Building bridges of positivity

Hello Teachers! I have been on a mission to spread positivity. This has been a mission of mine for a long time. Recently it has become apparent that I need to step up my game.

I am not an enormous fan of Facebook. That said, it comes with its advantages. It makes it easy to keep in touch with childhood friends and family as we grow up and move away from our home towns. Additionally, it allows for countless business opportunities, collaboration with people all around the world, and sharing our wins, loses, and lessons in the business arena. The problem I see in many online ESL group pages is a flood of negativity. We need to be helping and supporting each other. We do not need to create all-out bitch sessions on every bad experience we have.

It made me go back and think about a post I wrote more than a year ago. It was about staying positive through the endless gray winter days I experienced while living in Sweden.  It was then, I consistently started to practice using positive thought. These strategies essentially rewired my brain to grab onto positive thoughts easier and faster than the negative thoughts. I want to share this with the online teaching community today. It is necessary that we maintain a positive attitude. A positive attitude will make you a better teacher, with more bookings, better ratings, and overall job satisfaction.

Let’s build new bridges!

A positive thought is 100 times more powerful than a negative thought. It may sound cliché but there is truth behind it. Keeping a positive outlook can improve your mood in an instant. Many studies demonstrate how your thoughts shape your brain. In an article written by Steve Parton, he discusses in great detail about how this works. To summarize, your brain is a collection of synapses separated by empty space. When you have a thought one synapse shoots a chemical across the empty space to another synapse. This builds a bridge that an electric signal can cross over, passing along information. Every time this electrical charge is triggered, the synapses’ grow closer together, literally changing the shape of your brain. But why does this matter?

Parton says, “The exciting and fascinating thing is that the synapses you’ve most strongly bonded together (by thinking about more frequently) come to represent your default personality: your intelligence, skills, aptitudes, and most easily accessible thoughts (which are more-or-less the source of your conversation skills).” Amazing, right! Therefore think positive, even when it is hard. There is always some good to pull out of your day, even if it is small. In doing so you are rewiring your brain to make your positive thoughts more accessible. Over time, it will be easier to access these thoughts, making positive thinking more second nature than forced.

Here are some simple ways to cultivate positive thoughts daily:

  1. Do something for yourself.This can be simple. Go for a walk. Let yourself have that morning pastry. It is important to nurture yourself. Giving yourself love will only make your capacity to love greater.
  2. Do something for someone else. Making someone smile is always a good feeling for both.
  3. Listen to uplifting music.  Music is a powerful tool and with services like Spotify you can generate a playlist for every mood.  I have a play list “Happy Snappy” that I listen to nearly every morning.
  4. Exercise or stretch. This has many benefits, and changing your mood is only one of them.  Even if you are not a fitness fanatic, simply stretching and breathing can do wonders for your overall well being.
  5. Get up and get dressed! Even on days you have no where to go, get up and get dressed. When you look good you feel good.
  6. Meditate. This is a tough one, but even if not perfectly executed it is highly beneficial to your mind and soul.
  7. Gratitude. This is good practice daily. It may be hard to spot the silver lining, but it is there. On your worst day, there is still much to be thankful for.

The truth is being positive is not easy,  it takes effort.  Over time it becomes your natural way of thinking. The new bridges you have built in your brain will pave the way to drawing positive thoughts first. Your positive thinking can’t come from others. It is up to you to lay the groundwork and put in the effort. Small steps lead to big changes! Try to employ one or two of these tips each day, and see what happens. I dare you!

We are here to support each other in this great community of online teachers. Let’s start a trend of spreading positivity!

Have more ideas? Let’s get a conversation started!  Come join our FB group at Teach English Online – TEFL/TESOL/ESL/JOBS/! 

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Written by Sarah
Hello, my name is Sarah, to my students, I am Teacher Sarah. I began this journey simply because teaching has always been a dream of mine. Life had other lessons for me to learn before arriving here. My life experiences are one of the things that make me an excellent teacher. Teaching online opens new doors for those of you out there with a heart for teaching and a desire to adventure this big beautiful world. Teaching online allows so much freedom, all while changing the lives of students and teachers all around the world. I want to share my journey in online teaching, living outside the lines, and doing what makes me happy.
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