So there I was, at work, doing work, and one of my colleagues-cum-friends Amy mentioned she’d had an idea for my blog. I love how she does this! She is very much like me. She is humble, very self critical and kind. So I was glad when she mentioned a blog post idea to me.
I’m writing this post to keep you inspired and to keep remembering that you are amazing and should consider yourself that. Although its my frugal month, I feel focusing on anxiety and personal matters is still important. My ultimate goal is to help others and I feel this post is necessary.
On the same note, another friend of mine, Kujo, recently posted something on Facebook which is perfectly fitting with this post.
She is absolutely amazing at motivating others and is full of positive energy. Both Amy and Kujo are firm believers in positive thinking and female empowerment. Perfect role-models. Kujo is a weight lifting, graffiti loving, caffeine addict and Amy is lovable, film-buff-typey and should be a comedian. Both very different people but have the same qualities.
This post is inspired by them.
Positive reinforcement is important for worriers, negative thinkers and/or sufferers of anxiety. Anxiety has this annoying habit of showing up when you least expect it. Or worse, all of the time which is in my case. It makes small situations into massive ones. It makes worry almost debilitating. Trust me, I know.
It has been well documented that positive reinforcement is a great tactic when dealing with your anxiety, or generally if you struggle with negativity. I’ve just been browsing the web for useful articles and it brings up a huge amount of scholarly resources. I won’t give you the details as they are long and very technical but as you can tell, it’s a widely discussed topic, and an important one.
For those prone to it, at some point during the day you will have negative thoughts. It could be anything from worrying about turning up to work late, to your children catching an incurable disease. I don’t have children but I can see myself worrying about this sort of thing! This is what positive thinking and reinforcement will help with.
So it’s probably a good idea to explain what positive reinforcement actually means:
Positive reinforcement is a very powerful and effective tool to help shape and change behavior. Positive reinforcement works by presenting a motivating item to the person after the desired behavior is exhibited, making the behavior more likely to happen in the future (North Shore Pediatric Therapy)
As you can see, it is a very useful when dealing with a wide variety of situations. The quote above is mainly directed at children. There are a lot of resources to browse for your children and encouraging good behaviour.
But have you thought about how you can use this for your anxiety or general worrying?
I am the first person to be critical on myself. It’s very easy for me to negatively analyse my actions to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I call it problem solving and being realistic. You will call it overally critical and not necessary. I find is very difficult to think of the positives. This is where positive reinforcement can come in. It’s a fine balance really and something that takes practise
I’ve put together a few things for you on how you can use positive thinking and positive reinforcement for yourself. I wish I could change how you think so that you see yourself as others do – amazing. I can’t, but I’m going give it a good go at helping you.
Be realistic with your thoughts.
Negative thoughts can creep in at any point. A lot of the time the things you’re thinking about won’t come true. Rather than thinking the worst, think about the positive outcomes of your thought. As I mentioned above, I class my worrying as being realistic. But I know it isn’t and actively seek to change these thoughts.
For example if you’re worried your mother might not like the present you got her, remember that she loves you and will love it. The thought you put in will mean much more to her than the price and anything else for that matter. You’ve spent your time and energy making/picking/buying something so you’ve done great. Remember that.
I am also the worst for this. I can go over things MILLIONS of times in my brain when it doesn’t matter. It’s hard as well. Remember that 99% of your worries will not come true. It takes some time to come to realise this and if you’re like me, you’ll be the same.
So when you find yourself thinking negatively about something, turn it around into something positive. Think about whether your worries are realistic. Most importantly, congratulate yourself when you conquer your thoughts! Reward yourself by buying some new nail varnish, or some wine when you feel like you’ve moved forward. Anything to remind yourself that you’ve done a great job.
The congratulating part is particularly important with positive reinforcement. Remember that you’ve overcome something which is engrained in you and by doing this you are taking steps forward. The most important change is in your head, and it’s the hardest part.
You aren’t that bad really. Remember that.
Positive reinforcement comes in all forms. When you find yourself criticising yourself for making that bad decision, or for the possibility you may have said the wrong thing, DON’T. Mother Jess is coming out now. Haha.
Everyone makes mistakes and you are who you are today because of them. So when you are putting yourself down, turn it around into something positive. Remember that you have friends and family around you that love you. If you’ve said something wrong, they won’t even bat an eyelid. Heck the thing you think you said is probably nothing at all.
If you feel like you’ve made bad decisions in your life and still mull them over, think about how this situation changed you. You are strong. Brave. Humble. All because of your decisions. You might think you’re being big headed, but it’s not. You are simply giving yourself credit for the things you’ve gone through and came out the other side okay.
You’ll probably be surprised to know how many fans you have.
Do you ever wish you could be someone else? Do you wish you could turn off your feelings and just stop being so emotional? I do all the time.
But for all of the things you wish you could change, someone out there wishes they could have it. You have fans all around you and you won’t ever know it. Someone wishes they were you and you should acknowledge it. Realise that your qualities make you, well, you and accept it. If you feel you are overally emotional, someone out there wishes they could be more like you and share their feelings easier. This was me only a few years ago.
If you’re reading about positive reinforcement I reckon it’s impossible for you to be big headed. Bear this in mind too. If you worry that people will see you differently once you start thinking more positively, don’t. It doesn’t make you big headed by practicing self-love.
We are surrounded by negativity all of the time. Change it.
Positive reinforcement is a good tool for blocking out all of the negativity that surrounds us. It’s especially difficult for women. There is so much pressure on us to look a certain way, dress a certain way and weigh a certain amount.
But if you can work on the negativity around you, you are reinforcing the fact that you are amazing. Those extra pounds are beautiful and it doesn’t matter about them. You are alive, why worry about your weight? I know weight is a difficult one for a lot of women and I am the last one to not put myself down about it. But remember that you are full of life and have everything going for you. Your partner/friends/family love your brain most importantly.
Dreaming big-stylee is not affected by how people see you. Nor is your weight holding you back. Anyone can dream and dream big. So do it! Grab life by the horns and show those people that you can win, be whoever you want to be and achieve all the things in life you want.
I felt it necessary to remind all women, and men, that you can do anything you set your mind to. Positive reinforcement should be practised at every moment. Remember that you are an amazing Homosapien. You deserve every good thing that comes your way. There is no such thing as too much good.
It’s not going to be easy to be honest with you. I’m 27 and am only just starting to practise positive reinforcement. If you struggle, write yourself some post in notes and leave somewhere that you frequent often. Stand in front of the mirror and tell yourself it.
Give yourself some credit and you can win at life! Remember Kujo’s words. Save the image on your phone so you can bring it out at times of need and I promise you – life will be good.
Lots of love xx