Throughout the entire month of June, I embarked on a 4-week Positivity Project. My goal for doing this project was to “jumpstart” a change in mindset from seeing only the difficult and challenging aspects of life, to focusing more on the good gifts that the Lord brings us everyday through the challenges. I wanted to pull away from a mindset of complaining and instead lean towards one of gratefulness and love for all that we’ve been given in Jesus.
While I quickly realized that June was going to be only the beginning of long, continued practice, I have been so grateful for the change that focusing on it even for just 30 days brought in my life.
In my post at the beginning of this week (Positivity Project: Week 4), I listed my goals for increasing a positive mindset moving forward. Today, I simply want to reflect on many of the great changes (both intentional and surprising) that I saw over the course of this project.
My spiritual life changed and grew.
One of the greatest changes that took place while doing this project was that I had a new focus on gratitude in my prayer life. As I intentionally thanked God for at least 5 things at the very beginning of my morning and evening prayer time, my mind began to shift. Instead of merely coming to God with all of the issues that I’m struggling with, starting with gratitude reminded me of all the prayers he has already answered. Also, it brought me hope for the future, because before I pray for the things making my heart heavy, I am reminded that we have a God who remains steadfast in his faithfulness and love for us time and again. I can have hope that I will see him work in the current struggles, just like he did in former ones.
I am beginning to look at my circumstances through a very different lens.
It’s really very simple: when you’re focusing on the things that are missing or bad in your life, that will frame your entire mindset. Constantly thinking about what you lack will shape your mind to see that play out everywhere. However, choosing instead to focus on all of the good and great blessings you receive with every waking day, no matter your circumstances, will alter your mindset to one of contentment.
I saw a significant reduction in my stress level.
It makes total sense that when you’re focused on only the negative aspects of your life, it greatly increases your stress level. You’re much more likely to be stressed if you can only see the hardship. Switching to a more positive mindset helps reduce stress, which improves your overall health. It’s amazing how God created our minds and bodies to work together in such an amazing way!
My relationships with others grew deeper.
My relationships with others improved over the course of this project, for multiple reasons. First, let’s be honest…being friends with a “Debbie Downer” is challenging. While it is extremely important to be real in friendship and honestly share your deep struggles, you also don’t want that to be the focus of your relationship 100% of the time. It’s not going to be healthy for either person if every single time you get together, all you have to talk about is negativity. It will become emotionally exhausting, and probably will not last. Yes, share your struggles, but also be sure you are continually sharing your joys as well!
Second, part of this project had to do with expressing gratitude and becoming a light to others. As I sought out to do this, I was intentionally saying kind and encouraging things to those that I love. Even if it was as simple as a text message, it was a great way to build them up and show them how much I care about them. Over the course of a few weeks, it started to become habit more than something I had to really think about. As it’s happened more and more, I’m seeing relationships grow, and I feel closer to friends and family than ever before.
I found myself creating and looking towards new goals with an increased ambition.
Focusing on negativity in your life squashes creativity and ambition. You start to subconsciously think, “why should I work towards anything new when everything I touch seems to be a tainted mess?” When you change to a positive mindset, you start to see an increased fervor for your current goals, and brand new goals may even emerge. Having a positive mindset encourages you to be a little bit better everyday, and it can truly give you the fuel you need to change.
I highly encourage all of you to embark on a Positivity Project as you as you can. Use my weekly goals, or create some of your own. Either way, I think you will be amazed by how much of your life will change for the better, just by changing the way you look at everything. I’m so glad that I took this on, and I am looking forward to continuing to grow as I press on in the coming months.