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 recap on some of what we have learned about optimism. Enjoy!
Over the past six weeks we have been developing an understanding of how optimism impacts our health and ways that we can promote this positive mindset in the way we think and act. Let's look back to some of the key points raised. This week
we're recapping weeks 1-3 and are reminding ourselves why;
- "hope" promotes positive psychology..
- sleep is so important...
- the way we communicate matters, and
- how our behaviours shape our mindset.
"Hope" promotes positive psychology
Hope is looking ahead to brighter possibilities and believing with certainty that good times will be restored. To have genuine hope we must first;
- acknowledge that set backs are temporary,
- identify specific causes of a bad event,
- ring-fencing the helplessness to a particular event and not applying the causes universally to all events past and future.
Practicing hope helps ensure that negative events don't pervade into other areas of our lives and enables us to move more quickly through the hurt and emotions that accompany adverse events. Hope enables us to "spring back" more quickly and is the corner stone of resilience. This element of optimism is highly related to "belief", which we will recap on next week.
Getting good sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health and happiness
- enables us to process bad events,
- repairs neural connections in the brain and helps with hormone regulation,
- encourages positivity and optimism.
- Ensure that you give yourself good sleep opportunity by:
1. Hydrate through the day and reduce alcohol and caffeine consumption
2. Limit exposure to devices and screens before bed
3. Give yourself plenty of opportunity to sleep, allow for 8h+ in bed
4. If sleep isn't forthcoming, don't panic and don't ruminate. If you can't sleep, you are better off getting up and taking yourself somewhere quiet to read a book until you feel ready to sleep again.
What we say matters and has the ability to shape our own futures and the future of others.
Our dialogue both internally and externally play a vital role in shaping our belief in our own self worth and provide a robust barrier to depression. Take care over what you say and notice when you're operating in autopilot, which:
- causes us to disengage with our actions and words
- reduces fulfilment
- increases the risk of pessimistic thoughts and damaging conversations that can result from misinterpretation and hypersensitivity.
- bring positive observations to the forefront of conversations,
- use empathy and respect and articulate how you can relate to others,
- never "shame" another person.
Positive actions allow space for positive thinking to take hold.
When working on refining our thought process one of the most affective changes we can make is in our everyday behaviours. Bring positivity to your actions and your mindset will follow.
Try the following to help jolt you out of a slump:
1. Make a plan: be organised with your time so that you can finish your day with a sense of achievement. The little things count.
2. Send love: Invest time and effort in relationships with loved ones and friends.
3. Seek out the good news stories: Be sure to balance your intake of news with the good and bad.
4. Chill out time: Make time to put your feet up and unwind. It is not wasted time.
5. Enjoy nature: Awaken your senses with time outside. Be present as you do this and pay attention to your surroundings. integrate activities that encourage this into your lifestyle, such as outdoors exercise or gardening.
6. Share success: Be sure to share your simple successes with friends and families. Enquire about their successes.
If you suffer from fatigue, as well as improving your sleep regime, you might want to consider boosting your iron levels.
Steak and broccoli is one of the richest (and in my opinion most delicious) iron rich meals. However, if you are trying to reduce your red meat intake or you don't eat meat then there are plenty of other iron rich combinations to include in your diet. Have a look at these recommendations.