Just because I teach positive psychology doesn’t mean I don’t get tired, frustrated and down.
Teaching and working with positive psychology, people expect that I am a happy-go-lucky person who ‘has it all together’, all the time. Well, I’m here to tell you I too lose it sometimes with family and friends, I have down days where I don’t want to get out of bed, and numerous moments where I question if I am really good enough to be doing what I’m doing. I get tired after teaching all day, overwhelmed with all the admin, and make mistakes often.
I am just as normal as anyone else, in fact, the last 2 weeks have been quite challenging where seminars didn’t go as planned, meetings got cancelled leaving me hanging with unfinished projects, terms and conditions I thought I knew changed, and tasks that I normally found easy, all of a sudden felt complicated and overwhelming. It’s times like these that I feel like I am spiralling towards a languishing state and I almost get lost trying to find my way out.
Thankfully, I have learnt enough tools on my journey that I resort to trusting the science and strategies that I teach. For me, this means stepping away from my computer and going outside, walking through nature, taking photos (as you can see from the ones I have taken here), going for a coffee, calling a friend and listening to some of my audiobooks (this week it has been Wayne Dyer with a hint of Marianne Williamson). I find that if my own thoughts are filling up with ANTS (automatic negative thoughts), by listening to the words of others, it helps me reframe towards PETS (performance enhancing thoughts).
I am also grateful to have the flexibility and opportunity to randomly drop on the doorstep of family, who happen to live in sunny Coffs Harbour. By getting away for 3 days, I have been able to shift my energy, re-engage with my creativity and laugh my way back to flourishing. I stick to the basics by saying a prayer of gratitude before I begin each day of work and celebrate my achievements with an internal smile. I don’t measure these achievements in time Iv’e spent doing it, or seek the approval of
others, I measure my success based on the level of self love I give myself knowing I am doing the best I can with the resources I have. I place my hand on my heart, breathe deeply and allow moments to collect as they form my experiences.
So what does this mean for you?
Positive psychology is NOT positive thinking, it involves having a toolbox of strategies to help us manage our everyday wellbeing. Positive psychology gives us the science that shows us how to be proactive in supporting our wellbeing. This can mean journalling, connecting with other people, learning something new, performing a random of kindness or many other strategies. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you are doing something that is kind to yourself.
I hope you too have a set of simple yet powerful tools that you draw on when you feel you are languishing.
Here are some youtube videos of my favourite speakers;
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