Be kind to yourself this January with goal setting.
Sometimes just getting up and getting through is enough- there are many months in the year to achieve our goals. Invest in self-care for you. Just like the analogy of the plane and the oxygen masks – how can you help others and be innovative and creative if you do not attend to yourself first.
Sometimes the things that get in the way of our most happy and creative moments can be a spiral of negative thoughts. Why are our thoughts important? Our thoughts impact not just our feelings but our behaviours and how we interact and view both the world and ourselves.
We experience over 95% of the same thoughts every day. These thoughts are the same thoughts for today and tomorrow because as humans we are creatures of habit. We have about 70,000 thoughts daily. This makes for a very busy mind. Some of these thoughts may be worries or thinking backwards towards the past or looking to forward towards the future for things that haven’t happened yet or that may never happen. We are naturally wired to what we call a negative bias. If we are prone to worry this negative bias can take hold. It is important to note that we can change the way we think and balance out this negative bias. Remember that thoughts are not always facts and thoughts are not always true. It is important to notice our thinking patterns. Our thoughts are so powerful and can take us anywhere. They can take us to our childhood, or a future that hasn’t happened yet. It’s important we can control them as our thoughts become habit.
The negativity bias is a natural thought towards a negative way of thinking. Depending on your personality type and outlook in life it can be hard to talk ourselves out of these negative thinking traps. We need to ask ourselves how do we see things and view things? We might need to look at our thoughts more closely. We need to practice not looking ahead to much, as you cannot take into account the things that are here in the present. These thinking traps are a shortcut way of thinking. Ask yourself do you find yourself doing any of the following;
- Jumping to conclusions
- Emotional Reasoning
- Mind Reading People and Situations
- Ignoring the positive.
These thinking traps are ones we can easily fall into. To avoid these thinking traps we need to notice when we fall into these paths of thinking. What are we doing at these times of spiraling thoughts? We need to pause and stop and think when the mind starts to spiral and stall our thinking. The next step is to question yourself? Why are you looking at this in this way ? Is it worry or fear ? Is the thought even true ? What are you basing it on? Reflection is the last step and to look at being more mindful as we have these thoughts. To be more present in that very moment. Tune your thoughts into the here and now. It helps us lean into the moment. Managing these thoughts can help benefit our entire wellbeing from diet to exercise and mental health. The thoughts we feed ourselves are so important on a daily basis. Remember we need to be careful of the story we tell ourselves as we are a product of our own thoughts as they become habits.
For 2023 remember to ;
- Notice our thoughts
- Pause and stop
- Question these thoughts
- Reflect and be more mindful.
For 2023 try to be mindful of the following ;
Be aware of your thoughts, feelings and emotions. Take notice of the small everyday things that make you happy. It is the ordinary moments not the extraordinary that bring us the most joy.
Be active and get out for that walk, run or cycle. Physical activity benefits every aspect of our mental health. Try to go in the working day in the hours of daylight on a lunch break as it refreshes the mind and body.
Connect and make sure we feel that sense of love from family, co-workers and friends. Say how you feel – we all have low days and everyone’s mental health can be comprised in some way. You are not alone. Only by talking can we end the stigma that exists around our mental wellbeing. Embracing our vulnerability and having these conversations will help end stigma. Conversations are the antidote to stigma by talking about how we feel.
This January make Self Care your 2023 New Year Resolution!