The last week- you’re almost there! And I’ve saved my favourite one until last.
You will benefit from concentrating in this area if you rated the statements like this in the survey with Strongly Disagree, Disagree or Neutral.
I can usually find something to laugh about
On most days, I feel content
Other people would describe be as generally optimistic
Humour plays an important role in my life
The rise of positivity has been one of the most exciting parts of the resilience and happiness literature over the last ten years (or at least, I think so!).
For me it started as a personal journey that I embarked on in the midst of tragedy. Not long after we were first bereaved, a friend came over for dinner and at one stage I caught myself laughing. I immediately felt consumed by guilt and related this to my friend later. He responded with “Ing, the sadness is there. You don’t have to go and look for it”.
I felt something resonate as so fundamentally true in his comment that it became instrumental in my journey. Instead of focusing on the negativity, the sadness, the grief, I decided that it was my job to look for what was good, positive, joyful and pleasant and to savour those moments. In short, it was what led me to trimming my sails towards positivity.
Over the years, more and more empirical support has validated this choice, and the many people who I have spoken with that seem to be ‘coping’ have positivity, optimism, altruism and humour strongly represented in the suite.
Over to you. In order to fulfill this challenge, you need to focus on the positive. You can do this through focusing on other people (oh yes, again!), feeling grateful (and stating gratefulness) for what you have, allowing fun times, pleasure and humour into your life, savouring what is great.
You’ve got one week (although I’m hoping this one keeps going!).
Exercise: Gratitude: Find ways to notice and express your gratitude- be it three things over dinner (which is what we do in our house), writing once or more in a gratitude journal, formally thanking a friend, or take the 365 Facebook challenge (an earlier blog) where you put one thing a day you are grateful for.
Exercise: Altruism: Do something for other/s with no expectation of return.
Exercise: Fun: Bet you never thought increasing your resilience could be so fun- but here is your excuse! Do something spontaneous, flippant, and pleasurable or timetable in a comedy or date with friends that you laugh a lot with. Enjoy it!
Next week, I'll post up the final evaluation survey to see if there were any changes you've made. After that, please expect some fairly desultory communication as I change my focus back to family and the excitement of adding another member to our family.
Take care and stay steadfast…
Ingrid and the team.