5 Steps to Reset Your Mindset for a Positive Outlook

Alicia Sirkin work-life balance

Welcome back as I continue my series on how to find greater ease through the pandemic (or any difficulty!) with grace and calm. 

If you’ve followed along, you’ve seen how I’ve focused on different ways to effectively use your mind to improve your life. Have you tried them? If so, let me know about your experience here: alicia@aliciasirkin.com

Today I’m going to talk about the value of resetting your mindset for positivity.

I know what it’s like to struggle through constant vigilance in hopes to stay healthy and live through to the end of this pandemic. All this while searching for effective ways to ease stressful feelings like irritability and fatigue from overwhelm, nagging anxiety and discouragement after setbacks. Does that sound familiar? What if there’s a way to lessen the stress-inducing emotional aftereffects of your reaction to living with the pandemic or to your life situation? Well, there IS! 

The dictionary defines mindset as a person’s way of thinking and their opinions. Luckily, we have the ability to change how we feel by changing our thoughts. 

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Man is but the product of his thoughts, what he thinks, he becomes.” 

I’ve found this to be true! A negative mindset can result in emotional imbalances. So if you’re ready to change negative thinking and put into practice exercises that focus on positive thoughts and outlooks that improve the way you feel…

Here’s help!

I’ve found the following 5 steps very effective in resetting my thinking (mindset) to live through difficult experiences with less reactivity and greater positivity…shifting what’s troubling me into a state of greater peace, ease and calm. It’s how we react to our life situations that can determine our level of joy and even health outcomes. Perhaps this will work for you too! 

So let’s get started! 

Step 1: Close your eyes. 

Begin breathing slowly and quietly for five to ten breaths — while you begin relaxing your shoulders and lower jaw. Notice your breath as it moves through your body. As you do that, begin searching your mind for a thought or emotion that’s troubling you — something that is causing stress, like anger, frustration, anxiety, irritability or sadness. 

If it helps, you might fill in the blank as you say to yourself quietly: “I feel ____________.” For example: Do you feel irritable, impatient or angry due to overwhelm or a sense of injustice, or feel discouraged or joyless due to exhaustion? Perhaps you’re feeling ashamed or guilty, sad or afraid. Identify the emotion.  

It might be easier for you to ask yourself, “What’s being triggered?” 

Recognizing and stating the emotion or thought you’d like to shed can be a key step in shifting it for the better. It’s no longer hidden beneath activities of everyday life. When you make a firm decision to shift your mindset in a positive way, your conscious mind can now see it clearly as a priority, ready to dive in and support your efforts. Where your mind goes, so goes life!

Step 2: Now that you’ve identified an unwanted emotion or thought, write it down.

Do you realize that when you’re feeling emotionally triggered by a person, it’s not the other person’s fault? How you react to another person or situation is a choice. You can decide to react or not to react. Try it and notice what happens to you and to the other person. 

This especially works well when you’re in a situation where there’s an overabundance of drama coming your way from someone else. Be smart and don’t take the bait! If you engage, you’ll most likely be drawn into more drama and negativity. I’ve learned the hard way that life becomes easier when I remove myself from conversations and people who want me to participate in their drama game! 

Step 3: If you’ve identified that you’re stuck in a painful emotion like fear, unworthiness, shame or anger, take a look at how you may have inaccurately interpreted the event immediately prior to those feelings. 

In truth, your interpretation may be only one of many scenarios with different outcomes. The way I do it is to recognize that what I see may not actually be the truth, and that my ego wants to control an outcome that I’m attached to, whether it’s the truth or not. Yikes! 

Once I rethink the situation, and let go of my preconceived idea or belief, I can see the other side of a situation (or person!) with less emotional charge and stress, resulting in greater calm and acceptance of a different truth or what truly is.  

Step 4: This step is about consciously observing your challenging thoughts or emotions without self-judgment. 

Consider how you might use that mental or emotional energy for a greater purpose. Anger, for example, may be difficult to eradicate. Yet it may be possible to convert it to something useful, like energy to take action to solve a problem. 

Imagine creating a positive outcome for your situation. What would that look and feel like?

Step 5: Another approach is to identify and visualize the positive aspect or virtue of your unwanted emotion or mind-state. 

Is this how you’d rather feel in the original situation or with that person? If you can, using your mind, replace the original emotion with its positive aspect as you move forward. Visualization can be very powerful over time. 

Be Kind and Patient with Yourself.

Each of the steps above may take practice. Remember to be kind and patient with yourself. Any of these techniques can make a difference when routinely practiced. 

I’ve shared these 5 steps because they have helped me tremendously and I’d love to give you an opportunity to learn, grow and change for the better! 

Let me know which ones you find most helpful! Reach out to me at alicia@aliciasirkin.com, I’d love to hear from you. 🙂  

And, if you’re ready to clear your roadblocks in order to learn, grow and change your life for the better, let’s talk. I’m here to help! Schedule your  FREE 30-minute Discovery Conversation when you click here.

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