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It is a tough and uncertain time for everyone right now. It’s not an easy time for any of us but we have to stay positive. Training the mind is just as important as training the body. So, we asked Suneta Bagri, former headteacher, current wellbeing coach and founder of the Every Teacher Matters project to give us along with all of our lovely school staff some tips and advice on staying positive.
I’ve been in contact with a number of teachers and school leaders over the past few weeks. All have shared varying degrees of concern. Concern for their own wellbeing, their families and their students. So many teachers are missing their pupils, are concerned for their welfare and feel uncertain as to whether they will even see the students again this academic year. Many education staff are struggling with anxiety and depression. At a time where everything is so uncertain, it is so important to focus on what we can control. Therefore, the power of positive thinking is absolutely imperative to our wellbeing to help us get through COVID-19 and beyond.
The power of positive thinking is truly incredible. The quality of life and experiences of someone who is in control of their thoughts as opposed to someone who is not is simply put, remarkable! Your mind can change your world.
Do you know what happy and mentally healthy people think about all day?
When you think and talk about what you want and how to get it, you feel happier and in greater control of your life. When you think about something that makes you happy, your brain actually releases endorphins, which give you an overall feeling of well-being and ss a result, you develop a positive attitude.
Healthy, happy people think about what they want, and focus on that for the majority of the time. This, in turn, develops a positive attitude and forms habitual thought patterns.
Research suggests that happy people seem to have a special quality that enables them to live a better life than the average.
Can you guess what it is?
It’s the quality of being and feeling optimistic. This is a quality that can be learned and neuroplasticity suggests that we can adapt and evolve our minds to adopt an optimistic mindset.
By the law of cause and effect, if you do and say what other healthy, happy people with positive attitudes do and say, you will soon feel the same way, get the same results, and enjoy the same experiences that they do.
Optimistic people appear to have different ways of dealing with life and experiences, this is what sets them apart from the average.
So what can you do?
Keep your mind fixed on what you want, and keep looking for ways to get it. Be clear about goals (even daily goals) and stay confident that you will accomplish them, sooner or later (have unwavering faith that you will!).
Practice finding the good in every situation, no matter how difficult the problem may be.
If you are looking for something good or beneficial in a person or situation, you will always find it. Optimistic people seek the valuable lesson in every setback or reversal.
Rather than getting upset and blaming someone else for what has happened, take control over your emotions by asking, “What can I learn from this experience?”
How can you think positive?
The simple answer is through training your mind! Your mind can be trained to only focus on one thought at a time, which ultimately gives you a feeling of control. All you have to do is keep it focused on uplifting thoughts until you form the same types of neural pathways. This is what we do when we form and establish a new habit.
If you are struggling with social distancing, self-isolating or being a key worker right now, recall past happy memories to uplift you and keep focusing on that memory over and over again. You might also benefit from reading my previous blog about feeling connected and joining the Operation Smile Facebook Group.
Think about what is in your control right now? Don’t think too far into the future. Bring your attention to the day. If the day feels too overwhelming, chunk your day into parts and take it in an hour at a time. Keep the thoughts uplifting and positive.
Positive affirmations (I have a downloadable pack of positive affirmations for teachers & school leaders – (get in touch if you would like your own version) these can be extremely helpful and supportive to reprogram your unconscious mind. These positive phrases can be repeated over and over to teach you how to get rid of negative thoughts and encourage a positive attitude.
You can find motivation from inspirational quotes and messages.
Decide to be happy and practice gratitude. Give thanks for everything that is well and all that you have. This can be as simple and easy as feeling blessed to have a full night’s sleep in your bed.
Assume the best of intentions on the part of everyone around you. Most people are good, honest and are trying to do the very best they know how to. When you look for something good in their words and actions, you will almost always find something. If you find this difficult, then make sure you have the right people in your life!
Finally, resolve to be cheerful, no matter what happens.
Looking on the bright side is most important when things are difficult (like now!) It is easy to be cheerful when everything is going according to plan. But, it is when you encounter unexpected setbacks (like now!) and difficulties that you demonstrate to yourself, and the world around you, what kind of an attitude you really have. Make sure that it is a positive one!
How can positive thinking help you?
Developing a positive attitude can help you in more ways than you might realise. When you think positive thoughts, you don’t allow your mind (conscious or unconscious) to entertain any negative thoughts or doubts. When you consistently and continuously think positive, you will notice amazing changes all around you. Your brain will actually begin to operate in a state of free-flowing energy and this will release feel-good hormones called endorphins, which will make you feel lighter and happier. You’ll also notice a major boost in confidence and will feel more capable of taking on new challenges that might have felt previously outside your comfort zone.
By releasing your self-limiting beliefs, you will effectively release yourself and experience personal growth like you never imagined. Essentially, you can change your entire life simply by harnessing the power of positive thinking. I hope that you can take time during this period to exercise the power of positive thinking.
Suneta is also a certified Master Practitioner in NLP, Timeline ® Therapy and Hypnosis and offers breakthrough programmes, using modern mind tools and can assist you in making positive changes and taking control of your thoughts.
To support the teaching and support staff at Smile Education through this difficult time, Suneta is offering a free 30-minute coaching session. If you would like to take advantage of this offer or enquire about any of Suneta’s other services then get in touch directly.
Be sure to look out for Suneta’s updates in Operation Smile.
Guest blog by Jessica Joan - My top tips for teachers working from home Furlough Update Day in the life of a Graduate Teaching Assistant How working for Smile is similar to being the Queen What you'll learn from Safer Recruitment Training for Schools
Guest blog by Jessica Joan - My top tips for teachers working from home
Day in the life of a Graduate Teaching Assistant
How working for Smile is similar to being the Queen
What you'll learn from Safer Recruitment Training for Schools