5 Ways to Project Yourself Positively
Posted 1/18/2017 by UHBlog
Whether your glass is half full or half empty, the way you project yourself determines the types of interactions you’ll have with others. When you project yourself positively, you set yourself up for fulfillment, says stress resilience specialist Heidi Weiker, MSSA.
“A stressed-out brain is a reactive brain,” she says. “When we get relaxed, we can move into a more responsive state where we’re fully aware of the moment and tuned in to the good in ourselves and others.”
Weiker offers five ways to dump your worries of yesterday and tomorrow – the past and future – and live fully in the present moment with a positive mindset:
- Get moving. “There’s a reason that when we’re nervous we feel like punching, hitting, pulling or wringing,” she says. “Our body’s natural reaction to danger is to move our arms and legs.”
Just like a marathon runner or a swimmer before a big race, pre-event moving – or warm-ups – relieves excess nervousness and adrenaline. Weiker recommends performing any of the following exercises for seven to eight seconds to help minimize stress:
- Kick your legs. “You can kick and shake your legs vigorously," she says. "If you’re not as athletic, even flicking your foot can work.”
- Stomp it out
- Shake your arms
- Press your hands together. “Make your palms flat and push them together until your arms are shaking,” says Weiker. “If you don’t like that, try clasping your fingers and pulling instead.”
- Wring a towel. “Grab a wet hand towel and squeegee out the water," she says. “If you don’t have a towel, pretend your hands are on a steering wheel and wring.”
- Breathe deeply. “Oxygen is our greatest energizer and tranquilizer,” says Weiker. “Breathing deeply activates a relaxation response which counteracts your fight-or-flight reaction.”
If you’re exhausted or feeling negative, try the following:
- Focus on breathing. “Heighten your awareness of your physical body as you breathe deeply. When you do this, it becomes a natural way to be present and have a more positive mindset,” she says.
- Pant for five seconds.“Pant like a dog, making a ‘ha ha’ sound, and then let your body naturally recover into deep breath,” says Weiker. “Feel everything settle and let the breath fill up your lungs. Once you’ve practiced this, you can do it discreetly.”
- Make connections. By practicing positive projection, you’ll impact others positively too.
- Smile at others. "Smiling releases endorphins in us and the person we smile at,” Weiker says.
- Eye connection. Eye contact helps connect you to other people. A lot can be shared when your eyes meet another person’s, Weiker says.
- Stop and listen. Go deeper than “how are you” by actually stopping and listening to the person you are passing.
- Be generous. “Giving your time, energy or positivity counterbalances stress,” says Weiker. “It’s one of the fastest ways to rewire your brain in a more positive way.”
- Practice makes perfect. Projecting positivity is a skill set that take practice and can be achieved by:
- Using “I am” statements. These put you in the present moment, even if what you say is as simple as “I’m alive.”
- Be mindful about what you say about yourself and others
- Surround yourself with positive people
According to Weiker, when you incorporate these techniques in your day-to-day routine, your brain will eventually change to support a more positive mentality.
“It used to be, ‘Fake it ‘til you make it,’” Weiker says. “Now it’s, ‘Fake it ‘til you become it.’”
For advice on putting positivity into action and becoming more resilient, University Hospitals Connor Integrative Health Network offers Stress Management and Resilience Training (S.M.A.R.T.) workshops. Visit the UH Connor Integrative Health Network website or call 216-285-4070 for more information.
Heidi Weiker, MSSA is a stress resilience specialist, life coach and HeartMath interventionist at the University Hospitals Connor Integrative Medicine Network. You can request an appointment with Weiker or any health care provider online.