Ways to change your mindset

Sheree Peart, Contributing Writer

One’s thoughts can be very powerful. It is easy to believe you may not pass a class because it seems too hard, that someone may not like you because of how you dress or that people just annoy you in general.

Whether these thoughts are fleeting or run like a song on repeat, you can change them. You can start by using these simple tools.

Meditating can be an extremely helpful tool in recognizing negative thoughts and refocusing them to positive ones. It also helps people relax and cope with stress.

a lady meditating
Elizabeth Zuniga Galindo

According to the Mayo Clinic website, “Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that can benefit both your emotional well-being and your overall health.”

If you own a cell phone and can remain undisturbed for 15 minutes, you have already achieved half the battle. There are hundreds of meditation apps you can use. These apps will walk you through the process.

Try using affirmations. Positive affirmations are phrases, either spoken or thought, to affirm and build yourself up – especially amid difficult situations, according to the Cleveland Clinic website.

Affirmations combat negative phrases we may often use such as “I can’t,” “I’m not,” “I won’t” or “If only I.” Phrases such as these can keep you second guessing yourself and unfocused on the goal at hand. Instead, use phrases such as “I can,” “I will” and “I am.” Examples of how they are used are as follows: “I can be organized;” “I will pass this class;” “I am smart and beautiful;” “My skills will change the world.” Having these phases in your arsenal can keep you fueled up, in a positive mindset and ready to take on the day.

Sometimes trying to change the way you think is not as easy as reading an article, trying an app or studying a self-help book.

Sometimes you need an expert such as Katie Neff, a licensed counselor at Brookhaven Campus, or others in the Counseling and Psychological Services at Brookhaven Campus. Counselors recognize you as a whole person, not just a student. Whether you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed out or just need emotional support, they are there to help.

a boy listening to music
Elizabeth Zuniga Galindo

Listening to music can be a tool to change our mindset. Especially when it has a positive message behind it.

According to Medical News Today, clinical therapists use the power of music to help their clients better their moods and regulate emotions. When researchers at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Music Research at the University of Jyväskylä, Aalto University in Finland and Aarhus University in Denmark investigated the relationship between mental health, music listening habits and neural responses to music emotions, their results were quite interesting.

Analysis showed anxiety and neuroticism were higher in participants with specific markers who tend to listen to sad or aggressive music to express negative feelings, especially in males.

Take a look at your playlist and the lyrics from the music you enjoy. If it has a positive message, is calming, relaxing and keeps you in a good mood, you are on the right track. If not, I would encourage you to try out new music. Build a new playlist or podcast playlist of positivity.

Reading and listening to motivational speakers and self-help coaches can be helpful too. People such as Tony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey and Eric Thomas inspire, encourage and can be a wealth of information toward more positive thinking. A few great books that have been helpful for me are “No Matter What!” by Lisa Nichols, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie, “The Magic of Thinking BIG” by David J. Schwartz and “Atomic Habits” by James Clear.

No matter where you are in your life, changing your thoughts from negative to positive can help you live a more meaningful and positive life.