Expectations are changing, familiar routines uprooted, things that were certain and taken for granted now uncertain and unavailable. Yet people and communities are galvanising, mobilising, stepping up and supporting each other in a way that we can all be proud of.
How we feel moment to moment, day to day on an individual level is varying. What I’m hearing, and experiencing to a degree too, is a roller coaster of emotions: feeling fearful, overwhelmed, hopeless and wanting to withdraw and hide one minute followed by an up surge of hope, motivation, inspiration, creativity and hope the next.
Our mindset is everything right now.
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves - Victor Frankl
So how do we cultivate a resilient, healthy mindset that enables us to remain resourceful, grow, flex and adapt and able to ride the roller coaster (or at least make it less scary)???
One of my four "Mindset fundamentals" is “PERMA”. It’s a model created by Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology. PERMA stands for the 5 essential elements that need to be in place for us to experience lasting wellbeing and happiness - for us to flourish - and they seem more relevant than ever today:
P - Positive Emotions
Find ways throughout your day to create any positive feelings and emotion such as joy, peace, gratitude, satisfaction, curiosity and love. How many different positive emotions can you experience in your day? For me an unexpected but welcome addition to my life on 'lockdown' is playing hide and seek with my dog and son. Joy is a really strongly positive emotions. I also aim for creating 'peace' within my day often at the start or end of the day by doing yoga, mediating or listening to a hypnosis recording - or even just taking a few deep breaths and thinking about feeling of calmness and peace
E - Engagement.
When we’re truly engrossed in a situation, task or project we experience a state of flow, we lose our sense of self and concentrate on the present and this feels really good. At these times we feel'at one with the music. These activities are usually clues as to our strengths, how we naturally think, feel and behave. What hobbies, tasks, activities do you ‘lose’ yourself in? How can you spend more time doing this?
R - Relationships
Having positive, healthy relationships with others is essential to our well being. The irony doesn’t escape me that only a few weeks ago I was writing about social connection and contact and now much of the world is operating a policy of social distancing and self-isolation!! That said, we can still create more and deeper connections with people through our words and gestures and through our shared experiences during this time. Technology enables us to connect and collaborate despite social distancing. Social distancing for many is also creating the opportunity for families to connect more closely in the home. So how can you make the most of these opportunities?
M - Meaning
Meaning comes from serving a cause bigger than ourselves, we all need meaning in our lives and people who are willing to serve others is what the world needs right now. This might be through our work and how it contributes to the world , why it matters or in helping others in our families or community. You might have a good sense of this already and feel connected to your 'life purpose', but not everyone does - so put more simply what can you do with your time that feels important to you?
A - Accomplishment / Achievement
Many of us want to grow and better ourselves in some way, to master new skills or achieve a goal. Right now what we are used to 'achieving' may have changed significantly. Where can you recognise achievement? What could you do to feel a sense of achievement every day no matter how small or large it might seem? Whether its signing a new client, ticking off 3 items on your 'to do' list or keeping calm when your house is in chaos!!
What will you do today to inject some PERMA power into your life?
Emma O’Brien is a Rapid Transformational Therapist, Mindset and Strengths Coach helping business owners with big plans overcome self-doubt, fears and limitations, claim their super powers and thrive.
Emma incorporates mindset, resilience and positive psychology within her Mindset + Strengths + Momentum system to help her clients achieve deeply transformational results.
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