No, they aren’t selfish!

Conflict can be so tough.  Any skills we can learn to help us deal with it would be beneficial, right?

The blog today is going to be talking about ‘I’ statements – as touched on the Facebook live earlier in the week – check out http://www.facebook.com/wellnessassist if you didn’t see it.

Firstly, we probably need to get this out of the way – ‘I’ statements aren’t selfish!  In fact, they are a really effective way to respectfully and effectively communication feelings.

They are though, just one way of getting your point across.  There are obviously others but I like these because they are simple but yet so powerful.

Just the power of recognising and labelling feelings is phenomenal.  If we can teach this to children and adolescents – we can help make sense of situations that may have previously perplexed them!  I know myself, when I can be specific about my own feelings, it is so much easier to work through them.  Ok, and maybe I’m a pros and cons list kind of girl – useful when you have time, but not so useful when you need to respond quickly!

I think one of their ‘features’, if you like, is that they are focused on solutions – and if you have ever been part of a really effective team, solutions are always a way to move forward!  Interestingly, most people often know what they want to happen when there is conflict – by using ‘I’ statements as a model just allows us to communication what we want.

Let me give you an example:

Your friend Robyn always cancels plans at the last minute.  The final straw was that she stood you up, leaving you standing outside a fancy restaurant.  You could choose to use an I statement…something like this…

Robyn, I feel like I’m not a priority when you keep cancelling plans.  It makes me feel so rejected!  Can you please not commit to plans unless you are sure you can make it and then we can keep having great times together.

Even typing that felt awkward!!  But you get the idea, simple but to the point and clearly using your own words.  It does take practice, but man, its liberating when you can get it sorted!

Choosing to actively deal with conflict and communicate using ‘I’ statements gives us confidence and I look forward to hearing how they go for you!  Feel free to connect to let me know how you find them!

 

What’s your default?

Let me ask you a question – truly, when was the last time you really thought about all the good things you admire about yourself?  Was it this week?  Last month?  Last year?  Or at worst, never, maybe you have never taken the time to notice the positive things about yourself??

Well today, if you do nothing else, I want you to sit down and be truly kind to yourself. And maybe it has to wait until everyone else is in bed for you to have five minutes alone, that’s ok, it won’t take long!

You are going to practice writing a list of (or at least start with one thing) that you wholeheartedly admire about yourself.  You will be kind to yourself in a way you would be to a valued friend, this is the practice of self-compassion.

Let me get things started – I love how determined I am once I set my mind to something. When I was a child, I imagine this was quite punishing for my family, but it has absolutely set me in good stead as an adult.  What’s the first thing on your list?  Maybe you can write five, or more? Do that now.

Ok, good, tell me you have something written, or at least is in your mind – the task for the coming week is to pick one of the things you admire and say this to yourself each day.  Repeat as often as you like.

So, to be fair, it might take more than a week, but there are a couple of good reasons to practice this:

  • we need to regularly practice being kind to ourselves (so when there a threats to our self-esteem, self-compassion, not self-criticism, is our default),
  • Even our minds need reminding how awesome we are sometimes AND
  • when we hear something enough, it changes the way we think about ourselves – and that itself, is really powerful!

Image result for self-compassion

Featured Image Source:  https://www.google.com.au/search?q=self-compassion&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj_tarvkq7UAhUHW5QKHfnmChcQ_AUIBigB&biw=1366&bih=662#tbm=isch&q=self+compassion&imgrc=0_pS2RnnksMLBM:

More on habits.

Since the live session on rituals and habits – I’ve been doing some research in my circle, aka discussing with friends, that the importance of rituals is, indeed true, in their lives too. If you missed it, you can see the live session at https://www.facebook.com/wellnessassist/

Our habits have such a huge effect on the way we perceive things.  From the field, here is another example:

Meet Sharon* – Sharon chooses to go to bed and leave the dishes there from the day – instead of just sucking it up and getting it done…Sharon leaves them until the next day, doesn’t seem like a big deal.  Sharon walks past them until lunchtime, or later when she feels annoyed enough by them, that she finally does them.  If Sharon had done them the previous night, there would have been no energy spent being annoyed by them and no impact on her next day. You see?

Ok, no more examples, just action!  Yes, action is crucial to choosing a marvellous life!!

Also, I cannot believe I did the whole live session about Rituals and Habits and didn’t mention ‘The Slight Edge’.  This is a marvellous book by Jeff Olson, that I think really highlighted to me that making good choices has such cumulative positive effects.  Similarly, consistently making not so wise choices can have the reverse effect.  I did know this, but the book puts it so simply!  I challenge you to read it this month if you can get your hands on a copy!

And obviously, if we are to choose a marvellous life, our next action is to take a look at our own habits and work out if they are helpful or not.  It IS more complex than this, but this will help you make a start!

Ask yourself:

Is this of value to me?

If it is – great, keep doing it.  If it isn’t, look for an alternative positive habit to take its place, and take the necessary actions to replace it!

Be sure to start small, be kind to yourself, celebrate wins and keep going!!

The good news is that it is never to late to change a habit, you just have to make the change and then stick to it…consistently…I feel like ‘consistent’ is going to be the word of this month!

Again, just like the goals, you need to be connected to your new habits – make them yours and make them count!

Image Source:  www.slightedge.org

*name changed so this person was’t identified

I will not use my mobile phone whilst driving.

I’ve made a decision this week to never use my mobile phone while driving.

Yes, I confess, I’ve done it before – and if you asked my children I was ‘arrested’ – for the record, I wasn’t, but I may have received a sizeable fine and a little bit of a damaged ego – but that’s a story for another day!

You see, the reason for my decision and declaration as above is that I’ve been doing a great online (and free might, I add) course about Mindfulness and Peak Performance.  To tell the truth, whilst I’m a little behind, I’m actually loving it.  One of the notions we have been learning about the attentional blink and that effective multi tasking isn’t really even a thing, nor is it a way to be more productive.

In fact, complex multi-tasking sees increased errors, missed information and increased stress levels, which all, in turn activate the part of the brain which sets off the stress response. Like, walking and talking is an act of simple multitasking, but driving a car and using your mobile phone is an example of complex multi-tasking.

You know, multi-tasking is actually a ‘misnomer’ – it is not possible for our brains to process two tasks/activities at the same time- so while we think we are doing two things effectively at one time – WE’RE NOT – sorry ladies!

When our focus is on one task, not only is it not on the other task, there is also time lost on the time it takes to switch between tasks.

This time is called the attentional blink – so when previously I was talking on my phone and driving my car – neither was getting my focused attention – so I’m here telling you, I’m making the change – and if you ever catch me – feel free to call me out!

Another point to note is that the more stressed we are, the longer this ‘blink’ is – it makes me wonder about those people who work with two computer screens – I would absolutely question if they believe this makes them more productive??  And if they do think they are more productive, are they really?

Efficient attention switching on the other hand is a learned skill and one that I see is necessary in our modern world.  It sees intense focus on one task at a time, which decreases stress and increases productivity. Easier said than done, I know, but with practice, definitely an incredibly valuable skill to have in your repetoire`.

One way to learn this is through practicing mindfulness frequently, so when you actually need the skill, your mind knows what to do.  They used a good example in the course about learning to swim – you don’t wait until you are the man overboard before you learn how to swim – you diligently went to the lessons and learned the skill as a preventative measure – mindfulness practice, therefore, is a preventative measure for good physical and emotional health.

So…. what simple actions can you do today that will help you be more mindful?

  • Try catching yourself out and becoming more aware of your thoughts.
  • Do one task at a time – I’ve got to say this is harder than it sounds.  Keep practicing bringing your attention back to the task at hand.
  • Practice self-compassion when you catch your mind wandering off – just be gentle to yourself as you bring your attention back.

Remember becoming more mindful is a process to be practiced and that small daily actions are what become helpful habits.

I love sharing this information, the more I know about it, the more I believe mindfulness has such a place in this modern world we live in!

So, I’ve committed to not using my phone while I’m driving, and I’m working on some other simple, more mindful actions, what will you commit to?

 

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Copyright : John Takai