One Small Step Becomes a Giant Leap

I started writing about a pretty cool topic for this post but it wasn’t emerging from me naturally like all the previous posts. I decided it was a sign to stop writing about that topic 😛 Then it occurred to me that I should write about the AMAZING impact positive reframing has had on me since writing my last post!

I must say I haven’t made an enormous effort to reframe my thoughts into positive ones –because it wasn’t that difficult! I discovered that the negative thoughts I was experiencing were the same ones over and over again. It turns out that it was only these few recurring thoughts that needed to be reframed! And, surprisingly, I only had to reframe each of them a few times before I saw a dramatic improvement! Wowsers!

The process I used was fairly simple: each time a negative thought (which was usually a pessimistic internal dialogue based on zero facts!) entered my mind I simply acknowledged it, thought of positive alternatives to the negative dialogue and moved on. In other words, I fed the Good Wolf. That Good Wolf is going to be obese when I’m done with him! Whenever I engaged in this process I felt a physiological change in my body; I felt the stress and anxiety caused by the negative thoughts just melt away. This connection between the body and mind always amazes me 🙂

I imagine it would have been a longer process if MOST of my thoughts were negative, but I feel I have dealt with the ones that were getting in the way of my happiness. I had been holding on to these destructive thoughts and dwelling on them for quite some time. Simply reframing each of them when they arose on just a few occasions has made me feel like they have disappeared! They are certainly not ruling my life anymore and I feel like a huge weight has been lifted. I do wonder if this is too good to be true (since it was so easy); I’m sure I will find out soon! It doesn’t matter though because if the Evil Wolf comes back, I know exactly what I need to do.

Have you been trying positive reframing? If so, what have you experienced?

Lisa

P.S. If you would like to know the reason and purpose for this blog check out the About page here.

The Internal Struggle and the Road to Positivity

Everyone has negative thoughts from time to time but it’s when you identify with those thoughts that problems can occur. I am generally a positive person who can see opportunities in even the most undesirable situations. However, I have recently been struggling to overcome the identification with constant negative thoughts. This is rather unusual for me and it is the main reason I am Crazy Lisa at the moment. Negativity + Lisa = Crazy.

I recently realised that what I have been feeling is as though there are two people inside my head fighting each other. The Negative fighting the Positive. Come on, Positive! So, it was quite serendipitous for me to discover a comic about this internal fight by Zen Pencils called The Two Wolves. The comic describes exactly what I have been going through and it offers the most simple solution! It describes the struggle within as a terrible fight between two wolves. One wolf is evil and represents negative attributes such as anger, resentment, self pity and inferiority. The other wolf is good and represents positive attributes such as joy, peace, love, kindness and truth. In the end, the wolf that wins the fight is “the one you feed”. Of course, this solution seems so obvious but goddamn it can be hard to feed the Good Wolf!

After reading the comic, I thought about practical ways to feed my Good Wolf and I immediately thought of positive reframing. This involves changing the way you view situations, events and concepts with an emphasis on positivity. A study conducted by the University of Kent has revealed that the most effective methods to cope with failures are positive reframing (thinking about the achievements rather than the failures in the situation), acceptance (accepting rather than resisting what happened) and humour (laughing about the situation, if possible). You can access the full study here or read a brief summary by Science Daily here.

Another great resource I found is zonepositive.com which has a page dedicated to Positive Exercises that are aimed at reducing stress, dealing with negative beliefs, positive reframing and more. I found the exercise called Avoiding the Sinkholes very helpful and practical. It is an exercise designed to challenge negative thoughts and turn them into positive thoughts and behaviours. Exactly what I need! Hurrah!

All of the abovementioned information reminded me how simple (not necessarily easy!) it is to change your view of your circumstances. You have a choice. You can continue with the internal struggle, you can feed the Evil Wolf or you can starve it so that only the Good Wolf prevails.

Do you have any suggestions on how to deal with negative thoughts? Feel free to share it in the comments section below 🙂

Lisa

P.S. If you would like to know the reason and purpose for this blog check out the About page here.

A Spot Meditation to Relieve Anxiety

A friend and I were just discussing the crippling feeling of anxiety and the irony of being anxious about feeling anxious. For example, when I was Self Conscious Lisa I used to be very anxious in group situations, especially work meetings. If a meeting was coming up I would feel a huge amount of anxiety during the hours leading up to that meeting. The anxiety was due to being worried about feeling anxious while I was in the meeting. Argh! So much anxiety!

I told my friend that I learned a spot meditation that reduces anxiety almost immediately and started practicing that before and during my meetings. I have become a lot more comfortable in group situations now that I rarely have to use this meditation at all 🙂

The meditation is called 4-7-8 Breath Meditation and it involves the following:

  • Breathe in for 4 counts (make sure your belly expands as the breath fills it)
  • Hold you breath gently for 7 counts
  • Exhale for 8 counts

Repeat this 8 times and see how you feel. It has the ability to make you dizzy or light headed if you do it too many times. So start with 8 times; I don’t want you passing out in the middle of a meeting.

Try it next time you feel anxious and let me know how it goes!

Lisa

P.S. If you would like to know the reason and purpose for this blog check out the About page here.

The Benefits of Meditation

One of my favourite websites is psychologytoday.com. When I’m in the midst of a psychological funk I search for articles that I can relate to and I always find good quality information on this site. I immediately feel a sense of relief after reading facts about the issue I am experiencing. This sense of relief is mainly because I begin to understand myself more and what I am going through and I instantly feel able to take steps to address the issue. It is also useful to discover that I am not weird or insane 😉

The following Psychology Today article is not about a particular issue I need to address but it is about one of the primary methods I use to cope with daily stresses. It’s about meditation and its scientifically proven benefits. According to the article, research shows that a 10 minute meditation session can decrease anxiety and depression. It is also claimed that meditation facilitates self-acceptance and insight as well as reducing pain and enhancing the immune system! That’s pretty amazing!

I can personally say that meditation has had a profound impact on my life. I have struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. It influenced my behaviour and ultimately ruled my life (it was particularly evident during the Self Conscious Lisa phase). Since beginning to practice meditation 2 years ago (and only recently taking it up again) my feelings of anxiety have decreased dramatically! I also know how to use meditation to calm myself if I feel the Anxiety Monster creeping up on me.

I know the benefits of meditation can be experienced by everyone. Why not give it a try?

I hope you enjoy the article 🙂

Lisa

P.S. If you would like to know the reason and purpose for this blog check out the About page here.

The Beginning of My Re-creation!

This is my first official post and it marks the beginning of my re-creation! Hurrah!  So, I started doing a number of things to begin my re-creation then my boyfriend suggested that I make a checklist of the things that make me happy. Just to make sure I do them every day. Thank you, Felipe xx.

That’s how my Happiness Checklist was born! The checklist is below and so far I have checked off (almost) all of the items for the last 6 days! Go me! I definitely feel more amazing every day that I (almost) complete the list. The items are catered to me specifically and include things that always make me happy and feel balanced. Feel free to use this one for yourself or tailor it to suit you and what you love.

One thing that is not on the list (maybe it should be) is that sometimes I put entire chocolate biscuits in my mouth in one go. It makes me feel gooood 🙂

Happiness Checklist

  • Listen to upbeat music
  • Read inspirational quotes/books
  • Meditate – at least 6 spot meditations and one long meditation
  • Do something creative – e.g. photography, make jewellery, graphic design
  • Compliment at least one person
  • Do yoga

Welcome to Happy Town! 😀

Lisa

P.S. If you would like to know the reason and purpose for this blog check out the About page here.