Positive Thinking: How Does It Affect Your Mind and Body

When you’re down on yourself or your business, it can be tough to even ponder positive thinking. However, there are a wide variety of benefits to focusing on the bright side. Optimism can help your business, your mind, and your body. Let’s take a look at a few of the benefits of positive thinking:

Build Skills

Positive thinking allows you to build skills that you might not otherwise be able to build, as you can focus on how to build the skill and the technique required, instead of panicking about how you’re going to be able to build it. The more time that you spend worrying about learning something and working yourself up about your lack of skill, the more time you aren’t focusing on mastering that skill. This means that once you’ve wrapped your mind around the idea of positive thinking, it becomes possible to build the skills that you need far faster than you would have previously imagined.

Boost Immunity

Positive thinking can also work to actually strengthen your body’s immune system. This means that instead of your immune system being constantly dragged down by negative thinking and stress, making you sick more frequently, you may actually be able to boost your immune system by focusing on positive ideas instead. This could mean fewer sick days, fewer doctors visits, and fewer days laid up feeling generally unwell. A strong immune system is better for your overall health, but also helps you make it through your day to day tasks more efficiently without the worry of falling behind due to illness.

Increase Overall Resilience

You can also increase your overall resilience by focusing on the positive things in life instead of the negative ones. This can help you to boost your overall resilience as a person, both physically and mentally, so that you can become more powerful and focused. Instead of wasting time worrying about all the things that could happen tomorrow, you can instead focus on the things that are happening today and managing them as well as possible. This level of resilience can help you to go much further in life, allowing you to brush problems off your shoulders and keep moving forward.

Cope with Stress More Effectively

Those who don’t manage stress effectively quickly find that it eats them alive. Stress can cause a wide variety of physical and mental symptoms if it isn’t managed well, and can lead to serious health issues such as high blood pressure, migraines, and heart issues over time. Taking the time to focus on the positive instead of the negative can help you manage the stress that you are experiencing and reframe it more accurately, in a way that you can manage more effectively.

While these aren’t all of the benefits of positive thinking, they’re certainly some of the most noticeable. For busy business owners, focusing on the positive aspects of life can sometimes seem overwhelming, but it’s often well worth the effort.


No Time for Meditation? 4 Tips for Staying Mindful on the Go

A common misconception about mindfulness is that it’s entirely the absence of thought. However, it should be obvious that this is wrong — it’s not called mindfulness for nothing. To be mindful is to (simply put) accomplish two things. First, you clear your mind. Second — and this is the important part — you focus on the present environment and the world around you within that very moment.

No past, no future. Just the moment you currently exist within.

The problem is that as entrepreneurs and busy people, we don’t often have the time or ability to shut off our brains and focus on what’s really around us. That’s why when the moment occurs, we all have to strike while the iron is hot.

  1. Your Daily Commute

It’s probably a good idea to avoid spacing out while you’re driving to work, but that doesn’t mean you can take some time during your commute to be mindful. This is much easier if you take the train, bus or subway to work. You aren’t having to worry about the rules of the road and it’s easier to let your mind wander and focus on the world around you.

If you do drive, try and make it to work a little early. Don’t try to be mindful while driving, but instead for a few minutes once you get to work. Sit in your car, turn off your brain and take in your environment.

  1. Make Food Mindful

Being mindful isn’t just about drifting away and taking in the sights. It’s also about savoring all of your senses — including your sense of taste.

You’ll find time to eat during the day, which means you’ll find time to be mindful. The food you’re eating doesn’t have to be from a five star restaurant in order for mindfulness occur. Even if you only have time for a Hot Pocket at your desk, take the time to notice the flavor and only the flavor. How does the food feel? How does it taste?

  1. Before Sleep

You aren’t a robot — you’ve got to sleep sometime! If you don’t have time to be mindful during the day, simply make time at night. About five minutes before you’re scheduled to go to sleep, let your mind wander and experience the world around you.

It’s actually easier to be mindful when your mind is already looking forward to shutting down. Practicing mindfulness before bed is one way to be more successful at the exercise, and it’s also simultaneously relaxing so you can fall asleep faster.

  1. Emotional Awareness

We’ve covered things like sight, sound and taste, but mindfulness also encompasses another spectrum of yourself: emotions. Examining your emotions in the present is a great way to get in tune with them and ease stress.

This can be done at any time during the day, but consider focusing on this during any bathroom breaks you take at work. Wash your hands and focus on feeling the water and soap, then look inward and assess your emotions. This takes only a few second and can still leave you feeling at ease.

How to Stay Mindful When You’re a Busy Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs live very busy lives. They go, go, go and never find the time to fully come to a stop. If this defines your own life, consider this: you can be just as productive while still having inner peace and a way to put your mind at ease when you do find some down time.

Many entrepreneurs might think this is ridiculous. A way to stay busy while still being able to relax when you need to? Preposterous! The truth is that it’s entirely possible thanks to one helpful technique: mindfulness.

Mindfulness is the ability to focus entirely on the present, and that’s in the most literal sense. Not the current day or the current week instead of a far-off to-do list. No, mindfulness means focusing on each second as it passes; being utterly and completely in the moment. It’s unrealistic to say you can always tune out your busy day, but practicing mindfulness gives you a place to escape when it’s time to put work down for the night.

But…how can you stay mindful and practice mindfulness when you have such a busy schedule to adhere to? I have a few tips that can make it work for you, no matter how packed your schedule is.

Skip the evening…go for a mindful morning.

Many entrepreneurs feel the pressure to practice mindfulness during the evening, right after they (maybe) finished up their to-do list. While this is the time when it’s most helpful to be mindful, don’t leap into mindfulness right after you round out your day. Instead, practice mindfulness when it’s easiest — during the morning.

In the morning, it’s a lot easier to clear your head. Right after you wake up, you haven’t thrown yourself into the thick of the day. At night, you’ve already got a ton of work thoughts swirling around in your head.

Set aside time for short breaks.

It’s not to say that you need to take whole 15 minute chunks out of your day to practice mindfulness. Instead, set aside little bite-sized pieces of time (like three to five minutes) to let go of all of your thoughts and slip into being in the moment. This can help to keep your mind sharp and focused during the day, and it also keeps your brain from going 100 miles per hour non-stop throughout the day.

Indulge the senses.

One of the most important aspects of mindfulness is, well, being aware of your mind and what it’s feeling. The best way to do this is to directly stimulate the senses as much as possible.

A great opportunity for this that doesn’t interrupt your schedule is your lunch break. Put aside your phone and focus only on your food. Savor each bite and catalog the flavors, smells and textures of what you’re eating. Is it cold? Is it crunchy? Does it make you feel nostalgia or bring up a memory?

Being in the moment means truly feeling every emotion and sense that passes through your body. Once you’ve mastered this, you’ve truly mastered mindfulness.

Mindfulness 101: What is it and What Can it Do for You?

No one is ever entirely free of stress…or are they?

Stress is something that we consider as a standard in life. Sometimes stress is more dire than it is simple. We stress as teens studying hard for tests and as adults stressing over how much money we need to make to break even. Stress creates a very cluttered mental space, which then begins to impact other areas of life, like productivity and health. In short, stress is something that we don’t want but that seems almost inevitable, especially as professionals.

This is where mindfulness comes in. You may have heard the term in passing, but are you familiar with what it is and what it can do for you?

What is Mindfulness?

To keep things simple, mindfulness is being very aware of the world around you on a moment-by-moment basis, as well as accepting it simultaneously. People assume that this is simple — aren’t we all already living and experiencing every moment of our lives? Experiencing something and actually being 100% aware of it, however, are two different things.

While it’s true that we are physically present for all of our lives, we aren’t always mentally present. The opposite of mindfulness is mindlessness, or essentially running on autopilot. Many people don’t fully understand how much of their life is spent lost in thought, avoiding outside stimulus.

Say that you’re walking down a busy city street. What are you doing? Are you keeping your thoughts to yourself, running through your daily to-do list? Are you listening to music from earbuds, lost in the sound and not paying full attention to the world around you? Both are examples of clogging our minds with something in order to avoid being cognizant. Someone who has embraced mindfulness is fully living in that moment, noticing things and taking them in.

What Can Mindfulness do for You?

Mindfulness is often associated with total positivity; it’s something written off as a new age, existentialist way of avoiding life’s problems. However, it’s exactly the opposite.

Let’s look at stress and mindfulness. When someone who is used to mindlessness is confronted with stress, the negative emotion and thoughts of the future cloud their vision. Anxiety gets in the way of productivity. Someone who is mindful, however, fully accepts the stressful stimuli and then formulates a plan based on their acceptance of their current predicament.

Practicing mindfulness can help reduce the harmful repercussions of stress, like panic and anxiety. Realize that stress is a state of being, an emotion — it isn’t a situation itself. When someone is mindful, they don’t experience stress because they experience a situation, not the harmful emotional side effect that comes with it.

Thus, mindfulness is growing in popularity as a way to increase productivity. When we are mindful of our surroundings, our emotional state and what we must do, we are much more likely to seize the day and get things done with no negativity involved.