I would describe myself as a happy person. Most days, I’m pretty upbeat. I get called high energy and I definitely am! That being said… in the last two years, I’ve defended my comprehensive portfolio, gone through big transitions in my career, had family members pass away and faced a very real chance of bankruptcy.
Bad stuff has happened.
I don’t have a completely sheltered life with no stresses in it.
Because there always seemed to be a lot going on, I became super interested in mindset. I read a LOT. The books that tended to draw my attention were on performance. How to optimize performance. How to avoid burnout. How to perform at high levels in different areas of my life. Often this was related to athletics. The more I read, the more I realized that the concepts applied across the board.
The same themes started coming up. I noticed a pattern.
There are certain things in your control and certain things aren’t. Worrying about the things we can’t control just adds unnecessary stress. The way that we approach the things we CAN control can make all the difference.
Nick always makes fun of me because I say that my positive mindset keeps me from getting sick. As much as he might tease me, there is some research to support my claim. Our immune system appears to function slightly better for those with a positive mindset than those who appear to be more negative. I believe this whole-heartedly.
There is a researcher in the US named Kelly McGonigal. She has a book and a TED talk that I can honestly say changed my life. Her book is called The Upside of Stress (check it out here) and her TED Talk “How to make stress your friend” (check it out here) was so profound. What she found, was the way we THINK about stress can change its effect on our body. She studied Harvard professors and asked them about their level of stress and how they perceived stress. For the profs who described their stress as high and believed it to be bad for them, their risk of death from heart disease was higher. For those with the same stress but that believed stress was GOOD for them … the EXACT OPPOSITE HAPPENED. These professors actually had a reduced risk of heart disease. How cool is that!
Our mindset can literally change our heart! It can make it healthier.
The things we tell ourselves hold weight. They have power. There are many things that are trying to bring us down. I won’t let my mind do it.
I do a lot of work on self-care. This is one of my methods. I believe it helps me stay injury free, avoid burnout and keep a pretty happy demeanor most of the time.
What do you think?
Do you practice a positive mindset? Give yourself pep talks?