Getting to know your own self is the pathway to a satisfying life.
This can sometimes be at odds with other's expectations of us.
"As a group of practitioners at Grey Lynn Counselling and Therapy, we are often thinking about the core qualities and practices that sustain and grow our sense of well-being. On this page we will be refreshing our thoughts and readings about ways that we can flourish in our lives. Different things work for different people and it would be great to hear from you regarding what works for you. Please feel free to email any of us with your ideas or readings. These are some of our thoughts…"
Values are our core beliefs and truths, our internal guidance system that give us meaning and direction in our lives. Values are not something that are always known to us. They may recede into the background when life becomes stressful. When we pursue goals and activities that have meaning to us, life takes on more direction and satisfaction.
ACTION: What might be part of your value system? Try listing some values that have meaning to you. REFLECT on these and select one that you might put more actively into practice in your daily life.
Being mindful is a crucial element to happiness. It is paying attention in a particular way .... on purpose, in the present moment and without judgement.
We often find ourselves doing things habitually, almost like on automation, without our conscious attention. Our minds chatter away seemingly without our conscious input. The good things happening around us don't get noticed or we take for granted. Being mindful is like shining a light on these habitual thoughts and actions so that we can start to notice and become aware of them in the present moment.
ACTION: How might you practice this? Take, for example, having breakfast. Next time you are having breakfast and without changing anything, simply notice your thoughts, your actions and the sensations associated with the act of eating breakfast. Are you tense? Are you in a hurry? Are you relaxed? Are you breathing? How are you breathing? Where are your thoughts? Are you already thinking about work or taking the children to school? Are you noticing the taste sensations?
By being mindful in this way you will probably notice that your breathing slows down, your body feels more relaxed, you are starting to be in the present moment where you can enjoy the experience of your breakfast.
This simple practice can be applied to any activity, no matter how small, at any time.
Becoming Aware of your Strengths
If nine positive things are said to you and one challenging or negative thing, it is often an automatic reaction to focus on the negative comment. Obviously this doesn't make great sense and more importantly doesn't make you feel very good about yourself. Identifying the positive things about yourself and our strengths, helps us maintain our well-being in spite of any negative things that might be happening around us.
Your own unique strengths may include thoughts, feelings and behaviours that you feel at ease with and feel true to you. You are likely to feel energised with a sense of vitality when you put these strengths into practice. If you can think of only a few strengths, take action in implementing one or two of these identified qualities into your daily life.
ACTION: Choose one of these strengths and take action. Every day for a week, use this identified strength in a different way each day. If your strength, for example is kindness, see you how can use this quality in a different way each day. Notice how it makes you feel.
Some of us are more naturally 'sociable' than others. People experience different levels of comfort socialising. While some are happy to be in large groups of people, others prefer more one-to-one interactions. Some people are more introverted and others more extraverted. These styles all come within the bounds of a normal range of sociability.
Social isolation, on the other hand, can lead to chronic loneliness and to a range of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Sharing our experience with others moves us away from a sense of isolation and positively impacts on our well-being.
ACTION: Try taking small steps towards being socially interactive with others. Rather than waiting for someone to reach out to you, be proactive. Talk to people, perhaps join a group that you are interested in or meet up with others with similar interests.
Create Community and Family Bonds…TBContinued
Altruism or Helping Others….TBContinued