More Peace and Less Stress Step by Step – The Path for Positivity
Introducing the Path for Positivity model
The past few years of learning and practicing Positive Psychology has greatly shifted my thinking and impacted my life in so many ways. I’m very excited and honored that in my new role I get to share what I’ve learned, helping people experience more peace, meaning, and happiness with less stress, frustration, and overwhelm in their work and ultimately in their lives. And yet, I’ve found it difficult to easily summarize my message. That’s why I’m excited to introduce my new framework; what I call the Path for Positivity. At a glance, it highlights what I’ve found to be a helpful step-wise process for changing our mindset and creating a higher quality of life. Everything I teach and share has to do with one of the steps in this process.
- Understand why it’s hard – To differing degrees, most of us struggle to focus on the good. Once we realize that our hard-wired survival instinct plays a major role in this, we can be more tolerant with our own reactions and thoughts, and those of others. We understand it’s natural to dwell on and anticipate the things we don’t like.
- Realize we can change – It’s pretty hard to change if we don’t even think it’s a possibility, but once we learn about neuroplasticity and the studies showing how even short-term practices can change our brains, we suddenly recognize there is another way. We don’t have to be victims to our survival instincts.
- Notice our thoughts – If we want to shift out of survival-mode, we have to tune into our thoughts and emotions. When we notice ourselves jumping to the worst conclusion or dwelling on a past stressor, it gives us the opportunity to ask if this thinking is useful or if we should choose a different thought.
- Apply tools to change – The great news coming out of Positive Psychology studies is that there are tools we can practice that make it easier to shift our thinking and see more of the good. New technology has made it possible to see how these practices actually physically rewire our brains.
- Remember to choose – Steps 1 – 4 are important, but they won’t do us any good if we forget them. I suggest using a variety of reminders such as posting pictures or quotes around your office and home; wearing a special bracelet or ring that you designate as a reminder; and my favorite, creating a positive password so every time you type it in, it helps you notice your thoughts, remember your tools, and remember you have a choice in your thoughts.
This framework may evolve in the future, but for now, I hope it will help others follow the path and find their way.
Tina Hallis, Ph.D., is founder and owner of The Positive Edge, a company dedicated to helping individuals and organizations increase their positivity to improve the quality of people’s work lives and the quality of company cultures.