The latest worksheet in my Positivity Toolkit is about calming anxiety through noticing the things around us.
Why practise gratitude?
One of the core principles of the Positivity Planner, and a wellbeing tool that is backed up by huge amounts of research, is the concept of gratitude. Simply taking the time to think about what you are grateful for, either once a day, or even just once a week, can have a huge impact on your mental, and therefore also physical, wellbeing.
Why ‘3 brilliant things’?
I don’t know about you, but often at the end of a long week, when I’m exhausted and counting down the minutes until the weekend, I find it can be all too easy to focus on the negatives. Therefore, every Friday, I make an effort to reflect on the brilliant things that have happened during the week, and fill in the relevant box in my Positivity Planner.
What are ‘junk values’?
I recently listened to the brilliant (if somewhat controversial!) Johann Hari on the Feel Better Live More podcast with Dr Rangan Chatterjee and found one of his ideas particularly interesting… the notion of ‘junk values’.
Hari described this concept in an article in the LA Times: “Junk food looks like food, but it doesn’t meet our underlying nutritional needs. In a similar way, junk values don’t meet our underlying psychological needs — to have meaning and connection in our lives. Extrinsic values are KFC for the soul. Yet our culture constantly pushes us to live extrinsically.”
I filmed this earlier on a little walk when I was trying to wake myself up and get some motivation. Just to prove I’m not some ridiculously sunny, annoyingly positive person all the time! I have to work on it every day, just like most people, especially when it’s cold and dark outside all the time!
I’ve always found the start of the new academic year to be a great time for making resolutions… much more so than January, which in the world of education is in the middle of the year and dark and cold and somehow already feels too late to be making resolutions. However, in September, I’m full of energy after a lovely summer holiday, excited about teaching new classes and meeting new students and colleagues, and generally much more motivated to get the shiny, fresh, brand new academic year off to a great start!
So, with all this abundant energy, I’ve made 3 ‘September Resolutions’ to focus on this academic year…