Keeping Positive When You Are Not Well

Keeping Positive When You Are Not Well

I had just given my first ever group coaching event looking at wellbeing and resilience in the workplace when I came down with a short illness. Nothing serious, a chest infection that dragged on, leaving me exhausted and aching. The usual activities that frame my day and keep me happy went by the wayside. The daily walking, connecting with others and meditation were beyond me and I soon felt the effects of the loss.   When Things Start to Unravel By the second week, I was less physically unwell but still tired and listless and that was when the psychological impact really started to show. I felt low and unmotivated and my playfulness disappeared; always a good barometer of my wellbeing. Humour is crucial to me. As one of my top strengths, I rely on seeing the funny side, looking at life from different perspectives and making others laugh. These are the things that buoy me up, they give my life its colour and vibrancy. Without it, everything was effortful and lacked meaning. And this was the toughest part – everything seemed pointless. It was ironic that I had been coaching others only the week before to help them notice their signs and triggers around life’s stressors so they could build the self-awareness to monitor their wellbeing. Yet here I was, so quickly feeling lost and disconnected with only a minor hiccup in my health.   Every Setback Can Be An Opportunity to Learn! Okay I thought, I should be able to dip into the bag of tools I have been putting together to support myself and others. After...
Feeling Ubuntu, thinking Iroquois – How new words can give us new ways of being

Feeling Ubuntu, thinking Iroquois – How new words can give us new ways of being

The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein once said “The limits of my language means the limits of my world”. What this means is, when we have a narrow viewpoint and limited means of expressing ourselves we are limited in what we think, feel and know. Our culture is just one of so many cultures, and to limit ourselves to our own small fish bowl only prevents us from growing in spirit, mind, and body. This blog explores how the introduction of two words from different cultures can hep us shift our thinking to a more global and caring mindset – Ubunto and Iroquois. Language concepts Lisa Feldman Barrett’s work on the Theory of Constructed Emotions tells us that we can change our unhealthy emotional responses and behaviours and create better ones, just by interpreting our emotional responses in a healthier way. However, if we only have a limited vocabulary and limited awareness of what is possible, we are trapped in a cycle of unhealthy thinking. We need to expand our world by finding and learning new ways of thinking, which will help us create new ways of feeling. Ubuntu An African word, roughly translated means “I am because of you”. Desmond Tutu first introduced this to the West, explaining that it is about feeling compassion, love and respect for everyone, to recognise that we are all connected and everything I do is bound up in everything you do. None of us exist without the millions of other people existing before us, with us and after us.  Nelson Mandela explained it as that experience of arriving at a new place and the...