Imagine genuinely feeling good every day. For real. No pretending. When people ask how we are and we say ‘fine thanks’, we really are fine. Imagine that?! Well, it’s possible. In my keynote speech at the Spa Life International Conference last week in Birmingham, I talked about how, by controlling our thoughts and managing our mind-set, we can change how we feel. If we want to.
Let’s look at some facts. Every year in the UK:
- 1 in 4 of us will suffer with some form of mental illness.
- 10 million of us will suffer with some form of anxiety disorder (and that’s just those we know about).
- 4 out of 5 of us will not get the help we need.
By 2030 it’s predicted that depression will be the biggest health issue in the WORLD. So, imagine the kind of impact it would have on us all, if we started to believe that it was absolutely within our power to be able to feel good – because it is.
Some people have been so low for so long, that of course they need professional support. But there are also people that dip in and out of high and low emotional states on a regular basis, me being one of them. We have the ability to alter our mind-set to a ‘higher vibe’. And, with a bit of desire, focus and some techniques, set it as our default mode.
So why is it so difficult? Unfortunately, we’re hijacked daily by the reptilian brain, which still functions as it did back in the day of the cave man. As we fought off sabre toothed tigers, our key focus was to survive. Thriving wasn’t even on the radar back then.
When we feel under threat – and this usually comes from a negative thought, which drives a negative feeling – we can go into amygdala hijack. The rational brain is completely kyboshed by the reptilian brain and we go into self-preservation. Fight, flight or freeze. Time can bring the space we need to rationalise our thoughts, but many of us struggle to do this. If we can’t rationalise, we get stuck in a ‘low vibe’ default. From here we only see more problems, more threat and fear dominates.
In these moments, feeling good can seem impossible. But we can do it! We can feel good. It isn’t always easy, but it certainly isn’t impossible.
- The first step – start noticing.
- Use your emotions as your guide. When you don’t feel good, capture the thoughts in those moments. When you do feel good, do the same.
- Notice where you go more often – feeling good or not?
- What are the themes with your thought patterns? What are you telling yourself when you feel good? Tell yourself more of this!
- What are you telling yourself when you don’t feel good? Challenge this. Even if you only manage a 1% improvement, this is progress. Progress not perfection is the key here. Journaling and mantras are just one way to start to do this.
The day before my keynote, I spent the day doing 15 back to back speed dating business development meetings. I wasn’t feeling particularly good beforehand. Why? Because I had a belief (and beliefs drive our thoughts) that these ‘buyers’ were only coming along because they had to book meetings as part of the delegate package. Which is a fact by the way. But my very unhelpful thought pattern was that they didn’t really want to be there. I was aware of this, so I was very open to ‘look’ for the evidence to challenge these unhelpful thoughts. The evidence was all around me. In fact, I asked some of them outright how they felt about the meetings and everyone said they enjoyed them. That they saved time. That they always learned something. That they always left with great contacts and ideas.
I could have stayed stuck in my ‘low vibe’ around these meetings, but I was determined to reframe and challenge my thoughts. If I hadn’t been open to challenging my thoughts, I would have seen boredom on their faces, even if it wasn’t there. As a result I wouldn’t have had those affirming conversations.
Never underestimate the power of our thoughts.
If you’re interested in learning more, please drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us help you feel better.