We have been reading much about the term “mindset” and how it can impact our thinking. So just what is mindset and how does it affect our circumstances, experiences, decisions and overall well-being?
Mindset is an attitude or a way of thinking that can have a significant impact on what we believe and how we live our lives. Most of us share the commonly held belief that attitude is everything because it determines how we handle challenges and opportunities that come our way. If we believe in a positive outcome, we are more likely to see it come to fruition. If we believe we will fail, there is a good chance that will be the case. Further, while we may not be in control of our circumstances, we are, in fact, able to manage how we react to them.
Mindset and attitude even have health benefits attached to them. Consider the following benefits noted by the Mayo Clinic in an article titled, Positive thinking: Stop negative self-talk to reduce stress, March 2014). The health benefits that positive thinking may provide include:
- Increased life span
- Lower rates of depression
- Lower levels of distress
- Greater resistance to the common cold
- Better psychological and physical well-being
- Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress
If we agree that there are great benefits to having a positive or growth mindset and attitude, how can we accomplish this if we don’t naturally live in this space? First and foremost, we can understand positive thinking and self-talk. Self-talk is the stream of thoughts that run constantly though our heads and these can be either positive or negative. The more positive your self-talk is, the more optimistic you are. The converse is true for negative self-talk and pessimism.How does one achieve a positive mindset or attitude? For most of us, this takes some work. We may find ourselves dwelling on negative experiences or thoughts and not believe in our ability to succeed. The good news is that even more than attitude, we can eliminate negative self-talk and even change our thinking to bring about positive results. This is a core piece of The Pacific Institute curriculum that is based upon how the mind works. By changing our thinking, we can actually change our mindset and attitude and enjoy a healthier and more fulfilling life.REFERENCE
Mayo Clinic. Positive thinking: Stop negative self-talk to reduce stress, March 2014.