Five Days to a Better You……
A new year can bring many things to our lives such as hopes, wishes, plans and the infamous “resolutions” to create a better year than the one before. All well and good of course, but how long can these last if we are doing exactly as we did before? If we take old fears, beliefs, actions and habits from one year into the next, then we will likely get more of the same.
Better You week is about becoming more self-aware in key areas that impact upon your mental and physical health and using this awareness to take steps to address any negative issues. Self-awareness and understanding are the most important factors in living better and making helpful choices. Making a conscious choice to think things through with a new approach and to do more helpful things to both self and others (even small actions count) will make the positive difference you seek.
Day 1: Who we are
We humans are complex creatures for sure but while the “whole is greater than the sum of its parts” it is helpful to break down what is happening for us in any given situation, to understand ourselves better thus enabling us to bring forward changes to problem areas that then benefit the whole.
We respond to situations (trivial, important and everything in between) in our lives with automatic thinking. Thoughts create feelings, often the most memorable part of any experience and the part we remember most. Accompanying these are physical sensations of the body that occur naturally, to prepare us for some form of action (in an anxious situation we are prepared for fight, flight or freeze). This action part is our behaviour – what we do – in the situation. This is the part that can be noticed by others and has a direct effect on those around us. All these parts coexist and occur in us all (brain-body connection) and all parts impact and reinforce the other. Great with positive experiences – no change needed! Not so good if the experience is negative – something’s gotta give!
Remember that we all experience thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and behave in some way or another in response to these and it is easy to get trapped into a negative thinking-behaviour pattern. Get to know yourself using the model as a guide.
- What was I thinking?
- How did I feel?
- What was going on in my body?
- What did I do?
- Was this helpful/unhelpful?
- Can I see this in a different way/what would be a more realistic and helpful thought?
- What could I do that would be more helpful/change the outcome?