How to Create and Keep a Positive Mindset Despite Mental Illness
A positive mindset is perhaps one of the most valuable attributes a person can have. Not only does positivity provide a shield for negativity and help us through tough times, but it also filters down to those around you. Creating a positive mindset is easy when you are healthy and happy, but what if you have a mental illness? Here are some information and advice on how to create (and keep) a positive mindset even on your worst mental health days ("How to Focus on the Positive When Your Mental Health is a Mess").
Definition of a Positive Mindset?
Positivity means something different to everyone, and there is no official positive mindset definition. However, Kendra Cherry at Very Well Mind sums it up in the following terms:
“Positive thinking actually means approaching life’s challenges with a positive outlook. It does not necessarily mean avoiding or ignoring the bad things; instead, it involves making the most of the potentially bad situations, trying to see the best in other people, and viewing yourself and your abilities in a positive light.”
It’s easy to see the benefits of having a positive mindset, but what exactly does a positive mind look like?
Creating a Positive Mindset: The Six Pillars of a Positive Mind
According to the Positive Psychology Program, positive people tend to display the following qualities:
- Optimism: Rather than always assuming things won’t pan out, positive people remain open to life’s possibilities. Optimism doesn’t necessarily mean always looking on the bright side. In fact, it’s more about having a level view: who knows what might happen when you trust in yourself and the universe?
- Acceptance: Positive people acknowledge that life isn’t perfect, and they are going to make mistakes. It’s about knowing what you can and can’t control and letting go of worries that don’t serve you.
- Resilience: People with a positive mindset bounce back much quicker from failure and adversity because they don’t assume they will always fail. Instead of giving up, they see each trial as an opportunity to grow.
- Gratitude: Positive people appreciate the good they have in their lives. You can practice gratitude with affirmations, positive mindset meditation or by keeping a gratitude journal ("Why Keep a Positivity Journal?").
- Mindfulness: Practicing mindfulness is an effective way to remain positive. All it means is focusing on what’s happening at the moment, rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.
- Integrity: Having positive traits such as honesty and integrity will encourage more optimism to come your way, helping you develop and maintain a positive mindset.
Positive Mindset Affirmations and Activities
Creating and keeping a positive mindset requires hard work and regular practice. Through positive mindset activities, affirmations and meditations, you can work on becoming a more positive person for yourself, and for the benefit of those around you. Here are some affirmations and activities to try:
Positive mindset affirmations
“I refuse to give up, because I haven’t tried all possible ways.”
“I am enough.”
“I have the power to create change”
“I can, therefore I will.”
“Everything will work out for me.”
Positive journal prompts
Name three people you are grateful to have in your life.
List three positive experiences you have had today.
List three goals or hopes you have for tomorrow.
Describe your perfect day.
What is your favorite thing about yourself?
“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.” ~ Helen Keller.
Smith, E. (2018, December 11). How to Create and Keep a Positive Mindset Despite Mental Illness, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, August 6 from https://www.healthyplace.com/self-help/positivity/how-to-create-and-keep-a-positive-mindset-despite-mental-illness