Posts tagged: optimism

In defense of mindfulness

I’m a hopeful millennial. I love a good experiment. When trendy new methodologies pop up, suggesting you can eat, pray, love yourself to a better you or some other catchy phrase, I’m all over them with glass half-full optimism. But I’m also pretty analytical; and so I also tend to lean toward the tried-and-true avenues.

Therefore, I continuously find myself putting more stock into one particular approach: Mindfulness. Though the practice has endured through the ages, it’s only gained mainstream traction within the last 10 years.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is described as a mental state when you’re deeply attuned to the present moment, thus being hyper aware of your emotions, breathing, surroundings, and purpose. In a simpler description, mindfulness tends to involve meditation.

Advocates of the practice say the benefits can include everything from reduced stress to improved diet. Workplaces have encouraged mindfulness courses as a way to
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How to battle negative thinking and win

When life doesn’t go as planned or feels out of control, it’s tempting to fall into a downward spiral of negative thinking. Your mind goes into a tailspin of what-ifs and worst-case-scenarios. Fear and worry take over.

Constantly battling those self-defeating thoughts is both draining and stressful. And think of the ways that energy would be better spent — whether it’s accomplishing goals, setting new ones, or just enjoying life.

Even if you’re not dealing with a major challenge like a break-up, job loss, or a health problem, a negativity spiral has the power to paralyze. Whatever the cause, your happiness depends on being able to stop those critical or defeatist forces in their tracks.

A mindful end to the negative thinking

Negative thinking can be a hard habit to break, but it’s possible to interrupt the automatic cycle if you stay AWARE — a simple mindfulness practice
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3 easy ways to stay optimistic

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: You finally manage to schedule dinner with a group of friends that you never get to see. The food is delicious and the service great — even during an awkward moment when you order your meal and loudly mispronounce the dish. (Coq au vin is a cruel mistress.) The embarrassing exchange happens in less than 15 seconds, but when you think back on it a few days later, you still cringe.

What gives? Overall, the dinner was fantastic and your faux pas was a momentary blip. Why does the one small part of a highly enjoyable, two-hour event get prime billing in your memory reel?

The spell of negative thinking

This all-too-familiar phenomenon is called the “negativity bias” and it’s pretty much universal. Our brains are hardwired to prioritize bad, difficult, or painful thoughts over positive ones.

Making matters worse, negative events quickly lodge themselves in our
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