality. Your motivation allows you to put in the hard work and essentially attract positive events. In contrast, reckless optimism would also include trying to make the best of the situation, but you ignore the negatives instead of acknowledging them. That would be like not looking at your grades at all or trying to be happy all the time by ignoring the problem, which leads to you not getting a better long-term outcome. While it would be great to ignore all the negative aspects of our problems, life often has something rather different set in store for us. In the poor grades example, we may fail the class instead of just failing a test which leads to a greater damage on our gpa and ends up with us going to summer school. In this case, the negatives confront us. By being realistic optimists instead of reckless optimists, we manage to become stronger people by working to ensure that the negative aspects of any gives situation never get the best of us, but we make sure to acknowledge them instead of ignoring them. I know the poor grades example was rather cliche, but my goal was to hope you could recognize the differences and practice being positive despite the negatives in life.
#2 Maintaining a positive mindset
Now that I tried to guide you through the process of a healthy, positive mindset, I want to talk more about how we can maintain that mindset. Whenever we initially try becoming more positive, the negative thoughts are inevitable because we’ve gotten so used to attracting them. The best way to do that is to first understand the fact that humans give their thoughts to much power. Those words of psychologist Donna Rockwell were used just to show you that that is the first step in understanding how we as humans interpret our thoughts. So, now knowing this, we can shift from that constant flow of negative thoughts through patience (because it really does take time) and recognize that our thoughts aren’t factual. By recognizing this, psychotherapists Courtney Gregory then recognize that we can observe our thought process and easily catch ourselves in the midst of our negativity. Things that we can catch ourselves at include making judgements about ourselves & others, continuous criticism about every little thing (like our looks), and constantly complaining about things that aren’t always in our control. When we catch ourselves in these situations, we can again apply the 5 positives for each negatives technique & come up with more positives and a healthier action plan to combat the negatives. Catching ourselves when we’re wound up in so much negativity can also put some of our goals in the picture. For example, if we constantly criticize something like our bodies, this not only helps us identify our insecurities, but helps us see if there’s anything we can or want to improve about it or see if it’s just societal pressure. If it’s more something that we genuinely want, (since it’s important to know that there’s always someone in society who’ll be criticizing you no matter what, so it’s always worth pleasing yourself in such cases), but anyway, if this is something we genuinely want, we can always create a workout plan, make a diet, medidate, and work on incorporating that into our schedule for balance. If it’s more societal pressure, we can block out things like social media or unfollow accounts that allow this pressure to come in, which gives us control in our lives and helps us live our best life. There are endless sources like psychology today that help us figure out what the issue is if we don’t feel comfortable talking to someone, so it’s worth taking advantage of the internet for the sake of maintaining a positive mindset!!!
#3 Nourishing our positive mindset
I know I’ve talked a lot more about processes that we can achieve if we practice them consistently, but I also want to talk about some processes that have a quicker effect. Note that these can still have positive long term effects if we continue to incorporate them. However, the things I’m going to mention below are quick and easy, but really manage to attract more positivity in our lives. One of the things we can do is practice gratitude. Now for many, that’s a easier said then done, but we can easily practice this just by texting ourselves each day 3 things we are grateful for, maybe having a friend to join you in so you both could send each other a couple things you’re grateful for everyday, maybe having a poster that says what are you grateful for today that’s hung right in front of your bed to remind you to practice your gratitude when you wake up every day. We can also have a journal to sort of write all our thoughts down with and end with a couple statements of gratitude, we can write about this in our notes section digitally, or we can record an audio/video if it feels better for us to say what we’re grateful for rather than writing or thinking about it. A few other things we can do is send an appreciative text to sometime every day or every week telling them a reason why you’re grateful for them or texting yourself a reason why you’re grateful to be alive today! We can also try feeling positive and ready though our posture, which actually according to psychology, has a profound impact on the mind and vice versa! A positive posture is one that exudes confidence, and that is done by standing up straight with our shoulders back, keeping our chin held high and we can even stretch our arms out just for more energy in this positivity boost! We can also just smile to trick our body, maybe smile at strangers when you’re walking, smile at yourself every time you look in the mirror, go to work with a smile on your face to just get that little boost of positivity going. Just smiling more often, even if you get weird looks, is so worth it because we often feel more free of judgement and more ready to spread more love! This may help others be more positive as well in work environments, which helps you surround yourself with positive people. No matter what, I do want you all to surround yourselves with positive people who are more encouraging than deceiving. We can also try being uplifting to others when they’re feeling down, but it’s important for us to remember, just as we are in control of our mindfulness, so are others. We might not be able to change everyone, but the best thing we can do is to allow ourselves to then surround ourselves with people who are more positive instead. Remember, this isnt supposed to be a chore, this is supposed to be a way of life. Anyway, I know my examples were really cliche, but my goal when talking about how we can nourish our positivity is to put everything into perspective, remind you of all the things you can try, and just to let you know that you can discover your hidden potential!