It’s reflection time at Wakey! We’ve been looking back at your Favourite tips from a year of Wakey. That makes us feel old. No, wait - that makes us feel wise and experienced - which brings us to our first topic:
Growth Mindset: We can get into the habit of feeling defeated and hopeless in the face of problems or failures. We can practice looking at problems as opportunities to solve rather than overwhelming obstacles.There's evidence that people can practice - and get good at - reframing problems or failures as opportunities. When you notice that feeling of dread, failure, anxiety - consciously shift to asking: Where is the opportunity here?
Thinking is a Nightmare!: People - especially smart people - often believe that they can think their way out of their problems. This is occasionally true if the problem is a very narrow, technical problem. In all other cases THINKING IS A NIGHTMARE - especially under conditions of high emotion (anger, anxiety, depression). In those cases thinking tends to become rumination - the circular, emotional, tumble dryer type of thinking that resolves nothing. Your brain will happily work out most of your problems while you are busy working, sleeping or doing some other engaged task (whether that is mindfulness or some other DOING activity). Our brains are designed to DO not THINK
Thoughts are not facts!: We speak to ourselves using opinions that *feel* like fact.. For instance: “I’m such a failure” is an OPINION. But “I didn’t have the knowledge I needed to pass that exam” is a FACT. When we practice rephrasing opinions as facts they lose their emotional power over us.
Communication: Communication in relationships is really hard. But remind yourself of these active listening principles to give yourself the best chance of understanding and being understood:
Do more listening than talking
Don’t just wait for the other person to stop so you can talk
Really make sure you understand by repeating in your own words and checking you understood
Validate the other person - whatever they’re feeling is what they’re feeling
Speak using facts (“when you do that I feel…”) not assumptions (“You’re trying to annoy me”)