One of the things that I have observed as a coach during the COVID pandemic is how detrimental it’s been to peoples’ mindsets. The constant fear and uncertainty have affected even the most positive people I know in a very negative way. The spread of the virus, the lockdowns, the loss of life and jobs, not being able to go to work and school, not being able to see family and friends, and the disruption to our normal lives has caused a level of fear and uncertainty that most of us have never experienced before. This has led to a host of mental health problems and widespread issues that many people are having to deal with.
As a coach, one of the lessons that I teach my clients is that 80% of your results come from your mindset. That being the case, it’s imperative during tough times like this that we control and master our mindset so that it serves us in a way that keeps us positive. When we have the right mindset, it helps us to be the best version of ourselves and put our best foot forward. So, how do you do that during a time like this?
Here are six steps that you can take that will help you reset your thoughts and master your mindset so that you can maintain your positivity and take control of your life:
Step #1 – Stop Marinating in Negativity
One of the easiest things that you can do to reset your mindset is to stop marinating in negativity! Let’s face it, we’re bombarded every minute of the day with negativity on television, the radio, social media, and even our friends and family. This constant diet of negativity and uncertainty will only result in one thing – a negative mindset. Marinating in the negativity of the news or getting caught up in destructive conversations on social media is akin to eating junk food for three meals a day. If you keep doing that, over time it will eventually kill you.
So, what should you do? Stop it! Turn off the news, turn the channel on the radio and take a break from social media. Replace these things with some uplifting music, an educational podcast, or pick up the phone and call an old friend. Remove yourself from the toxic conversations and people that are bringing you down. Everything you focus on is either improving your mindset or destroying it. So, make a choice to feed your mind with positive, uplifting things instead of marinating in negativity.
Step #2 – Move Your Body
If you are like most people, you’ve been isolated in your home for months. The daily routine of going to the gym, heading out to work, and moving around has been replaced with no access to the gym and working from home. Your daily goal of 10,000 steps has been replaced with sitting in a chair or laying on the couch all day. This has resulted in many people putting on weight and becoming pretty unhealthy. Additionally, it’s stopped the normal flow of endorphins you get from working out, which naturally boosts your positive mindset.
So, get out of the house and start moving your body again! Go take a walk, go for a jog, or ride your bike. Grab a workout in your basement. Do something on a daily basis to elevate your heart rate and release some endorphins. This is a simple, easy thing you can do to reset your mindset.
Step #3 – Focus on Gratitude
When you focus on what you are grateful for, it fills your mind with positive thoughts. You literally replace the negativity that surrounds us on a daily basis. When you wake up each morning, ask yourself the question, “What are three things that I am grateful for today?” Take some time to think about this or even journal on it for a few minutes. This daily practice will get you into a positive mindset right from the start of the day, and set the tone for the rest of the day.
Step #4 – Build a Rock-Solid Positive Mindset
Most people leave their mindset to chance. They go about their day not really paying any attention to what they are listening to and feeding their mind with. This usually leads to a pretty bad place, as most of the inputs around us are negative. Super successful people on the other hand don’t leave their mindset to chance. They intentionally focus on being super positive and feed their mind with things that will support them in this effort.
I call it “going to the mental gym”. Just like you would go to the gym and workout on a regular basis if you want a buff body, you need to head to the mental gym if you want to condition your mind. What does this mean? This means reading your goals daily. It means doing affirmations to reinforce the mindset you want to have. It means reading articles and books that uplift you, or even listening to your favorite motivational speaker. For some people it means prayer or meditation.
Whatever it means for you, making it a habit of “going to the mental gym” on a daily basis is one of the best things that you can do if you want to reset your thoughts and build a rock-solid mindset.
Step #5 – Have a Daily Goal or Outcome
Having a daily goal or outcome will give you something positive to focus on. When you fill your day with goals and structure, you’ll have less time to waste and less time to get pulled into the negative vacuum that surrounds most people on a daily basis.
Set a goal each morning or ask yourself, “What are the top three things that I want to accomplish today?” This will help you focus and put some structure in your day. It will also help you to build momentum in a positive direction vs. being stuck focusing on fear and uncertainty.
Step #6 – Celebrate Daily!
One of the key things that’s been removed from our lives as a result of COVID is celebration! Family gatherings for holidays, birthdays and special occasions have been removed and replaced with quarantines. Things like graduations and proms have been cancelled. When we lose loved ones or friends, we haven’t even been able to gather to celebrate their life. Even simple things that we normally celebrate we haven’t simply because we’ve been isolated.
When you celebrate you feel good! And, when you feel good, you tend to want to do more of what you just celebrated. So, another great way to reset your mindset is to find something, even if it’s a little thing, to celebrate daily. This can be something simple like a task or goal you completed, or perhaps it’s just acknowledging getting through a challenging day. Finding something to celebrate and giving yourself a pat on the back, or an even bigger reward is a great way to build positivity and momentum.
If you are like most people, COVID has affected your mindset in a negative way. Perhaps in ways that you aren’t even aware of. If you follow the six steps above, you’ll reset your thoughts, boost your mindset, and be able to take control of your life again. Keep in mind that even putting one of these into place will make a big difference! Doing all six will take you somewhere that you might not think is even possible.
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