DATEDEC 8, 2021
If you’re anything like me, your experience with cultivating a positive mindset has come with its fair share of ups and downs - and that’s totally fine, creating a positive mental attitude to take you through life isn’t a race – good things take time to build!
One of the things that bothered me in my journey to creating the right mindset to tackle my life was that a lot of people would talk about how important it is to work on it without giving any actual advice on how to get there.
Believe me I know that we all start at different points and, although it can be a tough slog to get there sometimes, this is a journey worth going on. I’d love to share some of the things that worked and work for me in creating and maintaining a positive mental attitude, and hopefully they can help you out too!
Make a routine
Just like any other habit, once you get into the routine of cultivating a positive mindset daily (if possible) it becomes easier over time. I found it helpful to tie my routine to the morning – I figured getting on the front foot with mentally setting up for each day would help me carry that attitude throughout the day.
I know routines can get a bit boring to think about so that’s why this next part is super important - put together activities that you actually enjoy doing. For me this looks like:
- Wake up early to go to the gym
- Head out for a post-gym coffee
- Take Cosmo (my dog) for a walk
- Set up my candles in my spirituality space (more on this later)
- Purify the space with some white sage
- Pull my cards to interpret the coming day
Your routine doesn’t have to look anything like mine, this is just to show you that it doesn’t have to be anything complicated. Once you break my morning routine down, it’s just me spending time doing nice things for myself.
Trust me, I know as well as anyone that space in most people’s homes is tight, but having a dedicated space to retreat and unwind is one of the best investments you can make. It doesn’t have to be big – a cozy corner of your lounge room can work perfectly. The idea behind creating a private, sacred space is that when you enter you leave all your worries behind.
I completely get that this can seem like an abstract concept and can be hard to get into, but let me explain how you can give yourself the best chance at success. You want to make your sacred space or meditation zone – call it whatever makes sense to you – as inviting and comfortable to you as humanly possible. I’m talking plush cushions, your favourite stuffed animals, a comfortable bolster or zabuton, a soft blanket – literally anything that makes your soul feel at peace. You want to be attracted to your space.
Curating the space is only the first step. The second step is, you guessed it, making this a routine. The more you go into your sacred space, the more you’re going to want to go in. Eventually it will become a part of your day, a set ritual for you to retreat and spend some time just for you in a space designed just for you.
Involve the senses
Mindfulness, meditation and the other schools of thought behind creating a positive mindset are intangible by nature and that’s why I often see people finding it difficult to get immersed. And I totally get that – it’s hard to buy into something you can’t see. What a lot of people don’t realise is that you don’t need to separate yourself from the world around you. In fact, a big part of mental wellness and helping to create a positive mindset is the ability to ground yourself to reality.
There’s many ways to be grounded, but I always like to use a 5 senses approach. The more senses you use in the moment, the more focused you become on the present. Here’s how to get them all involved.
- See: Sight is probably the easiest/most straightforward of all the senses to approach. You can either pick a single focus like a favourite drawing or complex piece of art that draws you in, or have a range of complex pieces to switch your focus between.
- Smell: Smell is one of the strongest senses we have, and it’s surprisingly easy to make sure this one is always stimulated. I personally always go for some great scented candles (Mihi Home’s Camellia & White Musk Candle is my go-to) but a diffuser and some essential oils are also great options. Make sure the scent you choose doesn’t overpower everything else!
- Hear: Now there’s two ways we can go with this one. On the one hand, there’s such a wide variety of ambient sound tracks available, not to mention the incredible diversity of people’s feel good music. On the other hand, you can try to focus on the sounds you hear around you and connect more widely. It’s totally up to you, try and both and see what works!
- Touch: Touch is super simple and I probably don’t need to explain too much. Get a range of things you like touching and keep them in your sacred space. Whether it’s that fluffy pillow you got from Kmart or the stress ball you found under the couch, keep it around and have a fiddle.
- Taste: Taste is a tricky one because it’s not always practical. I find that incorporating this before going into your space is the best way to keep the focus once you’re in there. For me, it’s downing a delicious coffee right before I jump into my routines. For you, it could be anything from a croissant to a banana to a glass of ice cold water.