Tag Archives: happy

Let Go Of Negativity… For Good!

sun-set-maldivesHow to do respond to bad news? Do you get angry at the person nearest to you? Do you snap at your colleagues for the rest of the week? If you’re like most people, your response to bad news breeds negativity for yourself, and those around you.
Imagine your ideal response to bad news. Would you take a deep breath? Would you thank the person who informed you of the news for having done so? What does your ideal reactivity look like to you?
Emotions are like waves – you have the crest of the wave representing the rising emotion you may feel, the peak of the wave which signifies the most intense feelings experienced, and the fall of the wave as it returns to its beginning state. Similarly, our emotions rise up, and eventually fall away. This cycle in emotions is so natural and rhythmic, but we often feel that our emotional states are going to remain the same.
When we get angry, we often assume that our emotions towards the object of our anger will be constant and stable. As a result, we can say some nasty remarks to loved ones, make decisions we later regret, or harbour resentment for long periods of time. Imagine creating a dialogue with your emotions where you ACCEPT negativity with kindness, and welcome whatever internal responses you may have. You can do that by practicing these three acts the next time you feel negativity arising:

1. Let yourself FEEL your emotions:

When we get upset, we often try to distract ourselves with our smartphones, our tv, our computer, or a mundane task. The last things we want to do is sit with our emotion and see what happens. However, by sitting with your thoughts and feelings, you’ll gain a better understanding of your response patterns and might be able to resolve the conflict more effectively and quickly. The next time that you find yourself upset, instead of distracting yourself, try sitting with your emotion. It’s okay if you feel uncomfortable. It’s okay if you cry. Practice FEELING your feelings.

2. Practice gratitude towards YOURSELF (as well as others):

Thank yourself for feeling your feelings. You don’t have to be happy with the outcome of your emotions, but the first step to create a positive dialogue with yourself surrounding these acts. Expressing gratitude can boost your happiness tremendously. If you’re feeling okay with this, you can go a step further and THANK the obstacles in your path for teaching you new skills and coping mechanisms. Dr. Martin Seligman, a leading researcher in the field of positive psychology, found that when people wrote and personally delivered letters thanking them for their kindness, they experienced a huge increase in happiness. This boost in positive emotion lasted for over a month. You can write these down, or say them in your head. Either way, a little bit of gratitude can go a long way.

3. Learn what triggers you:

Start an emotion-diary where at the end of each day, log what triggered any emotions. You can write about how you feel anger when you have to wait for the subway in the morning, or frustration from constantly being behind schedule. You can write about the joy you get from having a morning cup of coffee, or that one person in the office who you look forward to seeing each day. After a couple of weeks of logging your emotions, you’ll be able to anticipate what you’ll be feeling throughout the day. By anticipating your emotions, you can take the steps to mentally prepare for any potential negativity coming your way.

By opening yourself up to feeling your emotions, both the good ones and the bad, you start a lifelong journey of self-discovery, as well as new positive emotions. Remember to be kind to yourself and welcome negative emotions with kindness. They won’t be around forever. The more you welcome your internal experience, the more likely it is that you’ll experience positivity.

By: Kaya Quinsey

Kaya Quinsey Mental Health Professional

How to Live with Balance, Not Burnout

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We often measure our day’s success by what we’ve accomplished. How many meetings we tackle, how many phone calls and emails we replied to, how much we’ve contributed to our work. We measure our self-worth based on how much we’ve succeeded in a given day. A day well done is a day filled with these ‘successes’.

What if we measured our success on a different scale. What if at the end of the day, we tuned into our bodies and asked ourselves if we were happy, calm, loved, appreciated.

Success in North America (and rapidly spreading to other countries) is measured on a meter that rewards long hours, hard work, and eventually… burnout. Burnout is that moment when you find yourself incapable of working any longer. You’re so exhausted, frustrated or sick that it is physically impossible for you to ‘succeed’ any longer. At this point, the only way to relax is to sit on front of a TV or computer screen for hours and ‘veg out’. This is not an optimal way to relax and recharge! The moments of your life that you spend relaxing and recharging should fill you with vigour, energy and happiness. These precious moments should not be spent mindlessly.

It is understandable that once people reach a state of burnout, they are not in a place to think of fun, enjoyable activities for themselves. They may not have the time, energy, emotional resources or even value of life outside of ‘productivity’. Imagine getting into a rhythm where your life is optimized to be a balancing act between this notion of ‘success’ at work, and success in wellbeing. When you have success in wellbeing, you will be able to thrive even more at work. In other realms, you will be able to enjoy your days more, laugh more and perhaps see beauty in places you had not seen before.

1. Allot a day of the week to your wellbeing

Plan a day in advance EACH WEEK where you spend the day on your wellbeing. On this day, give yourself a limit to how many times you check your email, reply to messages, and take calls. You could go cycling with your family, go for a walk by yourself, take a yoga class… Anything that makes you feel energized.

2. Find a creative outlet

Did you love painting in high school, but gave it up as you got older? Have you been yearning to learn how to play a musical instrument? You don’t have to spend a lot of time or money on this. At the beginning of the week, set aside an hour or two at the end of a day to immerse yourself in this activity. It will act as a great de-stressor, a motivator, and inspire you in other aspects of your life.

3. Get support where you can

The more you burnout, the less you engage in meaningful discussions with other people. Do you have a friend or partner who you can talk to regularly? This is incredibly important when it comes to avoiding burnout. A lot of people have trouble finding someone who they feel they can talk to about important aspects of their lives. They may not want to burden a friend or family member with their problems. Make time for your friends, partners and family members regularly. If you need additional assistance, mental health professionals are there to help you work through your problems in a judgement-free, supportive setting. Find someone who you feel comfortable with!

Learn to balance your life, and that’s true success.

 By: Kaya Quinsey

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