“Do you remember the things you were worrying about a year ago? How did they work out? Didn't you waste a lot of fruitless energy on account of most of them? Didn't most of them turn out all right after all?” -Dale Carnegie
This quote jumped out at me as I looked for something appropriate for this last newsletter of 2021. How true it is! Worry is such a useless process and yet it’s second nature for so many of us.
In this newsletter I really am asking you - and myself ...
"How do we want to finish 2021?"
We could discuss all the challenges facing us in our lives and the world (with a crazy virus at the top of the list!) but, do you really want that to mark the finish of 2021 for you?
Ultimately, our thoughts are the only thing we have control over. As hard as it can be sometimes, I invite you to choose to finish this year on a positive note!
Personal Invitation: Launch 2022 on a positive note by joining my Mental Fitness Booster mini-workshop on January 18th! See details below!
Wishing you Happy Holidays and a joyful finish to 2021!
All the best!
If you would like to talk about 2022 and what you want for yourself this year... Click here to schedule a virtual cuppa chat to start the year as you’d like to!
How do you want to finish 2021??
I’m guessing - you, like me - want to finish it healthy in mind and body. And...you want the same for all your loved ones! I’ve shared tips before for a healthy body but, here I want to focus on our mind and our emotions as both affect our health.
To finish up this year on a positive note, think back on the past year with the lens that Shirzad Chamine offers us in his book Positive Intelligence®. He offers us the 3 Gifts Technique:
Think back on 3 seemingly ‘bad’ situations which turned into gifts or opportunities.
The timeline for the awareness of the gift could be immediate, days or months later. He adds the reassurance that, “accepting a bad outcome as a gift does not mean inviting more of it or doing nothing about it”. And, he says that we might choose to “let it go and put it behind you without any residue of unhappiness, guilt or distress.” Letting go can be a gift in itself.
I invite you to do this reflection now - to let yourself finish the year lighter and freer. Philosophers over the years have told us that ‘it is not what happens to us but our reactions to it that matters’.
Let’s choose to find the gift or opportunity - or choose to really let go and not carry it into the new year!
Here is an exercise to help us ready for 2022!! In the early days of the Pandemic, Positive Psychologist Martin Seligman, shared a fantastic exercise to help us not to ‘catastrophise’ in response to all the bad news we were hearing. I’m sharing it here now because it is a useful tool any time as a way to manage our negative thoughts.
Martin Seligman’s Pandemic
4 Step "Put it into Perspective Exercise"
1. Ask yourself ‘what is the worst possible scenario'?
When we are stressed and in worry-mode, number 1 comes easily. Our thinking is not realistic or logical, but is influenced hugely by the panicky feelings we have. In stress management lingo it is termed "Twisted Thinking". Positive Intelligence® or PQ, which I’ve written about, says our Saboteurs are in full flight when we are in this doom and gloom thinking. Perhaps your Hyper Vigilant saboteur is in overdrive imagining all the terrible things that can happen.
Our Saboteurs live in our primitive brain and pretty much tell us lies to make us focus on the negative. We needed that thinking when we had to watch out for woolly mammoths, but thankfully for most of us we live in pretty safe surroundings and we can afford to not always focus on what could go wrong.
2. Force yourself to consider the best possible outcome.
The word force is used intentionally! We don’t easily move from number 1 thinking to this. I hope you notice a sense of relief as you let yourself imagine the best outcome possible! Instead of your primitive brain leading, you are now tapping into your right brain functions of problem solving, creativity and optimism.
3. Consider what is likely to happen.
You’ve looked at two possible outcomes, now consider what is likely to happen. It may not be as bad as or as good as numbers 1 and 2, but it will probably sit well with you as being possible, realistic and balanced.
4. Develop a plan for number 3 – the realistic scenario!
So, now you are not planning for terrible things that will not happen - or dreaming of what might be. You are rooted in the reality of what is likely to happen, and now you can plan for it. This should appeal to the pessimists or optimists among u,s because both have had a hearing before we got to this stage.
Try it out with some situation that is causing you anxiety and worry and see how it goes!
Mental Fitness Booster Programme
I love the above exercise and use it when my own thinking becomes Twisted or alarming.
What has also benefitted me hugely - and the clients who have joined me on the Mental Fitness Booster programme - is learning how to intercept the negative thoughts (or Saboteurs) as they arise. Like we might do with a Personal Trainer for our physical fitness, over 8 weeks we build up our mental fitness incrementally with PQ. As one participant described it:
"The PQ course has given me a unique vantage point to see how skewed my thought patterns had become. I was in a state of constant, low grade anxiety and I didn't know why or how to escape. Now, I realise that I have the power to change that and the past weeks of practice have brought me back to a more centred, peaceful place.
I am so grateful for this course: it couldn't have come at a better time 🙂. "
Would you like this for yourself in 2022?
I'll be hosting a mini workshop on
January 18th at 3pm Irish Time
I’m excited to tell you about the Mental Fitness Booster programme. And... I will share practical tools that you can use immediately.
Click here to learn more and register!
I will be offering special pricing for workshop attendees!
“Turn Lemons into Lemonade: If life gives you something that appears unusable, turn it into something good!”
FYI: The next group is starting 25th January for this 8 week programme. So, get your year off to a great start!
A Wonderful Way to Kick Off the New Year!
Many people are enjoying my journal as a de-stressor before the holidays. Why not get 2022 off to a great start by giving yourself 30 Days to ‘Fill Your Well of Resilience’? What a wonderful way to begin the year! It’s available on most Amazon sites including:
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