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Simple Mindsets That Can Make You Calm And Happy Every Day

Simple Mindsets That Can Make You Calm And Happy Every Day

Our mindset influences every single aspect of our life, so it’s important to be conscious of how we’re thinking and what we believe about the world. With the right kind of mindset, you can reduce your stress levels, increase the number of positive emotions you feel, and feel more fulfilled with yourself and your life. Here are six mindsets that can help you feel more calm and happy:

1. Cultivate gratitude for what you have (rather than focusing on what you don’t)

An unfortunate side effect of the way our brains have evolved is that we are drawn to focus more on the negative than the positive. This has been necessary for our survival, but a biased focus on the negative in our daily life can dramatically affect our experience of life and our mood.

Luckily for us, thought patterns are like habits and we can gradually change them. Make sure that you’re paying as much attention to all the positive things that are happening in your life as you are to any negatives.

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2. Adopt a growth mindset

In her book Mindset, psychologist Carol Dweck talks about the fixed mindset versus the growth mindset. People with a fixed mindset believe personality traits like intelligence are fixed. They tend to think they’re either good at something or not, and to give up easily when challenged. They take failure personally and can find other people’s success intimidating or threatening.

People with a growth mindset, on the other hand, relish a challenge and persevere through frustration. They believe in people’s capacities to learn new skills and recognize the value of hard work. Someone with a growth mindset generally feels happier and calmer because they focus on the things they can control. They have a greater sense of freedom and achieve more than people with fixed mindsets.

3. Prioritise connection over validation

Fear of what other people think of us is a common worry and stressor. When we feel this fear, we tend to hide or adjust parts of ourselves so we become who we think the other person wants to see — so we can get validation from them. Even if they offer us validation, however, it tends to feel empty because we know deep down that the person they’re validating isn’t really us. It’s who we’re pretending to be.

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We can remove ourselves from this game entirely by going into conversations and interactions prioritizing connections over seeking validation. When we do this, we are less focused on whether or not the person likes us, and more focused on truly getting to know them.

4. Assume the best

Due to the negative bias mentioned above, we tend to jump to negative assumptions about other people, which can lead to all kinds of misunderstandings and unnecessary conflicts.

Be generous with your assumptions about other people. Until they’ve demonstrated otherwise, assume the best about their words, intentions, and actions.

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5. Remember that other people’s choices do not affect whether or not you are enough in your own life

With social media, blogs, and other online media, it’s easier than ever to fall into the comparison trap. We see the edited highlights of other people’s lives online and start comparing our own behind-the-scenes to their Pinterest-perfect images.

The truth is that it doesn’t matter how other people are living their lives. What really matters is whether you are living your own life in alignment with your values, goals, and priorities. Remember that where other people go on holiday, how they look, or how successful they are has zero impact on whether you are the kind of person you want to be.

6. Dwell in possibility

Instead of shutting down dreams and ideas with thoughts like “I can’t” or “It will never work,” start asking yourself possibility-filled questions instead. Turn beliefs like “I can’t” into questions like “How can I?” and negative self-talk like “It will never work” into thought experiments like “How could this work?”

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The shift from internal statement to question is subtle but it helps us dwell in a place of possibility and opens up new doors and opportunities that we previously couldn’t see.

Featured photo credit: Alex Evans room via flickr.com

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Hannah Braime

Hannah is a coach who believes the world is a richer place when we have the courage to be fully self-expressed.

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Last Updated on July 3, 2020

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

In today’s world, true peace must come from within us and our own actions. Here are 30 small things you can do on a regular basis to increase your overall sense of harmony, peace, and well-being:

1. Don’t go to every fight you’re invited to

Particularly when you’re around those who thrive on chaos, be willing to decline the invitation to join in on the drama.

2. Focus on your breath

Throughout the day, stop to take a few deep breaths. Keep stress at bay with techniques such as “square breathing.” Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, then out for four counts, and hold again for four counts. Repeat this cycle four times.

3. Get organized and purge old items

A cluttered space often creates a cluttered spirit. Take the time to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year and invest in organizational systems that help you sustain a level of neatness.

4. Stop yourself from being judgmental

Whenever you are tempted to have an opinion about someone else’s life, check your intentions. Judging others creates and promotes negative energy.

5. Say ‘thank you’ early and often

Start and end each day with an attitude of gratitude. Look for opportunities in your daily routine and interactions to express appreciation.

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6. Smile more

Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” there are many scientific benefits of smiling and laughing. Also, pay attention to your facial expression when you are doing neutral activities such as driving and walking. Turn that frown upside down!

7. Don’t worry about the future

As difficult as this sounds, there is a direct connection between staying in the present and living a more peaceful life. You cannot control the future. As the old proverb goes, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Practice gently bringing your thoughts back to the present.

8. Eat real food

The closer the food is to the state from which it came from the earth, the better you will feel in eating it. Choose foods that grew from a plant over food that was made in a plant.

9. Choose being happy over being right

Too often, we sacrifice inner peace in order to make a point. It’s rarely worth it.

10. Keep technology out of the bedroom

Many studies, such as one conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have connected blue light of electronic devices before bed to adverse sleep and overall health. To make matters worse, many people report that they cannot resist checking email and social media when their cell phone is in reach of their bed, regardless of the time.

11. Make use of filtering features on social media

You may not want to “unfriend” someone completely, however you can choose whether you want to follow their posts and/or the sources of information that they share.

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12. Get comfortable with silence

When you picture someone who is the ultimate state of peace, typically they aren’t talking.

13. Listen to understand, not to respond

So often in conversations, we use our ears to give us cues about when it is our turn to say what we want to say. Practice active listening, ask questions, process, then speak.

14. Put your troubles in a bubble

Whenever you start to feel anxious, visualize the situation being wrapped in a bubble and then picture that sphere floating away.

15. Speak more slowly

Often a lack of peace manifests itself in fast or clipped speech. Take a breath, slow down, and let your thoughtful consideration drive your words.

16. Don’t procrastinate

Nothing adds stress to our lives like waiting until the last minute.

17. Buy a coloring book

Mandala coloring books for adults are becoming more popular because of their connection to creating inner peace.

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18. Prioritize yourself

You are the only person who you are guaranteed to live with 24 hours a day for the rest of your life.

19. Forgive others

Holding a grudge is hurting you exponentially more than anyone else. Let it go.

20. Check your expectations

Presumption often leads to drama. Remember the old saying, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

21. Engage in active play

Let your inner child come out and have some fun. Jump, dance, play, and pretend!

22. Stop criticizing yourself

The world is a hard enough place with more than enough critics. Your life is not served well by being one of them.

23. Focus your energy and attention on what you want

Thoughts, words, and actions all create energy. Energy attracts like energy. Put out what you want to get back.

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24. Assign yourself “complaint free” days.

Make a conscious decision not to complain about anything for a whole day. It might be harder than you think and the awareness will stick with you.

25. Surround yourself with people you truly enjoy being in the company of

Personalities tend to be contagious, and not everyone’s is worth catching. Be judicious in your choices.

26. Manage your money

Financial concerns rank top on the list of what causes people stress. Take the time each month to do a budget, calculate what you actually spend and sanity check that against the money you have coming in.

27. Stop trying to control everything

Not only is your inner control freak sabotaging your sense of peace, it is also likely getting in the way of external relationships as well.

28. Practice affirmations

Repeat positive phrases that depict the life and qualities you want to attract. It may not come naturally to you, but it works.

29. Get up before sunrise

Personally witnessing the dawn brings a unique sense of awe and appreciation for life.

30. Be yourself

Nothing creates more inner discord than trying to be something other than who we really are. Authenticity breeds happiness.

Featured photo credit: man watching sunrise via stokpic.com

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