Breaking Down Walls to a Positive Mindset

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Breaking down walls to a positive mindset

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This #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek has got me thinking more broadly about my own mental health. Particularly over the last 3-4 years. Like so many others, I have suffered with poor mental health and struggles with anxiety and depression. It is a battle I still fight every day.

It’s easy to say, “Think positively”, but it’s easier said than done! I have no fear in admitting I struggle with the saying when I am presented with it, particularly if I think about when it has been said to me over the past 5 years having experienced my fair share of trauma.

I describe myself as an overthinker, a reflector, I air on the side of pessimism as opposed to optimism and I sometimes get lost in the overwhelming feeling of challenges rather than the excitement and opportunity of solutions. So, I begin to wonder, what the barriers might be to me having a more positive mindset. Is it just who I am, is it an element of my character? Is it a consequence of trauma? Is it a combination of the two? I’m curious about myself, what is it that enables me to feel positive?

I feel positive when I feel safe, when I feel happy, when I feel connected and loved. These are the things I need to feel positive and act most positively. But I already feel (at the time of writing this) some of these things in varying degrees, so what’s the problem?

The problem is I need to feel all these things in balance, in some sort of harmony with one another. When one is lacking or absent it sets the wheels in motion for negative thoughts and energy, unproductiveness, and self-sabotage.  For me despite these feelings being intrinsically linked they are also separate entities, separate seeds that need to be watered and taken care of to grow and flourish together.

With that in mind, I start to break it down further, what makes me feel safe? What makes me feel happy? What makes me feel connected and what makes me feel loved? Grabbing my pen and notebook I write down five small achievable (achievable, that’s important!) things I can do that will help me nurture and grow each of these feelings. And I write down one long term goal for each too (to come back to and ‘chunk up’ into small achievements). I know all too well applying a positive mindset and using it with confidence is tricky and I suppose can be likened to a bumpy road. A road that we all must navigate ourselves, with support from others whether they be in the passenger seat holding our hand or on the sidelines cheering us on because we are never in this alone, peppered with twists and turns but suddenly, right now, I feel a sense of purpose, and hope for more brighter, positive days.

What makes you feel positive and what small achievable things could you do to kickstart/ boost your positive mindset?

Lynsey Ogilvie

May 2024

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