Monday, 11 December 2017

The Wellbeing Project 3 - being kind to yourself

Take Time to Be Kind

Acts of kindness have been shown to boost our happiness and therefore to improve our wellbeing. Given it’s the time of goodwill, we should all be very happy in December. 

Last week started with a tweet of Action for Happiness’s Kindness Calendar - a suggestion for each day in December, eg a kind note, donation to a charity helping the homeless, counting how many people you smile at in a day. Fabulous idea and we retweeted it as well as putting the ideas into practice.

At my Mindful Mondays session, I was reminded that we can sometimes be so busy giving to others that we end up making ourselves stressed rather than happy. Why is that? Often because we forget to be kind to ourselves. 

In NLP we have strategies to be kind to ourselves: 

  • we build anchors that we can use to give ourselves positive emotions whenever we need them, 
  • we learn to reframe how we view events to see them in ways that are more compassionate to ourselves, and 
  • we learn to change our negative self-talk - to turn the voice down, change the voice to one that might make us laugh or relax more. 

I changed the voice of my self-talk some while ago from a nagging voice to one that is kinder, yet urgent and practical. This works for me because my negative self talk is triggered by stress. In a timely reminder, I caught myself saying unkind things to myself when I let my stress levels build up and then something went wrong. Perhaps you can relate to those blaming and unhelpful comments that actually if you put yourself on the outside of your head are hurtful because you would never say them to someone else. 

I was able to quickly soften the voice, reframe the comments to ones that were more supportive by focussing on what I could do now - what I actually wanted to happen - rather than focussing on what had gone wrong. And remind myself of what I had got right. 

So be kind to yourself this Christmas. Listen to Anna's advice to prepare for the emotional challenges of Christmas. Just remember we are all doing the best we can with the resources we have available. 

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