Tag Archive | positive thinking

There’s something good in every day…..

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When I am struggling with low mood as I am at the moment, I try to be positive. If nothing else, many sessions of CBT have taught me to be more positive and to look at the “evidence” objectively before I condemn myself to more self-induced misery based on emotion and my devilishly overactive imagination. It’s all part of developing those good habits (ARTs as opposed to ANTs) in the hope that they overwhelm and destroy all those long-formed bad habits as they take over.

On my way home this evening, rather than dwell on all the things I didn’t do well or didn’t go well, I decided to focus on the good things and what has made me smile and happy today. It was an interesting exercise!

Before doing this, I would have said that today wasn’t a “good day” overall and a 3/10 would have been generous. However, looking at the “good things” I have a change of heart. So what made me happy today?

  • My son getting another offer from a University of his choice. That’s 5/6 so far.
  • My son finishing his Level 1 football coaching qualification at the weekend and qualifying as a coach to go with his Referees qualification.
  • Coming home from work to be collected from the train station by my Chauffeur-hubby.
  • Having dinner (salmon, dill rice, salad and seasoned Greek yoghurt) cooked for me whilst I relax.
  • Laughing my socks off when some dumb-ass pulled the emergency cord in the train toilet so that we came to an abrupt stop. (The train cannot continue until the alarm is reset so his ablutions were unceremoniously interrupted by the female guard!)
  • Having cuddles with my pussy-cats.
  • Getting some lovely paper flowers for my nieces wedding scrapbook delivered in the post-I love coming home to parcels.
  • Knowing that whatever happens, it happens for a reason and to embrace it however scary at the time.
  • Being told at work that people confide in me because I am approachable, understanding, non-judgmental and encouraging.
  • Realising that money and status really don’t impress me still. (I’d be worried if that had changed)
  • Worrying about my friends and clients, who are going through tough times-I can’t help caring and I see it as positive. I have too long seen the nurturer and caring instinct as a weakness  but I am proud to care and empathise. I wish more people would care.
  • Laughing at a few “funny” things that happened today although I sense that my sense of humour is maybe a tad different to many others! I don’t care-I thought they were funny.

So. All in all I would re-categorise today as an 8/10. A huge difference and a positive one at that.

good things

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Keep it real

burn out

It’s official. I have been diagnosed with “Burnout” with extremely high levels of both anxiety and depression. That’s the bad news (It is horrible) but the good news is that my psychologist diagnosed the issue almost immediately, recognised my symptoms and causes and told me that I can recover with help and support. My Dr has known me for a long time, just over 20 years, and knows me well. This is a huge advantage when fighting an illness like depression/anxiety because there is nothing worse and more frustrating than seemingly wasting time and energy going through old material. It takes up precious time and energy which I can ill afford.

So very briefly I have a plan. A plan feels good and at long last I truly believe that I can crawl out of this mire and get back to my life. My plan is discussed and agreed with Doc Fraser and involves a number of active strategies to make the best of a bad lot.

Firstly, I will be starting work at 10.00am and not 9.00am on the days I work in Birmingham. This one hour adjustment appears pretty minor at first glance but has major advantages for me with the least disruption to my work and employer. Based on train times, believe it or not, it actually means that I get an extra hour in bed every morning and a much more relaxed start to the day. The later train is far less crowded and I don’t have to fight for a seat or sit next to a really annoying person who insists on sitting next to me and puts their makeup on and plucks their eyebrows (Sorry, but whilst I sort of get the make up I think it’s revolting to pluck eyebrows/ trim toenails in public) So immediately I am faced with less stress!

Doc Fraser also understands that I am my worst critic and expect far too much of myself when feeling under the weather. He directly asked me the question, “So Caroline, you feel hopeless, helpless, despondent, tearful, you have loss of memory and confused thinking. You are mentally and physically exhausted and you expect to perform as normal?”

Me: “Yes”

Mmmm…..this is where the Doc suggested that I might like to “get real”.

negative thoughts

The reality is that I am ill. It is not a choice it is a fact. I couldn’t run a marathon with a broken leg so why would I expect to perform a cerebral job as normal when mentally impaired?

Ok, fair point. So let’s get real and manage expectations.

Positive thinking 2

I now have a list of homework tasks to do before my next appointment on Thursday. Nothing too demanding but focusing on those aspects of my life which I find most difficult. Small steps and steady progress.

Let’s keep it real.

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