Last week, during one of my leadership lessons, I asked my students to share their thoughts on how to “work hard and ignore the noise.” I shared that our brains are processing millions and millions of pieces of information each day, however, we pay attention to a minuscule portion. We unknowingly allow toxic noise to influence our thoughts and behaviors. I continued with as we grow into leaders, we must train our brains to block out the noises and focus on what goes well each day.

Focusing on what we do well and letting go of the noise is difficult. I even have to be reminded to not let the noise seep into my thoughts and take over what goes well each day.

How To Block Out Negative Noise

Below are the strategies I share with my family to block out the negative noise, and train our thoughts to focus on the positive.

1. Surround yourself with positive people

Some people who enter our lives thrive on attention and drama. We need to seek out people who encourage us, lift us up and believe in us.

2. Be aware of our own thoughts

Listen to inspiring, uplifting music. Read inspirational blogs, tape a few positive quotes on your mirrors or desks. I believe the most powerful activity you can do is to create a list each day of the things you did well. I guarantee this is going to be hard at first, however, it will help you focus on positive thoughts.

3. Hit the mute on social media and go outside

Create space in your day and just go outside and be with nature. Take a walk, relax on the deck, sit on your front porch and just let your thoughts focus on the good. Focus on what you are thankful for – make this a time of gratitude. This exercise will definitely give your brain – and heart – the needed positive self-talk.

4. Realize everything does NOT need a response.

I see an exuberant amount of unkind responses on social media and I just shake my head. Not everything needs a comment or a response. Especially an unkind response or comment. The same rules can be applied to real life. In most instances, you will feel better if you do not allow comments to filter into your space. Just let it go.

It is hard to navigate the negative noise, we must work at it constantly. Once we train our brains to focus on the positive thoughts, we will be creating the best versions of ourselves.

Shelly Mowinkel

Shelly Mowinkel

K-12 & Teens

My husband and I have three kids. Our oldest is a freshman in high school, and our youngest is in second grade. Most days, I feel like we are a “tag-team chauffeuring” service, yet I wouldn’t have our life any other way. Not only I am a business/technology teacher at Milford, I am also the district technology integration specialist. I love teaching because I get the opportunity to make those around me better. My hope is that, through my blogging, I am able to inspire, encourage, and share with you my adventures of being a wife, mother, and professional.

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