Welcome to this weekly online resource. Wellness professional Jo Foster, offers self care tips through her insights on mindfulness and positive psychology, her weekly online yoga classes and nutritious recipe recommendations.
This week we will conclude on what we have learned about optimism. Enjoy!
I hope that the past 6 weeks that we have spent exploring optimism, have given you an interesting perspective in which to make self enquiry. If you have identified that developing a more optimistic approach to life is something that you could benefit from, then I recommend that in addition to what you have read here you might consider delving deeper into the subject by reading Martin Seligman's book "Learned Optimism". In his book he introduces a practical framework to developing optimism through his ABCDE technique.
In brief, Dr Seligman suggests in his techniques ways to re-asses difficult setbacks and experiences in the following way:
Adversity: objectively identify the source of adversity in a given situation. Be specific and accurate in your description.
Belief: notice what your instinctive beliefs are about the cause or solution to the issue. For example noticing if your beliefs are permanent or pervasive, such as "I'm always making mistakes like this, I'm not good enough at anything"
Consequences: be aware of what the consequences are of your beliefs. Does this belief inspire you, motivate you or cause you to retreat into a low mood? Check-in with whether these emotional consequences feel rational in the context of the adversity.
Dispute: gather your evidence to challenge your beliefs and form new beliefs based around hope, positivity and capability. Delve into your memory of past positive experiences and identify successes and instances where you overcame adversity. If gaining clarity on this proves challenging consider discussing this with a trusted and loved friend to establish another perspective and reveal a true perception of yourself and your capabilities.
Energise: notice how your reshaped beliefs have affected your mood and emotions around the adversity. Let this uplift in mood translate into positive actions and notice again how the positive actions affect your mood. Let this energy help you build momentum in moving forward with optimism.
Having a structure in which to evaluate our feelings and behaviours can be hugely valuable and productive, but remember that whilst making self enquiries such as this, it is easy to over analyse. I always remind my students that there is "paralysis in analysis" and rather than getting caught in a trap of perfectionism or rumination, it is best to take positive action with a willingness and acceptance of getting it wrong. Life's messy and often our way though it is too!
If all the positive thinking you have been practicing hasn't lifted your mood, then you're in luck, because it's the season of new beginnings, birdsong, daffodils and chocolate! There is much to look forward to just in the everyday simple things. Indulge and enjoy, Happy Easter!
This is a great recipe to use up the lamb leftovers. Simply substitute the lamb mince with your cooked lamb. I pop mine in the food processor and it works brilliantly.
Did you know:
Lamb contains high levels of iron and zinc, which is required by every living cell in the body for healthy immune function, cell division and overall growth.
It is also a good source niacin (vitamin B3) which provides some protection against Alzheimer's disease, promotes healthy skin and keeps age-related cognitive decline at bay.