We’re all tiptoeing into 2021, anxious for what this year could possibly bring. None of us predicted the global pandemic in 2020 and now, we’re all just holding our breath at the start of this year. But no matter what this upcoming year brings, we can make it a great one. It starts with your mindset.Your mind and spirit are intimately connected. If we can alter our mindset and learn to see the good around us, we can grow our spirituality and enhance our inner light. Simple steps will allow us to see leaps of growth in our spiritual wellness.
Train Your Brain
Most of us have done this before. If you’re a musician or played any sport, you’ve got the basics down. You’ve trained your fingers to memorize a favorite pop piece. Your body takes over and you make the winning shot. These exhilarating moments started with simple exercises. Gradually, it all became second nature. Remember the key word in both music and sports: practice.Your brain is no different. Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, taught: “We can retrain the brain to scan for the good things in life—to help us see more possibility, to feel more energy, and to succeed at higher levels.” Maybe you’re not a natural optimist. No problem there. Try these 5 short exercises to retrain your brain:
- Positive Reframing: When you’re faced with a negative situation, take a moment to pause and think of how someone else could see this experience as a positive one. Viewing life from others’ perspectives and through a different lens allows your brain to expand its natural way of thinking.
- Start a Gratitude Journal: At the end of the day, write down the top 3 things that you are thankful for. Even if your day was miserable, recognizing and writing down the good will help you see the positive more regularly.
- Evaluate Your Media: The news blasts the negative in the world right into our homes. Turn it off. Be mindful of who you follow on social media and decrease your usage. Don’t clutter up your brain with negative media.
- Practice Mindfulness: Being present and focusing on the here and now will help rid your brain of anxieties regarding the past or future. Breathing through hard moments and taking a moment to meditate will decrease the stress in your brain.
- Set a Daily Spiritual Goal: This will give you something to focus on and allow your brain to connect to your spiritual core. This oneness will help you focus on things that matter most.
Develop a Growth Mindset
Once you’ve trained your brain on the basics, it’s time for real growth. Carol Dweck, the leading researcher on this topic, explains how a growth mindset works: “In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.” This quote evokes motivation and deep desire in my core to live up to my spiritual potential. It brings vision and fills my soul with eagerness to learn this growth mindset. I’m reminded of what my mom and piano teacher always taught: practice, practice, practice.Don’t give in to the lies that you’re stuck with your current thoughts and behaviors. Your soul longs for progress—and developing a growth mindset is a beautiful place to start. You’re only allotted a certain amount of time and energy in any given day. Dedication to your spiritual habits and developing self-control over your thoughts are powerful steps in learning this mindset. Push your mind, body, and soul past its comfort zone. Because we naturally yearn for progression as spiritual beings, the growth mindset nourishes our spiritual identity and helps us become our true, authentic selves. There is so much good in the world. Without determination to recognize the positive and the spiritual maturity to see with spiritual eyes, we can become lost in the chaos and darkness of the world. But don’t give up. Find the light. Discover the hope. And feel the love. It will often take a mindset change to recognize the beauty around us; however, we should stop the tiptoeing and get to work on these simple exercises.