As promised, this week brings more well-being delights with the miracle question! It’s the next step on the road to solution-focused well-being. Often, we can get stuck in problem-talk, going round and round in circles, getting increasingly frustrated and desperate. The ‘problem’ can get so heavy that it’s difficult to imagine life without it. But… What if the problem went away?
What would life look like if the problem just didn’t exist? How would you know and others know? How would you feel? What would be different? Try asking yourself these questions with a particular issue in mind and see where you get. Keep asking yourself, “What else?” so that you really imagine what it would be like.
The miracle question isn’t about solving all problems right now (in fact, that isn’t the solution-focused way at all, so don’t try to figure everything out in one go – hence the series of techniques and tools). Instead, it’s about thinking about the direction you want to go in, not the end-goal.
Allow yourself to play around with the idea of a miracle question, without limiting yourself with comments like, “That will never happen because …” Good intentions are very powerful and the more energy you give to positive language and thought, the less energy there is for negativity.
Nest week: doing more of what works.
PS: nothing at all to do with this week's post, but I saw this growing in my garden and thought it was beautiful!
There are two things that have made a huge difference to my life over the past 10 years. The first (no surprise to regular blog readers!) was getting a PVR so that I never miss an episode of Home and Away! The other is ‘solution-focused thinking’. When I worked for a local authority school improvement team, we were all trained in SFT and it has been the most useful course I have ever been on – professionally and personally. Although already quite positive and optimistic, I found this course taught me how a series of simple questions and tools can help even the trickiest situations, especially when you are ‘stuck’. So I thought I would share some of those with you over the next few weeks.
The first question, which can feel like the most difficult, can be asked in any situation where you feel you’re not making any progress, and where you might be caught up in perpetual moaning. (So often, we ask other people, “What’s up?” or “What’s the problem?” – which could help to exacerbate things and fuel the problem fire.)
Ask yourself: “What would I like instead?”
The beauty of this question is that there is no ‘right’ answer, it doesn’t allow you to get entrenched in the problem, and it can really move you on from old ways of thinking. Try not to think negatively at this point (“Oh, that will never happen, because of x, y, z…”). Instead, free up your thinking and have fun with what things could look like when viewed another way. Use positive language – “I would like instead…” – and see where it takes you! Let me know how you get on.
Next week: more well-being fun with the miracle question!
Lots of people have been asking me recently, ‘Why Clean Well-Being?’ What does it mean? What’s clean about it? Thought I would explain, and give some ideas about how you could clean up your well-being too, if you fancied.
Originally, I was going to call my business ‘Clean On!’ as, every time I put clean clothes on, I get them dirty immediately, and tut to myself about how ‘That top was clean on!’ But Clean On didn’t really say anything about well-being which is, after all, the point.
Anyway… I like to keep up with what’s happening in the health, well-being and fitness worlds, but have always found that the number of messages was huge, and many of these messages were confused and a bit confusing too. (It reminds me of the debate about butter: in the 80s, when I was growing up, butter was taboo and everyone harped on about how healthy they were because they ate margarine instead. Ha! Imagine saying that now…)
Instead, how about having a place where the basics of health and well-being could be found, somewhere that focused on really simple, clear and ‘good sense’ messages? Here are a few of my favourites that can have a positive effect on your well-being – all of which are simple, clean and backed up substantiated research:
1. Fresh air: spend time outside every day, rather than in the artificial light and air of offices and other workplaces
2. Sleep and rest: keep a good sleep routine if you can
3. Drinking water: make sure you’re hydrated to stave off headaches and generally feeling bleugh
4. Balanced diet: the one that is making the rounds at the moment is to try to eat foods that don’t have an ingredients list (eating ‘clean’)
5. Move more: rather than sit all day and evening, get up and move about a bit
My aim for Clean Well-Being is to continue with these simple, effective messages – without jumping on the latest craze or fashion – and to provide clean ideas without the faff.
This week, I'm piggy-backing on something that Public Health England has launched - #oneyou. It's a quiz (who doesn't love a quiz?!) and it's about you - even better! The aim is to help people implement some small changes that will help them feel a bit healthier. Apparently, people are living longer but many of us are spending our hard-earned retirement in ill health. Yet it doesn’t have to be this way. We can make lots of changes to our lives now that will have a positive effect today and in the future. Try it out!
But what if this is all a bit 'old hat'? What if you have heard these messages before and actively take care of yourself? Is there anything new in the healthy lifestyle world? Well, it's not new, but spending a bit of time on your social health can really make a difference to your overall health too. Many people rely on digital communication, as it can sometimes be easier and quicker, yet is this at the expense of our social health? Humans are social creatures and we need to be able to interact with others face-to-face and thrive in social settings. And one of the simplest ways to do this is to step away from your phone/laptop, make eye contact with someone else, smile and say, "How are you?"
Places at this Saturday's 'Mind, Movement, Meditation' session are available. Book your place at www.cleanwellbeing.com.
I had big plans for this week's blog, reflecting on a life lesson that happened when I was on the plane coming home from my holiday. But thinking about that today felt a bit heavy, worthy and preachy. So I'm saving that delight for another time... because I wanted to focus instead on feeling great 'cos I've been away! I didn't think I was a 'holiday' sort of person, and definitely not someone who counts down the days until they went away. Without sounding smug, I actually really enjoy my life and don't feel the need to escape from it. Which is why I sometimes think of holidays as a bit of an inconvenience (see previous blog post!). Yet having returned from a week away, I'm now a true convert to holidays! I got back on Saturday morning and have now booked two more holidays for the summer. Might fit in a short break over Easter too. What has happened to me?!
It seems that I have finally realised something that has been obvious to everyone else since... forever: holidays are fun, relaxing and necessary. Working for myself means that I don't really take proper time off and it's a poor habit that I have cultivated. But this past holiday, I didn't check e-mails or social media. And not only did the world still turn, but I truly relaxed. In fact, I could have done it for a lot longer.
So, while I'll enjoy the next few weeks of work very much, I am also excited about my next break. I guess I'm only just truly realising how important it is to create a good balance.
And because summer seems a while away, here is a photo of the beach on Boa Vista where I spent last week. Bliss!
Hi, I'm Joanna from Clean Well-Being.
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Clean Well-being blog