How to get a positive mindset for success
Mindfulness. The hot topic at the moment. It isn’t necessary to be mindful ALL the time but unless you make a concerted effort to be mindful on a daily basis, it’s easy enough to get distracted by a myriad of things that divert our attention.
How to get a positive mindset for success : You’re closer than you think
Occasional attempts to be “in the moment” or to “notice the little things” and “live in the now”, are well meaning but distractions and preoccupations; kids, bills, phone calls, social media to name but a few, all take over and quite often our resolution to be more mindful falls by the wayside.
Creating a mindfulness habit
What you need to do is to create a mindful habit. Tiny habits repeated over time can have an huge effect on our neurological pathways. Repeating those habits builds strength, tolerance and resistance which is why it’s important mindfulness becomes a habit rather than an one off. Something that you do on a regular basis until it becomes normal, everyday practice.
Establishing new ways of thinking and doing is not difficult, it just needs to be repeated to have impact - most science talks about 30 days to imbed a new habit.
When you think about things in a new way, you are making new connections or neural pathways in your brain. Then every time you repeat that thought or action, you continue to use those pathways and they get stronger and become more established.
So… since our hectic preoccupied brains aren’t going to remind us to be mindful; what can you do to make sure that you start to embed this habit?
I know that mindfulness should be a step away from the phone moment, but you can use your technology to your advantage. Take a moment now to book a time in your diary to be mindful. By booking a mindfulness date with yourself on a re-occuring reminder in your phone, you are more likely to do it.
Breath and using your breath to your benefit
So you’re breathing right now.. right? But are you truly engaging with the breath and thinking about it? Breathing is the foundation of mindfulness and quite often just slowing down the breath can calm the mind and body and bring you into the present moment.
There are a number of ways you can focus on your breath. When I am working with clients we always ‘clear the space’ before we start our session. Taking three deep breaths, breathing in for the count of three, holding for one, and out for the count of six. This opens up the pre-frontal cortex, the “executive” or ’thinking’ part of the brain. This helps to bring the client into the present moment no matter what they were doing before our session, it allows them to focus on themselves.
Practice something right now. Take the opportunity to breathe out in one long sigh, if you’re in a space where you can do it, do so with all your body and out loud. Breathe in and repeat; do this a few times. This is allowing you to let go of any of the past or the future, to be in the moment. Sometimes you can actively feel energy or pressure drop off you.
Mindful breathing is like a reset button you can press at any time you need and is an effective way of re-centring yourself.
if you also practice this for a minute or two every morning and evening. It is a great way of opening up the mind for the day and then closing off all the thoughts, energy and pressure from the day - releasing it from your body before you go to sleep.
I encourage you to “feel your breathing” - whilst breathing normally, place one hand on your chest and feel your breath moving in and out of your body. Now place one hand on your belly and feel the rise and fall. Take time to focus on the natural rhythm, the coolness of the air as you breath in and the warmth as you exhale.
There are many different breathing techniques you can use, I’ve enjoyed a class with Stuart Sandeman of Breathpod before, which is a more active use of the breath along the chakras one word - AMAZING!
Mindfulness isn’t difficult. We just need to remember to do it. - Sharon Salzberg
The practice of mindfulness in itself isn’t difficult, once you are aware of the techniques and plan to embed them into your life. What is hard is continuing to remain present in any moment. This does require awareness of when your thoughts are not present or when you are being judgemental of your situation or surroundings, or your mind is elsewhere.
Be positive and happy in everything you do, act with passion and mindfulness throughout your days.
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