Think Positive – Learn to achieve your goals

I often speak to people who say “I can’t run to save my life”.

Well I’ve got news for you sweetheart, if you were being chased by a wilder-beast and running was actually going to save you, you’d be sprinting for the hills!

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Does negative thinking limit our ability to achieve new goals? Barbara Fredrickson certainly thinks so.

Fredrickson is a a positive psychology researcher at the University of North Carolina, who recently published a landmark paper on the impact of positive thinking on achieving your goals. She studies how positive thinking affects your work, your health, and your life and if her paper is anything to go by, thinking positive can make all the difference.

Thinking Negative is Limiting

Have you ever thought that maybe you are afraid to fail? Negative emotions and thoughts are based around fear. When you feel afraid of trying something new, it’s generally because you are scared about the outcome. Not knowing what can happen makes us uncertain and because of our fear of failing (and what that might mean long term), we limit our opportunities. When you say “I can’t do that” you cement the negative thinking in your mind.

Positive Thinking Gives You Opportunities

Happy thoughts don’t vanish as soon as you might think. Actively thinking positive opens you up to try more things. When you think positive you physically relax and you become less concerned about the outcome of a situation. In fact thinking positive is a great way to stay ‘in the now’. No one knows what the future will be bring, so instead of being afraid, focus on enjoying right now. Thinking positive about a new goal can give you confidence and help you relax.

See Your Glass Half Full

See Your Glass Half Full

How Can You Turn Negative Into Positive?

It can be hard to stop the negative thoughts and focus on the positive, especially if you’ve made a habit of negative thinking! The easiest way to turn your thoughts around is by doing the following things.

1) Be aware of your thoughts – it’s your brain, you get to decide how much energy you spend thinking positively or negatively. It might seem hard at first, but actively addressing negative thoughts and reshaping them into a more positive attitude can help change those bad habits. It takes time to get rid of a habit, but just like quitting smoking, you’ll be healthier in the long run!

2) Surround yourself with people who enjoy life – they say we are a sum of the 5 people we spend the most time with. Make sure those people inspire you to live a happier life and achieve the things that make you feel positive. Hanging around with negative Nancy’s all the time is draining and long term their negative thinking will hold you back.

3) Meditate – Fredrickson‘s research shows a clear correlation between people who meditate and positive thinking. Meditation also has the added bonus of relaxing you, decreasing stress and helping you be more mindful.

4) Play and Create –  Spend some time each week in an activity that brings you joy, whether it’s painting, drawing, running, surfing or playing on a swing set. Setting time apart to have fun will keep you feeling happier and keep those positive thoughts flowing.

5) Be kind to yourself – we are often our own worst enemy. It’s hard enough to deal with negativity from the outside world when we are filling our own minds with it every day. Remember, you are the first person to hear your thoughts, thoughts become words and words become actions. So think as you wish to be. 🙂

6) Embrace the bad days – everyone has bad days when it gets pretty tough to deal with negative thoughts. Give yourself the time you need to wallow, but remember, negative thinking is self indulgent thinking. Give yourself a time limit to get all your grumbling out and then wake up the next day ready to start afresh.

Whatever your goal, learning to run, draw or play the guitar, positive thinking will help you get there. Thanks to people like Fredrickson we now know that it does make a difference, so smile and give, whatever you’ve been afraid of, a go!

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Carly Chivers – Soul Surfer

Carly Chivers is a 26-year-old surfer and yoga instructor living in Playa Gigante, Nicaragua. Although she was born in landlocked Winnipeg, Carly has been living and surfing in Nicaragua for two years.

733985_10152721566030293_1748052942_nShe currently works as a yoga teacher and a surf guide for the local surf lodge and runs yoga retreats with Papaya Wellness. I caught up with her at the local internet-café to have a smoothie and talk about living the dream in this little costal town.

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“I came here on a surf trip. I was planning on living in Costa Rica and teaching yoga for a few months but I started my surfing trip here. Playa Gigante was that place that I’ve always been looking for, it’s still really raw and untouched. Since I got here, I just haven’t been able to leave.”

Carly loves to surf and although she’s softly spoken, she speaks with heartfelt enthusiasm when she talks about her home break. One of her favorite things about her new home is the waves along the stretch of beach known to locals as Playa Amarillo (which means Yellow Beach in Spanish).

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“Surfing at Amarillio, is just so beautiful. When I think about all the incredible sunset surfs I’ve had there and paddling around the point in the evening when the water is all lit up with phosphorous. It’s like, ‘where am I’?’ This place is magical.”

Carly learned to surf 6 years ago. Whilst in-between semesters at college. She traveled to Europe where she learnt how to surf on the Algarve coastline in Portugal.

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“As soon as I started I fell in love with it. After that I kept traveling south. I stayed on the coast and surfed everyday. I spent a month in Morocco just surfing and experiencing this new passion.”

Growing up in Winnipeg, her college was in a small town 2 hours away.

“It was completely landlocked and in the middle of the prairies. My parents used to take us to the ocean on holiday and I always had this love affair. I would cry when we left.”

Her love affair with the ocean was what inspired her to paddle out for the first time in Portugal.

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“I stood up the first wave I ever caught and it was the most incredible thing in the world, I didn’t even stand up for the rest of the day. But I kept trying. There’s nothing else like it.”

These days Carly surfs everyday. Whether she is taking clients on surf trips to the beautiful breaks surrounding Playa Gigante, or just paddling out on her day off she is living her dream of being one with the ocean.

“Ever since I started surfing I’ve felt that it’s a lot like meditation. You’re on the wave and you are literally being moved by nature. You are connected and present. Surfing is a blissful form of meditation – there’s no time for inner struggle during surfing. It’s a totally unique feeling.”

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Carly likes to meditate and use her yoga practice to learn more about herself and her place in the world. Surfing  also helps her get in touch with her focus.

“It’s finding those things that offer you that sense of peace and connectedness that is really important.”

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It’s no wonder that after attending her first yoga class with her mum at 13, Carly is now a qualified yoga instructor. Together she and her friend India run Papaya Wellness, a yoga, health and wellness retreat in Playa Gigante (you can find out more about it here).

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Carly laughs about what her parents think of her living in rural Nicaragua.

“They love it, they are really proud of me because I’ve always had this dream of starting a wellness business and now we are actually doing it. I’m feeling happy and fulfilled and they are happy for me, but they are also like, “Nicaragua?”

After talking with Carly, you get a sense of her huge heart and her passion for health and wellness. She has a beautiful energy and when you take one of her yoga classes you leave feeling refreshed and empowered. She’s not only a positive influence on the town of Gigante, but spreads a great vibe to everyone she meets.

It is with great pleasure that I can announce – Carly is going to be contributing to Ola Niña, giving us health, wellness and surfing tips when she can! Welcome Carly and we can’t wait to spend more time with you. 🙂

If you’d like to find out more about Carly and Papaya Wellness, you can check out their website: www.papayawellness.com

By Carmen Angerer