The Positive Attitude Challenge
The Positive Attitude Challenge
It comes in all forms and we all experience it to some degree. Most people think of stress as being “bad” for us, but this isn’t always the case. We all need certain amounts of stress to stay healthy and strong. Our bodies and minds suffer when we have too much of the wrong kind of stress.
Although stress can present itself as six major types (physical, chemical, electromagnetic, mental, nutritional and thermal), for the purpose of this article I am going to focus on mental stress, also known as psychic stress. As with any other form of stress, there is both a good and a bad side to psychic stress that must be addressed.
Psychic (mental) stress: the good and the bad
Positive psychic stress is important; without it, our minds would never fully develop. Thinking and using your mind productively, having a plan or setting goals in your life and doing the work to achieve these goals are positive forms of psychic stress. Overcoming adversity to become a stronger and healthier person is another example of “good” psychic stress.
As for the “bad” form of psychic stress, a common example would be when we focus on the things we do not want in life instead of what we do want. Verbal abuse from others, being rushed in our tasks or taking on more work and responsibility than we can handle will also produce unhealthy psychic stress. Often, this stress can paralyze us in that it prohibits us from living full, healthy and happy lives.
To create harmony and balance, we need to treat our bodies holistically and address (not ignore) the stressors in our lives. To manage the stress in your life, you must follow these steps:
- Identify the Primary Stressor
- Make a Plan
- Eat and Drink Right for Your Body Type
- Move and Exercise
- Perform Mental Exercises
This article is primarily about psychic stress, so I am going to address numbers 1-4 at a later date. Let’s focus on step #5 for now: Perform Mental Exercises.
The subconscious mind vs. the conscious mind
To understand how to regain control over psychic stress, it is important to learn a little about how our minds are structured. The mind, which is divided into two levels, the conscious and subconscious, is one of our most precious possessions. The conscious, or rational level, operates at best about 5-8% of the day, while the subconscious, or irrational level, controls about 95% of our thoughts during the day. This makes the subconscious much more powerful than the conscious mind. The subconscious is also known as the creative mind and is the core of your emotions.
Adopt a positive attitude and positive way of thinking
Did you know that 90-95% of our thoughts throughout the day are negative? This means that each day, only 5-10% of our thoughts are positive. This is a large amount of time spent on unhealthy thinking and little time focused on healthy thinking. To bring healthy psychic stress to us, we must rebalance this scale, take action, and adopt a positive attitude and positive way of thinking.
There is a lot to be said about positive thinking. As Brian Tracy, the author of The Luck Factor states,
“You’re a living magnet and you inevitably attract into your life, the people, circumstances, ideas and resources in harmony with your dominant thoughts.”
Once you begin to think and feel in the right way, peace of mind and a healthy body are practically inevitable. The reaction and/or response you get from your subconscious mind will be determined by the nature of the thought or idea you hold in your conscious mind. Once your subconscious accepts an idea, it will execute it regardless if the ideas are positive or negative.
Think harmony and you will receive harmony
Habitual thinking of your conscious mind establishes deep patterns in your subconscious mind. If the majority of your thoughts are harmonious, peaceful, and constructive, your subconscious mind will respond by creating harmony, peace and constructive conditions. If habitual thoughts are negative or destructive, your subconscious mind will respond by drowning out the positive thoughts, thus creating unhealthy and less than ideal or desirable conditions.
Regardless of the situations we find ourselves in, our initial intuitive thought is to first “process” the situation negatively, and then maybe or maybe not a positive will follow. Since this is how our minds typically work, you should try consciously harmonizing your thoughts, words, and actions with your goals. Think and talk about what you want rather than what you don’t. This will help increase emotional and positive energies and decrease the stress in your life.
As a lifestyle coach, I invite you to use your own intuition and participate in the “positive attitude challenge.” This is an exercise that will help you find balance and harmony in your life. It can be done anywhere: at home, in the car, at the office, in the gym, at a social event, etc.
The challenge is:
Thought awareness and positive thinking:
- I would like for you to address every negative thought that comes into your mind and immediately counter it with a positive thought and/or affirmation. I want you to do this throughout your day.
For example, perhaps you are heading home from work one day this week and find yourself trapped in rush hour traffic. At this moment, you may be feeling exhausted after a long day and/or anxious to get home to friends and family. Just thinking about the situation you are in can create emotional negativity such as agitation, anxiety, or anger. To make matters worse, perhaps a car two lanes over from you darts across traffic, cuts you off, and leaves you at an impasse.
It is common for something like this to trigger negative thoughts like, “That jerk just cut me off. If it weren’t for him, I’d still be moving!” Or, “That’s great, now I am going to be late for dinner!” If this is the case, instead of feeding off your negative emotions, I want you to address these negative thoughts and turn them into a positive. For example, you may say, “Although it sucks that this person cut me off, at least it gives me some time to tune into my favorite radio station” or, “This traffic is brutal, but at least I have a few more minutes to unwind by myself before I get home to my family.”
Try this exercise for one week
Use it in all areas of your life: personal, social, work, etc. If you are faithful, you will get to a point where you will automatically begin to exchange your negative thoughts for positive and will see dramatic improvement in all aspects of your life. You will redevelop your subconscious mind so that harmonious thoughts and feelings enter into the conscious mind and become a reality.
By loading each side of the scale equally (positive with the negative), you will be more likely to achieve harmonious balance within yourself. You will become more present, more open-minded, and less judgmental. Do not ignore the negative – if you do, you will only be trapped in denial. Acknowledge the negative, but replace it with a positive thought. Remember,
- “What we resist, persists.”
The goal is to neutralize the negative thoughts so that you can build and support emotional and physical health, regain self-confidence, and reclaim a healthy positive mental attitude and feelings of well being.
Go ahead and try it. Remember to make note of all negative thoughts, no matter how little or how big – and report back to me with your experiences.
Conclusion: you are your own primary care provider
You must remind yourself that you are your own primary care provider. You have the hands on the steering wheel of emotional health and well-being. You have the ability to create freedom and happiness within your own life. To find empowerment, it is just a matter of searching within yourself and tapping into this inner wisdom. Take control over your well-being so that you too can thrive in emotional stability and happiness.
Share your experience
- What are your three main sources of stress?
- Do you practice positive attitude thinking? If so, what kind of challenges do you come across when trying to invite positivity in your life?
Please share your responses in the comment section below this article. I want to hear from you!
In good health,
When she is not slaying fat and building muscle, Jennifer can be found trekking barefoot, traveling, cooking and refining her photography skills. She also enjoys reading and writing about food culture, history and the science of human movement.