It has been a while since I have managed to update my blog. This is probably due to this term being extremely busy with a wealth of extra-curricular activities and I have really enjoyed visiting as many lessons as possible this term. As we approach Y11 mock examination week from the 19th March, it makes both students and staff very aware that we are fast approaching GCSE examination season. Therefore, there is not a better time to consider the power of positive thinking.
I am definitely a positive person. Happy go lucky, my glass is definitely half full. But I astound myself with my critical internal dialogue. By critical internal dialogue, I mean that voice inside that puts you down, that keeps replaying the stuff that makes you cringe or emphasises what you’re not good at. It’s like a video on a loop, constantly replaying what I should be better at. If another person said these things to me, what I say to myself inside, I would think them a hideous, cruel, vindictive person. This is when the power of positive thinking becomes so important, reminding me what I can do well, my strengths and successes. Many studies have confirmed the correlation between positive thinking and success, so how can we all become positive thinkers?
Be grateful for the people who love and care for you, and the people who want to spend time with you. Be grateful to sleep in a bed each night, for the sun that comes up each morning, for the teacher who greets you with a smile, and for a body that lets you experience life each day. Be grateful for your favourite series coming back on TV, for a friend that suggests you get together. Practicing gratefulness can cause almost an immediate shift in your perspective and mood. Keeping a daily gratitude diary can help remind you to keep life’s blessings at the forefront of your mind. There is something about writing it down that fixes it more firmly in your mind.
What are they then? Positive affirmations are short statements that help you focus on what is good about you and your life. An affirmation can work as it has the ability to program your mind into believing the stated concept. These are some examples I found on the internet:
- I have a great sense of humour and my friends think I’m funny.
- I forgive myself for not being perfect because I know I’m human
- I am pretty and chatty and people always want to be my friend.
- I am kind to other people and don’t get involved with gossip.
Write 5 or 6 statements about yourself, and read them every morning or when you feel a bit down in the dumps. It’s very positive thinking them up in the first place and they will make you feel more positive about yourself. You have to believe them and repeat them. Have them in the notes on your phone.
Random Acts of Kindness
It’s easy to get absorbed by our own problems and life, and to forget about the people around us. Stepping outside of your daily routine, to help someone else, can provide amazing perspective and fill you with positivity. Strive to do one nice thing for someone else each day. Can you think of someone in your form who might be a little lonely? A friendly hello in the morning might make all the difference. I’m not asking you to become their BFF, just a hello.
Music and Exercise
This will come as absolutely no surprise to anyone but listening to upbeat music can boost your happiness and help lift some of that negativity that can cloud all of us at times.
If you start exercising, your brain recognises this as a moment of stress. As your heart pressure increases, the brain thinks you are either fighting the enemy or fleeing from it. To protect yourself and your brain from stress, you release a protein called BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor). Ultimately this makes us feel at ease and helps us think clearly, and feel happy. Also endorphins are released, just like when you smile or laugh. These endorphins tend to minimize the discomfort of exercise, block the feeling of pain and are even associated with a feeling of euphoria. So a message to all our students beginning their revision programmes, do not drop the exercise as it will help your positive energy and improve your focus and concentration during exams.
I look forward to hearing about students’ positive thinking strategies across this term!