So you wanna be a Positive MOM? Before I share my 7 simple ways to be a Positive MOM, let’s be clear on what being a Positive MOM is not:
a positive mom is not a super mom
a positive mom is not a perfect mom
a positive mom is not always happy
Very simply stated Positive MOM is one who focus on the positive, so being a Positive MOM means that you shift your mindset, even when you’re going through challenges, or experiencing sadness, anger, fear, or any other negative emotions.
Choosing to Think Positive
Being a Positive MOM is a choice, because we can all cultivate optimism, although I gotta admit that it is easier for some and more difficult for others.
Lao Tzu once said:
Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
When we watch our thoughts and deliberately and intentionally choose positive thoughts, we can impact and even change our lives, and the better human we are, the better moms we will be!
I am always inspired by Dr. Viktor Frankl, author of Man’s Search for Meaning, who was imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp during the Holocaust. He taught us that:
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
Positive thinking is a freedom we often take for granted. We have the power to interpret and respond to the events in our lives with more dignity, strength, and grace.
7 Simple Ways To Be A Positive MOM to Your Kids
There are many ways to upgrade our positivity skills, but in my experience, these 7 activities are the best in rewiring your brain to look on the bright side.
Putting effort into being more positive will help you be a more patient, present, and powerful mom in the process.
Have a statement of purpose. A statement of purpose guides your life: who you are, what you will do and how you’ll do it, what you won’t do, what you stand for, what you will say yes or no to, and what you will tolerate or won’t.
Your statement of purpose defines your goals and dreams, which can give you a more positive outlook because you have something to move towards with faith, perseverance, and determination.
When setting goals, both as an individual and as a family, make sure your expectations are based on your actions, your performance, and what you can mostly control.
Being grateful doesn’t mean you are in denial or repress the struggle, the pain, and the challenges you are going through. You simply take your focus away from the negativity and place it on something you appreciate, which raises your vibration.
When I experience self-judgment, despair, disappointment or any other toxic feelings, I often practice an exercise called “rampage of gratitude.” It consists in looking at everything around you and just start expressing gratitude for everything you see. You can say “I’m grateful for…”, “I’m thankful for,” “Thank you for…” “I appreciate…” or any way you find natural.
Reframe the negative. You can’t just avoid negative thoughts or let go of negativity, but you can challenge them or change their meaning.
It’s one thing to recognize there is negativity in our lives and it’s another to dwell on it, failing to learn from it and move on.
A good question to ask in an unpleasant situation is: “What could be good about this?” Trying to come up with reasonable answers to this question has really enlightened me and surprised me sometimes, and has definitely helped in feeling more positive about what had felt like impending doom.
If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.
Another strategy to question your negative thoughts is to ask yourself – Does this really matter? We often waste so much time and energy over trivial things, so realizing they are not that important in the eternal scheme of things helps us move on and focus on the essential, or what Jesus called “the good part” when talking to Mary and Martha in the New Testament.
Worry, fear, and concern are some of the main culprits of negativity in motherhood. We often get deep into rumination, imagining the worst over and over, and blaming ourselves for it.
And there’s also the unhealed trauma we all deal with at varying degrees, whether because of abuse, grief, loss, or other stressful events. We find ourselves triggered, consciously or unconsciously, which negatively impacts the way we function.
A common negative thought for me used to be “I’m horrible,” mostly for no reason, and certainly a go-to when I felt like I messed up. I try to challenge this thought now – before I sink into some real darkness.
3 Steps to Challenge A Negative Thought
Let’s say you lost your patience with one of the kids and you ended up saying or doing something in anger you immediately regretted. The thought comes up: “I’m a horrible mom.”
Take personal responsibility for what you did wrong: “It was wrong to say/do that.” This places the focus on the incident, rather than labeling you as a whole.
Investigate what core value you went against when you acted in that manner. Guilt is useful because it tells us that what we did/said is not in alignment with our core values and violates our statement of purpose. Shame, however, is rather unhelpful and quite damaging.
Resolve to learn, grow, and improve from this experience. Decide a course of action that helps you learn from the situation and make the necessary amends. Sometimes it will be as easy as apologizing, but in other instances, developing a more thorough strategy may be the way to go.
I believe the secret to pay less attention to negative thoughts is to observe your thought patterns. As you practice “catching yourself” complaining, criticizing, or catastrophizing, you will be empowered to stop sooner after noticing they are just thoughts and they have no power over you unless you decide to act on them.
Be the source of what you want. What do you want? I don’t mean shoes and handbags or exotic travel destinations, I mean what would make your life truly rich, fulfilling, and meaningful?
Make a list of at least 21 characteristics of a life you would truly love. For me, I would experience joy, connection, trust, freedom, and a deep sense of purpose. The issue is that I’ve always expected to find these in “others,” rather than looking within.
When I stopped being so self-important and realized that I could be my own source of happiness, and that my mission was to give away that which I so much desired, I certainly started becoming more of a positive mom.
When you feel like you really really need something (encouragement, random acts of kindness, patience, understanding, compassion, etc.), you can decide to be the source of it for others and you will be filled with it.
Tap into the mind-body connection. I find it really cool that my body and my mind are intimately connected, and that I can use my body to send messages to my mind, just as my mind sends messages to my body.
Sometimes all it takes is a smile or a change of posture to shift into a positive state. For example, when you stand up straight, shoulders back, and chin up high, you feel more centered and powerful.
It’s been proven that the way we dress and carry ourselves impacts our mindset. I can attest to this in that wearing my red lipstick always helps me feel better about myself and the world around me!
Create a positive home atmosphere. Because I can’t control what happens anywhere I go, I strive to make my home my sanctuary. The walls are painted in soothing colors, with inspiring decor to send good vibes and to symbolize my faith.
I play uplifting, happy, upbeat music to foster a good mood, and display sentimental items to remind me of my achievements and to make for a gallery of positive memories.
Another ingredient to a positive home environment is humor. Laughing with your kids is time well invested. As Dr. Edward de Bono once said:
Humor is by far the most significant activity of the human brain.
Many of us want order, cleanliness, and beauty in our homes, and that is a worthy goal because clutter can affect your mood and mental health.
But since we all know just how hard it is to keep a tidy home with little ones, and especially if you’re a mompreneur too, then at least create a sacred space where you could have the order you need to feel calm, relaxed, and at ease.
Then, you will carve out some time to connect to yourself and your Higher Power, as well as do what you love – even if for just 5 minutes.
You could read, pray, meditate, journal / write, dance, recite positive mantras or affirmations, light candles, soak in a hot bath, do gardening, hang out with a pet, pour your heart into creative expression, or visualize your perfect vacation… just choose something that feeds your soul!
Accept “what is.” Even though I know it really doesn’t make sense to worry about things I have no control over, and I know how drained and disappointed I end up when I try, I still find myself doing it from time to time. Control is an illusion.
Perhaps accepting what you cannot change about ourselves, about others, and about life is probably the hardest thing we can attempt to do.
I always tell my daughters that life can seem unfair a lot and it is because we don’t know the whole picture. Making peace with what is happening and falling in love with reality, rather than fighting it or trying to fix it can avoid great judgment, suffering, and frustration, and result in a more positive life for ourselves and the ones around us, especially our precious kiddos.
How do you train yourself to be more positive? These steps can help you even if being positive or optimistic doesn’t necessarily come natural to you and I would love to learn more from you! xo