“To grow a positive mind, from which you become who you really are and from which you attract into your life what you really want, you have to learn how to stay in an UpSpiral.” –Dr. William Kent Larkin, Author of Growing the Positive Mind (2008)
Neuroplasticity, which is also known as brain plasticity, is about how brain functions can change behavior, environment, neural processes, thinking, and emotions. Neuroscientific research has proven that the experiences you have can change the brain’s physical structure as well as “how it works”.
Dr. William Kent Larkin, in his book, Growing the Positive Mind , explains how anyone can develop and sustain a positive mindset by continuing to stay on, what he terms, an “UpSpiral”. This includes simply keeping a positive outlook and creating your own positive experiences. By training your thoughts to consistently look on the bright side, we can literally change and rewire our minds to see more positively.
It’s not easy being young, that’s something that we can all agree on. However, by habitually taking a moment to find the silver lining in a bad situation or the positive characteristic of a person who rubs you the wrong way, has the potential to change the direction of your whole life… and it will be for the better.
The fact that your brain can bend with a little bit of practice is very encouraging scientific proof that looking on the bright side and being around those that make you feel good about yourself will not only change how your brain perceives the world, but by shifting your thoughts to those that are more positive on a regular basis, a negative outlook and seemingly dim future can be reversed entirely.
You can be as happy as you choose to be and your future can be as bright as you would like it to shine. As with anything new, it simply takes practice.
By cultivating positive friendships with those who make you feel positive emotions and staying clear of peers who make you feel negative emotions, you will also become the master of your own environment.
The next time life knocks you down, know that it’s temporary. It is a lesson that life is teaching you and one that we’ve all experienced to some degree. We are all human and we all experience the same types of problems and experiences throughout our lives. Your parents, teachers, or aunts and uncles will agree which is why finding an adult to talk to when you are facing a difficult situation can be extremely beneficial. They can help you find that silver lining, even if it is simply the realization that you should avoid certain situations or types of individuals.
Whichever way you decide to walk away from a negative experience, whether it be with a negative attitude or a positive one, is what will pave the way for a dim or bright future.
By finding the lesson and embracing positive states of being, such as understanding, love, gratitude, or forgiveness, you will be forming a well-paved route for your new thought processes to travel the next go around.
If you have previously been focusing on the negative and decide to give this a try, your old, negative neural highways will begin breaking down, detaching in sections, and turning back into a forest of neurons. You will be paving your own new positive neural highway.
Get into the habit of looking on the bright side.
It has been said that life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we perceive it. The more aware you become of your capabilities, the lower that 10% begins to feel. Not only can you remove yourself or avoid any environment that you believe will evoke a negative emotion, but you also have a choice as to how you want to perceive your world… through a negative lens or a positive one.
Make your outlook a positive one by changing your neural pathways and growing your own positive mind.
You are the only one who can do that.
What you can do:
- Create and hold on to positive thoughts as frequently as possible.
- Write or mentally go through a list every morning, for 30 days, of three to five new things that you are grateful for. Try to incorporate the things we often take for granted as well.
- At the end of each day, for the same 30 days, write down or purposely recall one positive experience that you had throughout your day.
- Begin reading positive material such as motivational and inspirational quotes and books.
- When feeling negative, go out of your way to create a positive experience. Watch funny videos or movies or go spend time with positive friends.
- When something negative happens to you, give it a positive spin. Look for the silver lining. Find the bright side regardless of how small it is.
About the Author: Michelle C. Ustaszeski-Hutchinson is the Creator of The Teen Mentor, LLC, a Personal Development Expert, and the Author and Content Director of The Total Mind Development™ Program. Her mission is to educate Teens and Young Adults about the important stuff that they don’t learn in school and help facilitate the sharing of wisdom from one generation to the next. Read more by and about Michelle here.