A friend recently told me that when she knocked over her cup of coffee that morning, she knew “It was going to be one of those days…” One small misfortune after another haunted her that day, leaving her feeling stuck. She felt stuck in negativity, which caused a tremendous amount of stress and frustration. She didn’t get much done that day and decided to make it an early night.
We’ve all been there, right? It’s not a great place to be in... Stress and negative emotions can, in fact, restrict your brain from functioning at its fullest potential. That’s why you might end up feeling stuck, unable to find ways to get out of the stream of negative thoughts, emotions, and expectations.
In situations like this, we need to find ways to open up the neural pathways to the neocortex, the part of the brain that allows us to think logically and creatively, allowing us to:
- see more possibilities
- go beyond our habitual thinking patterns which may be holding us back
- experience renewed flexibility and choice
- find solutions to problems with more ease
Taking Control Over Your Wellbeing
I want to invite you to try this exercise the next time you’re having “one of those days”. Hopefully, it will support you to move into a more resourceful state of mind.
Imagine that you had a very special menu. A menu just like the one you get in a restaurant, the purpose of which is to see what’s available so you can make an informed choice about what to have for lunch. Before you order your food, you might consider things like:
- how hungry you are
- whether you’re also thirsty
- how much time you have to eat
- whether you feel adventurous and want to try something new
- how much money you want to spend on food today
This is what it comes down to:
You will most likely consider:
1) the state that you’re in;
2) what outcome you would like to have; and
3) how you might get that desired outcome.
So, back to that very special menu!
Imagine that you have a menu that displays the wide range of emotional states that we can experience, and imagine that this “emotion-menu” works just like the one you get in a restaurant.
Got that? Now start answering ALL of the following questions:
- Considering the emotional state you’re in right now, what might you order? In other words, how would you like to feel instead? Why is this important to you (today)? What do you hope to achieve?
- Considering all the areas of your life (e.g. work, family, friends, hobbies, spiritual, personal development, health, and fitness)…when, where, how or with whom do you usually feel this desired emotional state?
- Considering the rest of your day, what might be some of the things that you can do to incorporate some of these moments or activities?
I would love to hear what you think of this exercise! Was it effective in shifting your perspective and your emotional state or mood? On a scale of 1– 10, how successful were you in making this happen (10 = very successful, 1 = very unsuccessful)? How did the exercise create value for you?
Feel free to share your thoughts, comments or feedback. By doing so you might inspire others to take control over their wellbeing!