It’s very easy for us to fall prey to negative thinking and living through a pandemic for the past 12 months has only heightened those negative thoughts.
Having negative thoughts can only bring you pain; they drain you of energy and keep you from being in the present moment. The more you give in to your negative thoughts, the stronger they become.
Negative thoughts grow but so do positive thoughts, except the positive thoughts have a brighter outcome.
Here are a few examples that spring to mind;
Sunday evening hits and someone you know starts with the back to work blues, moaning that they hate their job and they don’t want the weekend to end. I am very fortunate as have never been in that position, I love my job but when someone has these negative thoughts, especially now when so many people are losing their jobs, I put a positive spin on things and remind them that they are lucky they have a job.
You’re suffering from a bad cold and are miserable with it, but somewhere in the world somebody has just had a cancer diagnosis, this puts how you are feeling into perspective.
You have been invited to your partners corporate dinner, but you are dreading it because you know you are going to have the worst night, well of course you’ll have the worst night because you are already in that mindset, the evening is doomed to fail before you even get there.
Here are some things that I recommend to help with those negative thoughts.
Smile – It helps change your mood and relieve stress. You also feel lighter because it takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown.
Surround yourself with positive people, there is nothing worse than a negative Nancy to bring your mood down and when you need advice from a friend, you want it to be constructive yet full of love. You need to surround yourself with people who can put things in perspective and who won’t feed your negative thoughts.
Change your mind set from negative to positive, instead of thinking, ‘I’m going to have the worst birthday because we are in lockdown’, think, ‘It might not be what I’m used to but different is good and at least I’ll be relaxed at home, I don’t have to pick an outfit to wear out to dinner, I don’t have to worry about the cost of a taxi to my favourite restaurant so that I can drink, instead I can eat a takeaway in my loungewear surrounded by the people I love and I don’t need to travel anywhere’.
I’ve taken up yoga since the beginning of the year, and I love it, it’s not only making me feel better physically, but it also takes my focus away from my thoughts and brings my attention to my breath. Yoga is also very relaxing, which has helped ease my mind. Yoga helps me stay present to my experience so instead of jumping to what could happen, it brings me back to the now—the only moment, the most important moment.
Don’t play the victim, there is always a way out. We will always have the choice to make change happen if need be.
Help someone – Take the focus away from you and do something nice for another person, helping others makes you feel great!
It is easy to dwell on your mistakes. Remember that everyone makes mistakes, and you need to learn from them and move forward.
Sing – there is nothing better than a good sing, you should hear me in the car on my way to and from work. When we sing, we show our feelings, and this provides an amazing stress relief.
If I’m feeling negative, I’ll look for positive quotes on my social media or online as reminders to stay positive.
Being grateful helps you to appreciate what you already have. List 5 things that you are grateful for right now.
A job that I love
Happy positive thinking!
This time last year, we were rolling our random acts of kindness at Christchurch. Every day on the lead up to Christmas we would carry out a random act of kindness, I blogged on this and we posted on our social media.
Never did I imagine that this year would look a whole lot different.
We did things such as taking homemade cakes to the ambulance station, we took pictures with the paramedics, this kind of thing is not even plausible this year. We are not even allowed to make each other coffee at work, so how can we take cakes to our front-line workers.
Many people are suffering because of the times that we find ourselves living through, both mentally and financially – and my heart goes out to them.
I think I’m one of the lucky ones, I can still come into work, my social life is now going to work and seeing my work family, be it half their faces, 2m across the room.
We have always worn masks in surgery so the fact we are in them all day long is not a huge blow to me – the ‘Maskne’ spots are not fun though.
I’m using the Friday and Saturday nights that I may have spent out with friends on virtual calls with them instead or working my way through Netflix with my husband – something that pre Covid-19 we paid for but never used!
The weekends are spent de-cluttering, cleaning, baking and playing games with the children rather than rushing from swimming and dance lessons, to nannies house for sleepovers so that we could go out on a date night and the what to wear dilemmas associated with it always stressed me out. Date nights are now spent at home and we take it in turns to cook for each other once the children are in bed.
I am finding the whole thing quite enjoyable and it’s turned me into a hermit. I cannot remember the last time I went to a public place. Even my Tesco’s shops are delivered, and I have done all my Christmas shopping online.
We are all focusing on different things, mine is DIY and decluttering, some of our clients have invested their summer holiday money into smile makeovers.
Then we have the Christmas dilemma, having to make a choice on who we spend the five days over Christmas with. We planned for the worst in a bid to avoid disappointment and are quite looking forward to a family Christmas at home, just the 4 of us – what is one year after all, for the health of those around us. It could turn out to be the best Christmas ever. Our household is still as excited as ever. The elf on the shelf even made an early appearance this year.
I am very much in the mindset that ‘it is what it is’ – we can’t change what’s happening, all we can do is our bit – to take pressure off the NHS. And if you plan for the worst and hope for the best, you will not end up disappointed.
I hope that next year we will be able to spread some festive cheer again with our random acts of kindness. If this year has taught us anything, it is what a difference a year makes.
There is something big on the horizon…
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I love Christmas, it’s my favorite time of year, however to some, the thought of Christmas fills them with dread and that can be for the most trivial of things like a hate for shopping and those busy shops during the festive season or it can be for greater reasons such as having lost a loved one recently, a poorly family member, or being homeless. Every one of us has a story and that story will have an impact upon how we feel towards the festive season.
I’ve already completed most of my Christmas shopping and we aren’t even into to December yet! My daughters’ advent calendars are at the ready for the opening of the first window on Sunday and they are bursting with excitement for the early morning chocolate hits that are only ever acceptable at this time of year, but what they are more excited about is the ‘random acts of kindness’ advent calendar that I’m running alongside it. This idea came from a friend who had found it in a kid’s magazine and shared it in our ‘Mummyhood’ WhatsApp group. I love the concept and it’s all my girls keep talking about, they have said after their random act of kindness they will then reward themselves with a chocolate from their advent calendar and they cannot wait to get started. What better way to teach your children to be kind than to show them first-hand how good it feels doing kind things for others.
But why should these random acts of kindness stop at my children? We have decided as a practice to run random acts of kindness during the working days of advent and we would like you to follow us in our journey as we share each random act of kindness that we perform daily on our social media.
For me personally, it has made the lead up to Christmas even more exciting, I get great pleasure from seeing people’s reactions to the gifts I buy for them at Christmas but the thought of lighting up a strangers day especially when their story could be quite dark, that for me, is what makes the world go round. Helping others is what we should all strive to be about. The more we help one another, the more we help the world, treat everyone with respect and they will treat you with respect and this revolving door approach to kindness is what we need to see each day. Kindness takes shape in many forms; it can be an action that surprises a stranger, or it can be a smile sent across the room.
How great are our team going to feel carrying out kind gestures not just for our clients but for the wider population of Ipswich? We might only have an impact on a handful of people during the lead up to Christmas but imagine if this idea inspired others to do the same and the kindness spread further afield.