In my training courses, I regularly refer to two different types of personality (broadly speaking): drains and radiators. ‘Drain’ personalities tend to suck the energy out of a situation, metaphorically draining the life out of things, leaving you feeling diminished after you have been with them. On the other hand, radiators bring warmth, life and enthusiasm; they are a tonic to be around and people usually feel better after having spent time with them.
Rather than focus your efforts on trying to change drains, think about how you can be more radiator. Notice, then choose to overlook, drain behaviour; it’s not about ignoring people – just observe without reacting. Concentrate on how your behaviour can be more radiator: how you can bring warmth, energy, enthusiasm, playfulness and inquisitiveness to each situation. The more practised you become at being a radiator, the less space there will be for ‘drain’ behaviour.
Would you believe me if I said that there was just one thing that can lower your blood pressure, work your abs, reduce your stress levels, improve your heart muscle, boost T-cell production, release endorphins, and give you a general sense of well-being? Are you mumbling to yourself that surely nothing can do all of those things? Understandable, but that one thing is just laughter, plain and simple.
When was the last time you laughed? Not your ‘career laugh’, but a real laugh when you might not have been able to stop – your sides hurt, you couldn’t catch your breath, but in a good way. If you haven’t done it for a while, give it a whirl today! If ‘funny’ is in short supply at the moment, go looking for some. And let me know what makes you laugh – pass it on!
To finish, a lovely quote from R.W. Emerson about laughter: ‘Earth laughs in flowers’!
One of the greatest bits of life-guidance I have ever come across is this:
“Nothing others do is because of you.” (Ruiz)
It totally blew me away when I first came across it and it still makes me stop and think each time I ponder on it. No more thinking that we can make someone sad, upset, happy, or whatever. It has nothing to do with us. Just as I can't make you do anything, you can't make me do anything.
What if we didn’t take anything personally? What if we are immune to what other people think of us or do around us? For many, this seems like an unreachable zenith, while for others it is a daily norm. Either way, when we become ‘untouchable’ (in an emotionally-healthy way, obviously) and are unconcerned by other people’s actions and words, we can truly live more freely.
Sometimes, it’s great to have a moan. I love it! It can feel liberating to let rip, to list all niggly things that exasperate and frustrate me. I feel it’s a necessary part of life. But there it ends – otherwise, it can become an indulgent habit, one where I hang out frequently as it’s an easy and comfortable spot. How do we flip out of moaning? I heard something recently (from one of my very wise friends) that chimed with me. Instead of incessantly whinging about what’s not going right, say to yourself: “Today, I get to…” and fill in the blank. Even if your day (or week) isn’t going too well, it can sometimes help to find one or two things that help tip the balance.
My ‘I get to’ blanks today are:
1. Teach one of my favourite classes
2. Do some stimulating and fulfilling work on PSHE
3. Meet an old friend for dinner
4. Work on my business
5. Stare at the fast-flowing clouds from my office skylight
What’s in your list today? I’d love to hear from you!
Hi, I'm Joanna from Clean Well-Being.
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Clean Well-being blog