How to positively reflect on our own stories

Emily Esfahani Smith’s Ted talk, explains that creating a narrative from the events of our life brings clarity and helps us understand how we became who we are today. However, the stories we tell ourselves in reflection are not always positive and can leave us feeling down, flat and melancholy. So how can we help turn our own stories to be more positive and ensure they come from a place of redemption, growth and love?

Firstly, it’s important to note that reflecting is a really vital part of life, as it helps us to learn and grow from our life experiences, however, there is a healthy and unhealthy way of doing it. We have all heard the phrase “I am my own worst enemy”, but this doesn’t have to be the case. I work hard to review my life experiences in a healthy and positive way, whether it is something amazing or something challenging that I have experienced.

What follows are three different techniques that I use to ensure I positively reflect on my own life stories, so that they help me learn, develop and grow into the best version of myself.

1. Exercise:

Exercise is something that is part of who I am, I look forward to my gym or run sessions at 6 am, and no I am not crazy. However, the gym and running aren’t for everyone. My good friend Dr Tory Giles, Founder of Shift Natural Medicine, explains in this article, that if you can’t fit in hour-long workouts or runs then don’t. Take the pressure off yourself and do what you can. Find something that you enjoy and then make it part of your weekly routine. For me, ‘active’ physical exercise improves my mental health as the endorphins help me to reflect more positively on the things going on in my life.

2. Food Preparation:

This might sound weird but I put a lot of love into preparing and making my food. Doing something with my hands is very therapeutic and enables my mind to wander and reflect whilst I am doing something productive. My mornings are my favourite part of my day because I love spending 10 minutes preparing my breakfast, usually a smoothie bowl full of fruits, nuts and other superfoods. This time is a great way to reflect and get into the ‘zone’, making me energised to tackle my day ahead.

3. Having a ‘Happy Place’:

My happy place is in Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula. This is somewhere I have been visiting since I was 2 years old and makes me feel so happy and calm. It’s important to have somewhere that helps you switch off from the crazy day-to-day activities we all do, giving you a positive space to reflect on everything that is going on in your life. Other friends of mine have happy places including a specific beach or garden, anywhere that makes you feel happy, calm and comfortable is a good place to start visiting more regularly.

Positively reflecting on the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves is not something that happens overnight but is something that can be actively worked on and improved, and I guarantee it will change your perspective of your life.

I want to end with two quotes that I think about daily and help me to keep positive, especially if things aren’t going my way: “Everything is… as it should be” and “always believe something wonderful is about to happen.”


Danielle Stewart

The aim of my blog is to share tips and techniques to easily elicit more insightful stories that will assist your own formula for developing meaningful connections with others and yourself. The content for each of my blogs is authentically written, drawing on my knowledge, passion and expertise from personal life experiences and insights built from my corporate background.