In this week’s blog, I’m thinking about how, when confronting a problem or a difficult situation, many of us face it with worry or negative thoughts. This is a well-trodden path and is really familiar, so we keep doing it.
On the outside, it looks like the situation is being faced, when in reality on the inside it isn’t being dealt with effectively. And that is when it feels like ‘failing’.
Changing mindset here can really help, as the best way to deal with a situation is to start by calming the mind. Only a calm mind can find the answers to problems.
As humans, we need to understand that every problem has an answer, and that when our minds are relaxed, we can rely on ourselves to find the answer that is already there.
Are you trying to start something new or change your behaviour in some way? If so, you’ll know about the effort involved, and how much energy, enthusiasm and will power are needed. When we try to change our behaviour, particularly our health-related behaviour, it’s really important to have the right type of support.
This is where your ‘tribe’ can help: having people on your side who can help with new health-related behaviour, who support and encourage you, who help you reach your goals, and who won’t pull you backwards.
Perhaps you’re trying to do less of something, or more of something. Some people around you might try to get you to go back to your old ways:
“Just one glass of wine won’t hurt…”
“Don’t bother going for a walk, it’s so dull.”
“Why are you always trying to learn new stuff? What’s the point?”
If this is the case, think about what sort of support you would like instead: who is going to support you and remind you why you wanted to change in the first place?
Who is going to congratulate you when you reach your goals? Who is going to listen when you are finding it tough? They don’t have to be with you physically, just in spirit – and perhaps at the end of a phone or video call when needed.
Surround yourself with people who want you to stick it out. They are your tribe and they will ultimately help you achieve what you set out to do.
Do you like to multi-task? For many people, including myself, the ability to multi-task is like a badge of honour, as if I’m saying, “Look how many things I can juggle at once! Aren’t I impressive and capable?” But increasingly, I’m finding that I don’t do any of these tasks particularly well. I can flit between several different things and think I’m doing something pretty special, when really, I’m not doing anything very effectively. It all becomes a bit tiresome.
Have you come across the phrase ‘single-tasking’, when only one thing is done at any time? By focusing on just the one job, it can be done efficiently; and increasingly, I’m finding that I enjoy it more too. I can relax out of the whirlwind of being ever-so-busy and lean into the singular task in hand. It’s a great feeling to corral my thoughts and actions into one task, staying focused and in the flow. It takes a bit of practice, but like all skills worth having, I need to put the time in. So, from now on, it’s one thing at a time.
I’ve been thinking a lot about motivation, and how often it can become dependent on other people’s input – yet how difficult that can be now, what with the distancing and lack of normal rhythms for many people. I believe it’s important to have a cheerleader in your life. Someone who encourages you, motivates you and celebrates your wins. Someone who helps you pick yourself up again after set-backs, who reminds you of your worth when you’re feeling down, and who genuinely values you and what you do.
Then I thought, what if we were our own cheerleaders? We could have this cheerleading presence with us all the time, and we don’t have to rely on someone else to be there, in person or not. This seems to me like a winning formula! How about trying it out? Rather than waiting for someone else to lead the cheering for you, take the DIY approach. If that feels too tricky, practise on a willing volunteer before you embark on being your own cheerleader. Let me know how you get on.
Hi, I'm Joanna from Clean Well-Being.
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Clean Well-being ramblings