23 Aug The Power of Positivity
As summer comes to an end, a lot of change is on the horizon—starting school, coming back from vacation, new job tasks, and changing seasons. It can be hard to take control of any anxiety that you may be experiencing.
As a therapist, I’ve noticed that a lot of people I work with fall into the trap of feeling anxious and overwhelmed. While we can’t choose how our bodies react to specific situations, we can choose how we react to it. To be clear, this is not saying you can choose to not be anxious; anxiety is completely normal. Sometimes anxiety is our body trying to tell us something important. Sometimes our anxiety responses can be limiting, and that can take a toll.
Our choices in how to respond can sometimes change how we feel altogether. Sounds easy, right? WRONG! Practicing mindfulness can help with how our body’s respond to specific emotions.
Mindfulness is being in control of your mind rather than letting your mind be in control of you. Rather than let this change take over, what small, positive actions can you take to reduce the physiological responses your body has and probably overwhelms you?
“Curing the negatives does not produce the positives,” says Martin Seligman, author of Learned Optimism. I often hear that people want a quick fix; they just want a magical pill that “fixes” everything. I often explain that sometimes it’s not about a fix, as oftentimes, you’re not broken. You might need a bandaid, or even stitches, but overall you’re alive and well. Sometimes to get to the positive, you have to find something that minimizes the negative, impulsive thoughts.
When in a transition point in your life, like summer coming to end, it’s easy to think about everything that could go wrong. Maybe those thoughts can help you feel prepared, but maybe, finding a small positive activity can reduce your anxious symptoms, and will allow you to enter into your challenge more positively.
Remember, small ideas are sometimes hard to come by. Speak with your therapist about the small changes you could make, and see if they are feasible for you. If you need some additional help, I recommend the book Learned Optimism by Martin E. P. Seligman, PhD.
Authored by: Tyler A. Diaz, LCSW