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Staying positive is an active process. Protect yourself first by limiting your exposure to things that induce worry, fear and negativity. Then immerse yourself with positive people and experiences that make it easier to think positively. Practice and patience are necessary, but it’s well worth your efforts!

     Hi there, it’s Elaine Gardner, the founder of DesignYourHealthyLife.com. I want to share with you some of the tips, tools and strategies that I use to maintain a positive attitude and protect myself from negativity. And the first category of those falls under the umbrella of protection.

     I’m very careful about what I expose myself to and what I read. I very rarely watch TV, I don’t read the newspaper on a regular basis, and I’m very careful about who I spend my time with. Those are all protective mechanisms that I use, that protect me from negativity because I am so sensitive and it’s easy for me to get caught up in unhappy things that are going on around me. So I create a different reality for myself by unplugging and protecting myself from that.

     A lot of times when I mention that to people, their first question is, “Well how do you know what’s going on in the world?” If there’s something going on that’s really important, other people are going to share it with me, so I’m really not left in the dark. And I do connect myself to the things that are important to me. I subscribe to many newsletters and things like that in the holistic realm, so I stay up-to-date on what’s going on in the nutrition world in the non-toxic world and things like that. So I am connected to the things that matter to me.

     So I encourage you to consider what you’re exposing yourself to on a day-to-day basis or a weekly basis, that’s not serving you well and that you can shift from. And that also includes relationships. So if you regularly spend time with people that have a lot of negativity and that bring you down, I would highly encourage you to examine those relationships and see if there’s a way that you can shift them. Sometimes it’s only shifting the way that you respond to people that are negative or that make you upset. Sometimes it’s just trying to stay positive no matter what. So if you have a co-worker that’s particularly challenging, often times they’re feeding off getting a rise out of you, and if they don’t, their behavior might change dramatically. And because everybody’s energy affects everybody else’s energy, if you come in on a positive note, you may be able to actually shift and change the situation for the better instead of going into the downward spiral with the people that are the downers. So I would highly encourage you to see how you can protect yourself and your relationships in your work environment and what you expose yourself to on a daily basis at home.

     And on the flip side of that, the exact opposite is exposing yourself to really positive things. Anything that lights you up: spending time with people that are really positive that support you, that get you, that encourage you, or will listen to you unconditionally, nonjudgmentally, when you’re having a bad day.

     I spend a lot of time reading. I have a tremendous thirst for knowledge so I always want to be learning and I’m always looking for ways to better my mindset and support myself more. And that can take many different shapes and forms, so some of the things that I’ve read over the years are about neuroscience and how your brain works. Some of it is more spiritual in nature. Some of them are just self-help books that help you think in a more positive way. Anything that appeals to you or resonates with you, that is positive and helps you stay positive, is highly encouraged.

     And practice. That’s probably the most important one. Your thought patterns literally change the neuropathways in your body. So if you’ve been thinking negatively or have negative beliefs, grew up with negative beliefs, got exposed to negative beliefs over the course of your lifetime, you have many more neuropathways that support negative beliefs. So it’s very easy for you to go down that pathway, and it takes time for you to reprogram your neuropathways to be more positive. But the more you practice it, the more your neuropathways change to be positive, and the easier it is for you to think that way and to default to that way of thinking. So practice practice practice and patience. It’s so worth your long-term efforts to do.

     Again, this is a new science and they’re just starting to understand how the brain works and how the neuropathways reprogram, but it’s so powerful and never ever forget that your beliefs, your thoughts, your actions create your life. You have complete control over that. I know it’s easy to say, it’s not so easy to do, but it’s well worth the effort. And your beliefs and your thoughts completely intertwine with all of your physiology. They change your body chemistry. Negativity sets your body environment up for poor healthy, positivity sets your body up for really true vibrant health. So not only is positivity great, you think better, you’ll be happier, but it will also affect your body so that you’ll feel better. So it’s really really worth your effort.

     As always, I’m sharing all these tools and tips to inspire you to consider all of the things that you can do to create the health that you deserve. You only have one body, you need to protect it. It’s essential for living a healthy lifestyle. So I want you to have the health that you deserve so that you can live the life that you deserve, and get the most out of your time here.

     If you have any particular tools that I haven’t mentioned that are really helpful for you, I would love to share them with the rest of the Design Your Healthy Life community, so please reach out and make comments, and let me know if you have a great resource to share. And as always, if you have any questions, if there’s any way that I can support you additionally, please let me know.