Posts Tagged ‘Mental health’
A perfect companion to yesterday’s post.
An elderly man is stopped by the police around 2 a.m. and is asked where he is going at this time of night.
He replies, “I’m on my way to a lecture about alcohol abuse and the effects it has on the human body, as well as smoking and staying out late.“
The police officer asks, “Really? Who’s giving that lecture at this time of night?“
He said, “My wife.“
Have a great Sunday wherever you are!
A big vote of thanks to Paul for plugging away for so long without any contribution from me. Unlike Paul who is retired, well retired in the sense of a paying job, I have a family, a dog (Jess) and the usual set of household overheads to cover, so the week is very much a working week for me. Ergo, I shall never be able to contribute to Learning from Dogs in the same manner as Paul but a regular contribution is assured. To get things rolling again, I want to re-publish an article that I wrote on my business blog the other day.
Removing the fear of the unknown
I’ve been working with most of my clients recently through painful transformations brought about by the economic downturn.
An interesting metaphor really because since the first wave of uncertainty triggered panic, first noticed in the UK banking system, I have been picking up on that uncertainty that feels like it’s stalking the globe and has been for some time. Recent stock market crashes have simply exacerbated this and that, coupled with the riots taking place in major cities in the UK, make for pretty disturbing reading.
Interestingly, I, too, have been aware of an underlying fear that was difficult either to name or source.
It has been rather like a deep river in that whilst the surface feels slow-moving, currents are moving things powerfully below.
So this ‘fear’ has caused a few household changes.
1) We now are the proud owners of 12 chickens. Our youngest son and I have dug up the back lawn and planted vegetables and built a poly tunnel.
2) We have also installed a wood burning cooker. Right back down to the base of Maslow’s triangle really!
These feelings have brought about such change everywhere and I wonder seriously whether we will ever return to what was; indeed would we want to?
I might not have mentioned it in previous blogs but as well as an engineering background, in latter years, I have focused on how success in business is linked directly to aspects of relationships and how we are in our relationships with others, so things like integrity, self-awareness and the ability to see the point of view of others, and modify our approach appropriately.
To inform this, some 7 years ago, I embarked on an MA in Core Process Psychotherapy, primarily to work on myself so that I could be the best I could be in my relationships, in and out of work.
The point I’m trying to make is that the same panic I notice in many of the companies I work in, and in me, is based on fear of the unknown and on a lack of trust in all its forms. I’ve deliberately underlined that last phrase because it is so incredibly important.
The truth is that we get more of what we focus on.
So we can choose to focus on the constant news of more difficulties, hardship and redundancies, or we can focus on what is working.
In the workplace this positive focus has been pulling people together across functions and sites and pooling resources and ideas.
When we realise we’re not doing this alone it’s amazing how much lighter a load can feel and how much more inspired we all feel.
I also notice how humour begins to flow and what a powerful antidote for doom and gloom that is.
Transformation is never easy but the rewards far exceed the effort put in ten fold.
So what is it going to be? Are we all going to bow down to the god of Doom & Gloom, fear and anxiety, heaping more and more gifts around it, or are we going to start noticing and focusing on the other neglected god – that of relationship, joy, trust, abundance and lightness?
Whatever the future holds for us all a belief in our inherent ability to adapt and change and focus on the greater good rather than fear, anxiety, greed and selfishness is the only sustainable way forward.
By Jon Lavin
Is happiness elusive?
Well the first thing that raised a smile was me putting in the word ‘happiness’ into a Google search and noticing the response - About 50,000,000 results (0.15 seconds)!
50 million results – wow.
Let me tell you that I don’t propose to cast myself as anything other than an ordinary Joe. The simple motivation behind this Post is that if a single person reading these words gets some insight into seeing their own lives in a richer way, then it’s worth while.
Let’s come at the subject from the perspective of good mental health. What’s that then?
Here’s an extract from MIND – the leading mental health charity in the UK.
From which comes this:
What do we mean by good mental health?
Good mental health isn’t something you have, but something you do. To be mentally healthy you must value and accept yourself. This means that:
- You care about yourself and you care for yourself. You love yourself, not hate yourself. You look after your physical health – eat well, sleep well, exercise and enjoy yourself.
- You see yourself as being a valuable person in your own right. You don’t have to earn the right to exist. You exist, so you have the right to exist.
- You judge yourself on reasonable standards. You don’t set yourself impossible goals, such as ‘I have to be perfect in everything I do’, and then punish yourself when you don’t reach those goals.
If you don’t value and accept yourself, you are always frightened that other people will reject you. To prevent people seeing how unacceptable you are, you keep them at a distance, and so you are always frightened and lonely. If you value yourself, you don’t expect people to reject you. You aren’t frightened of other people. You can be open, and so you enjoy good relationships.
If you value and accept yourself, you are able to relax and enjoy yourself, without feeling guilty. When you face a crisis, you know that, no matter how difficult the situation is, you will manage. How we see ourselves is central to every decision we make. People who value and accept themselves cope with life.
The BBC, often so good at important public service issues, ran a series of programmes in 2008 under the banner of The Happiness Formula. Included in that web link is a simple test to measure one’s own happiness.
Psychologists say it is possible to measure your happiness.
NB: I just tried this test myself and wasn’t sure if the analysis part of the test was working – try it yourself. But the information offered is still well worth reading.
There’s more background on Prof. Diener here. And a short video below.
Perhaps more valuable is another excellent TEDtalks video Habits of Happiness.
Enjoy and smile!
By Paul Handover