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Author Topic: Developing and Nurturing a Positive Mindset  (Read 786 times)

TheGreenWizard

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Developing and Nurturing a Positive Mindset
« on: October 17, 2020, 11:01:08 am »
Mods: Please move this if it needs to go somewhere else - I honestly was conflicted about where the heck to put this thread.
Since the Equinox, I've been doing more introspection on what I need to improve in myself, and how to do that. One thing that really came to surface was the fact that I was brought up by a family where we look at things in a negative light, judge people negatively, and gossip about said negative attributes. It has been something that I personally have struggled with for as long as I can remember, but my husband has really helped me identify when I do it, notably, after I go visit and spend time with my family (for the record: I live in NYC, and they live in Buffalo).

I know there are various exercises and books and resources to help with this, but I honestly feel at a lost as to where to even begin, or what is even considered actually helpful or useful in cultivating a positive mindset. I'd love to hear others' suggestions.
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Re: Developing and Nurturing a Positive Mindset
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2020, 07:52:49 pm »
Mods: Please move this if it needs to go somewhere else - I honestly was conflicted about where the heck to put this thread.
Since the Equinox, I've been doing more introspection on what I need to improve in myself, and how to do that. One thing that really came to surface was the fact that I was brought up by a family where we look at things in a negative light, judge people negatively, and gossip about said negative attributes. It has been something that I personally have struggled with for as long as I can remember, but my husband has really helped me identify when I do it, notably, after I go visit and spend time with my family (for the record: I live in NYC, and they live in Buffalo).

I know there are various exercises and books and resources to help with this, but I honestly feel at a lost as to where to even begin, or what is even considered actually helpful or useful in cultivating a positive mindset. I'd love to hear others' suggestions.

Gretchen Rubin's recent books might be a place to start - she's got a good mix of "here's this thing with research behind it" and "here's a thing I tried", while understanding that people's brains work in different ways, and not just talking about the stuff that works for her.

(She's also got a good newsletter, and this post on 31 Important Things You Should Say ‘No’ to for a Happier Life (not by her) is still open in my tabs from her most recent one, and seems a possible place to start - it's got the list and then some starting resources for each topic. I have not read all of those, but many of the ones I know, I've found helpful.)
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sevensons

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Re: Developing and Nurturing a Positive Mindset
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2020, 03:49:29 am »

 helped me identify when I do it,
 
what is even considered actually helpful or useful in cultivating a positive mindset.
This is why Organisations hire an adviser.
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Re: Developing and Nurturing a Positive Mindset
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2020, 07:12:35 pm »
I know there are various exercises and books and resources to help with this, but I honestly feel at a lost as to where to even begin, or what is even considered actually helpful or useful in cultivating a positive mindset. I'd love to hear others' suggestions.

One thing that I pay attention to is curating my entertainment media. I try to find series and authors that emphasize positive traits in their characters, non-violent problem solving, good communication, and so on.

This is why I have not, and do not intend to read/watch Game of Thrones. Ever. Likewise The Walking Dead. 'Dark' storytelling has been popular for a while, but in my opinion, it makes for both boring and lazy writing. I mostly read speculative fiction, so I'll toss a few recommendations out:

- The Liaden universe, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. Notable for resolving conflicts in non-violent ways where genre conventions lead one to expect otherwise.
- The Martian, by Andy Weir - the whole Robinsonade genre is good for this, because the focus is on building and improving things.
- The Lady Trent novels by Marie Brennan, starring scholars instead of soldiers, and while there is armed conflict, the plots revolve around stopping it. (plus, the main characters are fantasy-Jewish, which is seldom seen).
- CJ Cherryh's Chanur novels, and Jim Butcher's Aldera novels, for their elements of interspecies cooperation and communication.
- Terry Pratchett and Lois McMaster Bujold, for their overall portrayal of human-ness.


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Re: Developing and Nurturing a Positive Mindset
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2020, 06:30:03 pm »


Oh, and on a more magic-oriented note, I also sometimes do banishments or execrations of abstract concepts - the Yoda quartet (fear, anger, hate, suffering) for example - to get them out of my life.

sevensons

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Re: Developing and Nurturing a Positive Mindset
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2020, 10:14:57 pm »
Oh, and on a more magic-oriented note,  to get them out of my life.
I have thousands of pictures on my computer that I cross reference for state of mind and alter accordingly. I've got a group of about 80 that mainly keep me in tiptop condition.saves arguments happening mainly.
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Re: Developing and Nurturing a Positive Mindset
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2020, 01:32:13 pm »
I'd love to hear others' suggestions.

I may dip in and out of this thread to suggest things as they come to me, as brain is working in very scattered way at present...  Hope it doesn't get too irritating.  Actually, I'll post this couple and then make a draft for some others to post at a later date, that's probably a bit better.

Now, I know some people don't really hold with positive affirmations, and some don't hold with the concept of absorbing info while you sleep, or possibly both.  However, I cannot see that it could do a lot of harm, so it's what I'm doing.

There's a YouTuber called Jason Stephenson who provides guided meditations, largely for aiding sleep, and lots of them feature positive affirmations.  He also has a website (linked from his YouTube community page) where there is a free 45 minute meditation you can download to listen to offline.  I really like his voice (there are other YouTubers doing similar stuff, but this guy's voice just puts me in a more relaxed mode from moment one - of course, YMMV).

I've listened to his free 45 min meditation consciously, to check it didn't contain any weirdness, and am now listening to it on a loop overnight lately (on the nights that I can tear myself away from my audiobooks, that is - I'm pretty sure the meditation's a better option, but some nights I just need some fiction on a quiet volume setting to 'override' my too busy brain).  I've listened to good chunks of a few of the 3 hour ones consciously, too, and I've come to trust this guy.

One thing I used to do and have really missed since lockdown, is I used to have a positive affirmation 'mantra' that I'd 'chant' to myself in my head whenever I was walking anywhere - now I'm not walking to the train station daily, I've been missing giving my own brain this little regular boost, so the YouTube videos etc are my current substitute.

Finally, for now... I'd imagine some folks are getting a little sick of me 'peddling' The Tapping Meditation app, but I honestly can't help it, it's good for so much stuff!  I even convinced my seriously skeptical husband to try it for his insomnia last night, and he had to admit he slept better than he had for several nights (plus, his scale of how much his mind was racing went from 10/10 beforehand down to just 6/10 after completing the tapping, or any tapping, for the first time ever).  I was so chuffed for him (and I actually wished it'd worked that well for me on this occasion!)

It's free to download.  And whilst I can't remember the range of stuff available on the free version, exactly (as it was so good that even this tightwad miser shelled out for the paid version - albeit admittedly on a 1/2 price deal!), I'm sure there'll be something on there that you can work with for this goal.

'Kay, that's it for now, be back at some future time...  :)
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Ashmire

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Re: Developing and Nurturing a Positive Mindset
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2020, 02:17:02 pm »
Mods: Please move this if it needs to go somewhere else - I honestly was conflicted about where the heck to put this thread.
Since the Equinox, I've been doing more introspection on what I need to improve in myself, and how to do that. One thing that really came to surface was the fact that I was brought up by a family where we look at things in a negative light, judge people negatively, and gossip about said negative attributes. It has been something that I personally have struggled with for as long as I can remember, but my husband has really helped me identify when I do it, notably, after I go visit and spend time with my family (for the record: I live in NYC, and they live in Buffalo).

I know there are various exercises and books and resources to help with this, but I honestly feel at a lost as to where to even begin, or what is even considered actually helpful or useful in cultivating a positive mindset. I'd love to hear others' suggestions.

I keep feeling like I'm both the person who should most be speaking here and the one with the least useful ideas, as the devotee of the self-proclaimed God of Optimism.  I probably would never have even considered trying to do this on my own without him taking me up because I grew up being smothered with Toxic Positivity by a parent who never even thought of mitigating his *own* negativity, only that of anyone daring to utter a complaint.  So in the beginning I was naturally fearful that this could only lead to turning into the kind of gaslighting spiritual bypasser that the New Age self-help movement is definitely overloaded with( I still say---never trust anyone who calls themself a Lightworker!).  So I had the very direct help of a very loud entity in my head pulling me up short with an almost visceral needle-scratch and scruff-shake every time I started with the negative self-talk and hateful thinking over a period of several weeks (while simultaneously making me attend to a whole lot of shadow-work and self-examination, calling out actual injustice, and encouraging me to blow off steam with punching bag workouts as needed). 

I'm not entirely sure how to do this without a literal divine intervention happening, but I do know that I did eventually train myself to do the same thing on my own and I have recently noticed that my continual murder-suicide fantasies ( which I don't think having dark fantasies is always wrong, but was becoming obsessive and unhealthy with me) have pretty much completely stopped over the last couple of years. 

So perhaps, in the absence of having your actual Powers show up and tell you to knock it the f*k off, what you could do is think of a really good role model, someone you admire intensely, who would think more like how you would like to and disapprove (lovingly, of course!) of your bad thoughts, and just imagine running all of your thoughts by them and how they would counter that?

TheGreenWizard

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Re: Developing and Nurturing a Positive Mindset
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2020, 10:48:14 pm »
Gretchen Rubin's recent books might be a place to start - she's got a good mix of "here's this thing with research behind it" and "here's a thing I tried", while understanding that people's brains work in different ways, and not just talking about the stuff that works for her.

(She's also got a good newsletter, and this post on 31 Important Things You Should Say ‘No’ to for a Happier Life (not by her) is still open in my tabs from her most recent one, and seems a possible place to start - it's got the list and then some starting resources for each topic. I have not read all of those, but many of the ones I know, I've found helpful.)

Thank you for the reply! I'm definitely going to look into her as well as the link you posted. I did a quick skim and I love the mind map at the beginning. Honestly, some of the traits I do already, but others, I just need a total reset on. Hopefully it'll help!
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”
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TheGreenWizard

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Re: Developing and Nurturing a Positive Mindset
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2020, 10:55:47 pm »
One thing that I pay attention to is curating my entertainment media. I try to find series and authors that emphasize positive traits in their characters, non-violent problem solving, good communication, and so on.

This is why I have not, and do not intend to read/watch Game of Thrones. Ever. Likewise The Walking Dead. 'Dark' storytelling has been popular for a while, but in my opinion, it makes for both boring and lazy writing. I mostly read speculative fiction, so I'll toss a few recommendations out:

- The Liaden universe, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. Notable for resolving conflicts in non-violent ways where genre conventions lead one to expect otherwise.
- The Martian, by Andy Weir - the whole Robinsonade genre is good for this, because the focus is on building and improving things.
- The Lady Trent novels by Marie Brennan, starring scholars instead of soldiers, and while there is armed conflict, the plots revolve around stopping it. (plus, the main characters are fantasy-Jewish, which is seldom seen).
- CJ Cherryh's Chanur novels, and Jim Butcher's Aldera novels, for their elements of interspecies cooperation and communication.
- Terry Pratchett and Lois McMaster Bujold, for their overall portrayal of human-ness.

To be honest, this is something I struggle with - I don't give myself enough ME time, notably, reading. I used to be able to read books like it was my job or, worse - I'd read them so much that I would lose sleep. Now with Covid and teaching, I just have to come back to realizing I need to invest in me so that my students and my loved ones can benefit. Definitely appreciate the book suggestions!

Oh, and on a more magic-oriented note, I also sometimes do banishments or execrations of abstract concepts - the Yoda quartet (fear, anger, hate, suffering) for example - to get them out of my life.

The banishment is a good idea - I haven't done any actual magic working since... *waves at Pandemic and job* but I feel that Halloween/Samhain is when I usually do my Tarot readings for friends, and I'm feeling that I may need to do that to enhance my readings and my life. Any guidance on how you do that?
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go

TheGreenWizard

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Re: Developing and Nurturing a Positive Mindset
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2020, 11:01:50 pm »
So perhaps, in the absence of having your actual Powers show up and tell you to knock it the f*k off, what you could do is think of a really good role model, someone you admire intensely, who would think more like how you would like to and disapprove (lovingly, of course!) of your bad thoughts, and just imagine running all of your thoughts by them and how they would counter that?

Holy shit this paragraph really knocked my socks off. This is a bloody brilliant idea!!! I have several role models who I work closely with and they are just brimming with positivity and I would never have thought of doing a mental visualization exercise like this. Add to it that I am reminded of the Holodeck from Star Trek (thank you for having Seven of Nine as your profile picture), and the idea just becomes so much more powerful. Very interesting. I'll definitely have to try this when I have negative thoughts/emotions. Thank you!!!
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go

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Re: Developing and Nurturing a Positive Mindset
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2020, 06:09:04 pm »
The banishment is a good idea - I haven't done any actual magic working since... *waves at Pandemic and job* but I feel that Halloween/Samhain is when I usually do my Tarot readings for friends, and I'm feeling that I may need to do that to enhance my readings and my life. Any guidance on how you do that?

The general method is 'depict and destroy': in one method, I use a grease pencil to write what I'm banishing on an old plate, then take it out to the train tracks behind my building to smash it (so that the Bad Thing gets run out of town on a rail).

The other method I've done is to write the Bad Thing on origami paper, fold it into an appropriate shape (bugs, for things that bg me) and then burn it with cleansing herbs.

Other ideas I haven't tried might be to make a representation in clay or soap, and throw it in water to dissolve, or sculpting wax and then burning it.

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Re: Developing and Nurturing a Positive Mindset
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2020, 01:15:32 pm »
Holy shit this paragraph really knocked my socks off. This is a bloody brilliant idea!!! I have several role models who I work closely with and they are just brimming with positivity and I would never have thought of doing a mental visualization exercise like this. Add to it that I am reminded of the Holodeck from Star Trek (thank you for having Seven of Nine as your profile picture), and the idea just becomes so much more powerful. Very interesting. I'll definitely have to try this when I have negative thoughts/emotions. Thank you!!!

Glad I could help!  I almost didn't post because it seemed too obvious and I wasn't sure if other people just weren't suggesting it because, well, that's pretty close to default thought mode for me( even my negative thoughts are basically replayed audiovisual memories of other people's reactions for the most part), so maybe that was the baby-level "Are you sure it's plugged in?" response that would be insulting, or for some other reason is a Thing You're Not Supposed To Do. 

As for Seven of Nine...I don't know if I feel as MUCH like her as I did a couple of years ago before starting my above-mentioned spiritual journey, which is probably just as well, but yes, "autistic-coded character who is also in process of deprogramming from a nasty authoritarian upbringing" is very much a relatable concept for me.  There are not many relatable characters in fiction for me, but she's definitely one!

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