Sometimes life can feel like we are lurching from one crisis to another, with a never-ending to-do list of school admin and washing on top of our work priorities – resulting in zero time for ourselves.
Can you relate?
All of this, combined with the ever-present pull of social media notifications, can leave us feeling lacklustre and prone to a downward cycle of negative thinking and comparisonitis.
So what can you do?
Taking care of your life
One thing that’s sure to give you a boost is practising positive thinking.
Now I don’t mean in a naive and bubblegum sense.
With a gentle focus on our strengths and accomplishments, we can contribute to our own happiness and get ourselves back on that upward spiral.
This, in turn, allows us to spend more time making progress, and less time feeling down and stuck.
The eight points below are practical tips that you can use to start taking care of your life a little more.
1. Take care of your body
It’s much easier to be more resilient and take an optimistic view when you are eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep.
2. Remind yourself of the good things in your life
Stresses and challenges don’t seem quite as bad when you are regularly reminding yourself of the things that are right in life. Taking just 10 minutes a day to stop and appreciate the good things can make a huge difference.
I have a gratitude journal that I fill in a few times a week to capture all the good things that have happened – however big or small – and to take a moment to reflect on the things and people in my life, or things about myself, that I’m grateful for.
This kind of approach, done regularly, can help to retrain your brain to focus on the positive and in turn, can become your everyday thinking.
I often recommend this to my coaching clients as a starting place for reducing self-doubt and gently boosting their self confidence.
3. Look for the proof instead of assuming
A fear of not being liked or accepted sometimes leads us to assume that we know what others are thinking, but our fears are often not based in reality.
If you find yourself thinking that a friend or family member’s bad mood is because of something you did, take a moment to pause, step abck and sense check the situation.
Alternatively, you could just speak up and ask them.
Don’t spend your time worrying that you did something wrong unless you have proof that there is something to worry about.
4. Detach from negative thoughts
Your thoughts can’t hold any power over you if you don’t judge them. If you notice yourself having a negative thought, detach from it, witness it, and don’t follow it.
In his book “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life,” Dr. Daniel Amen talks about “ANTs” – Automatic Negative Thoughts. These are the unhelpful thoughts that are usually reactionary, like “Those people are laughing, they must be talking about me,” or “The boss wants to see me? It must be bad!” When you notice these thoughts, realise that they are nothing more than ANTs and (metaphorically) squash them!
Check out his TED Talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLKj1puoWCg
5. Share the love
You don’t have to be an expert to know the benefits of a good hug. Positive physical contact with friends, loved ones, and even pets, is an instant pick-me-up.
6. Get out and get social
By increasing social activity – you know, real interactions like a phone call or actually meeting for coffee – you can reduce loneliness.
Surround yourself with healthy, happy people, and their positive energy will be contagious!
7. Volunteer or help someone out
It feels good to be of service, to help someone else. It contributes to our sense of purpose and making a difference in the world. One small action at a time.
You can volunteer your time, your money, or your resources. The more energy you put out into the world, the more you will receive in return.
8. Use pattern interrupts to stop ruminating
If you find yourself ruminating, a great way to stop it is to interrupt the pattern and force yourself to do something completely different.
Rumination is like hyper-focus on something negative.
It’s never productive, because it’s not rational or solution-oriented, it’s just excessive worry.
Try changing your physical environment – go for a walk or sit outside. You could also call a friend, pick up a book, or turn on some music.
Free discovery session
Get in touch to book your free discovery session to find out how coaching can help you get clarity, confidence and start taking a little more care of you and your life.
There’s no obligation and no charge for this 45-minute discovery call.
If you like my approach, then we can book your first session and start your journey to make changes with confidence.