Forget Lemonade – Practice Positivity

July 9, 2018
Ashlea Williams

We all know the classic phrase, “When life gives you lemons…” BLAH BLAH BLAH. And we are so readily expected to take these lemons and make lemonade when, in actuality, we want nothing more than to throw them as far as our eyes can see. I get it. I really do. Life has a funny way of challenging our mind, body, and emotions on a daily basis. Life is ruthless. It always will be. However, if we learn to change our outlook and how we wrap our mind around these random lemons appearing before us, we can actually control the way we handle them. I am talking about POSITIVITY people! And positivity can be surprisingly powerful when we use it with deliberate intent and purpose.

Now, I am not talking about that cliché type of positivity when people tell you to accept your life’s series of unfortunate events. You do not have to accept anything in your life that is causing you pain. I am talking about the type of positivity that you should put on every day along with your pants and your shoes. This kind radiates out of your pores every time you step out into the world. It is the kind others wish they had, and they are happy you exist because you make THEIR lives better. Essentially, this positivity makes everything you come in contact with bloom into its full potential. Sounds too perfect to work, right? Actually, it really does work. You would be surprised how an intentional shift in mindset will allow you to see your life in an entirely new way.

Practicing Positivity

I will share a couple simple tasks to get you started on creating that positive mindset in order to have a prosperous day. Let me set the scene for you: you wake up. You are dreading the day for whatever reason, could just be a Monday. You could have a long day ahead. For whatever reason, getting out of bed is a struggle. Here is what to do to shift your mindset.

  1. Start your day with a smile. Literally. Even if you are not happy about a darn thing, FORCE yourself to smile. Your brain will receive a signal to release endorphins and serotonin, our body’s natural anti-depressant and painkiller, respectively. Yes, you are tricking your body into thinking it is in a happier state than it may be, but see the bigger picture here:  you are setting the tone for the rest of your day. SHINE THOSE PEARLY WHITES!
  2. At this point you are probably standing in the mirror looking at your newly found smile (and hopefully catering to it with a little Colgate lovin’). Now, it is time for your body to trick your mind. Speak your great day into existence. Yes, you heard me right. You are about to start talking to yourself, out loud, so YOU can hear it and start to believe it. “Today will be a fantastic day! I will punch today in the face (maybe with a lemon) and succeed in whatever I set out to do!” In the sports world, we call it a pep talk. Some people refer to it as a positive affirmation. Regardless of what you call it, another “happy hormone” called dopamine is released to promote focus and prepare us to take action! Now get out there and start unlocking possibilities!
Practice Makes Permanent

BY NO MEANS limit these practices to the start of your day. Continue to do them throughout your day whenever you feel the need to, and you will witness how it affects your productivity, performance, and overall attitude. The more you practice positivity, the more natural it will become. Next thing you know, you are emitting positive vibes like a pro! So the next time life hands you lemons, you can still throw them if that is what you are compelled to do, just throw them with PURPOSE, and do it with a smile. ☺

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Ashlea Williams

Ashlea Williams is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). She was born and raised in Springfield, MO, where she quickly learned that nothing in life comes without consistent hard work and determination. With that mindset, Ashlea earned a full ride to play basketball at the University of Arkansas where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences and a Master’s degree in Kinesiology/Exercise Science. During this time, Ashlea served as a co-captain for the women’s basketball team, she was a member of the Southeastern Conference Honor Roll, and she was nominated to the All SEC Community Service Team. Through her student-athlete experience and professional journey, Ashlea developed an intense passion for functional movement and injury prevention. She truly believes that no one should have to stop doing what he or she loves because of pain or injury. It is this very scenario that fuels her drive to learn, grow, and excel in her profession. Aside from striving to inspire others to be the best version of themselves, Ashlea enjoys working out, practicing yoga/meditation, being surrounded by nature, painting, and spending quality time with friends and family.