Stop Looking Back, You’re Not Going That Way
- Negative past experiences that have not been dealt with can get in the way of your happiness.
- Some of the rules and beliefs inherited from your past may not serve you well now.
- Learning to let go of difficult past events will bring you a new sense of freedom.
- Learning to create new, flexible rules and beliefs will offer psychological flexibility. This will contribute to your happiness.
- You have a choice to take control and not be dominated by the darker parts of your past.
Get Out of Your Head
- Thoughts are automated processes and many are negative in nature.
- Thoughts are not facts.
- Learning to stop, create space and observe the mind, rather than buying into its narrative, will ease distress.
- Always examine the evidence for negative or critical thinking.
- Happiness comes when you detach more from interacting with the mind’s chatter and learn to become the peaceful observer.
- Regrets are common.
- When you get stuck in a pattern of regret, aim to start letting go.
- Your regrets are fuelled by underlying patterns and beliefs but you can change this.
- Naming, understanding and making amends for regrets will help you heal.
- Self-forgiveness will help you move forward.
- Unresolved regrets will impact upon your happiness if you don’t deal with them.
The Worry Trap
- Worry is a normal part of the human experience.
- Excessive habitual patterns of worry contribute to anxiety.
- Understanding how your mind works will help you regain a sense of control.
- The problem is often your relationship with worry rather than the worries themselves.
- Change what if to then what thinking.
- Create a dedicated ‘worry time’ to prevent worrying from derailing your day.
- Less worry contributes to a happier life.
- Remind yourself that you are not your thoughts.
Hell is Other People
- The people in your life impact on your happiness.
- It is important to understand that other people’s behaviours often have nothing to do with you.
- It is important to understand why you tolerate bad behaviours and be aware of what’s right for you and what is not.
- Managing unhealthy relationships is a four-step process of: lowering the emotional barometer, pattern recognition and letting go, rational communication and future boundaries.
- Who you surround yourself with is a reflection of how you see yourself. Make choices that enrich your life and contribute to your happiness.
Kick the Habit
- It is important to identify and understand your unhelpful habits.
- Many of these habits are automated and used as coping strategies.
- Wean yourself off your habits gradually at a pace that is comfortable for you.
- Seek help when needed.
- Remind yourself that you are enough.
- Find alternative healthier habits.
- Self-soothe techniques will help.
- Remember the cost of unhealthy habits.
- You have control over how you manage your habits. You equally have control over how you contribute to your personal happiness with the choices you make.
Stop Blaming and Take Responsibility
- There are underlying reasons why you are blaming other people and circumstances, and not taking responsibility for your life and happiness.
- Blaming does not bring about positive outcomes.
- Four steps for managing this are: acceptance, reflecting on what you have learnt, using values to move you out of this pattern and taking responsibility.
- Letting go of blaming will improve your life and make you happier.
Comparison is the Thief of Joy
- Comparing your life and situation to others’ and constantly seeking more has a negative impact on your wellbeing.
- There are always underlying psychological processes that explain why you do this.
- Practising gratitude will have a positive impact on your state of mind.
- Acts of kindness will change your perspective.
- Simplicity will help declutter your life.
- Turning inwards will help you achieve more insight.
- Drama patterns can impact negatively on your life.
- Patterns can always be explained by underlying psychological processes.
- Drama patterns can be broken by admitting, naming, replacing and managing them without judgement.
- Dealing with this will have a positive impact on your life, your wellbeing and your happiness.
Living in the Now
If you have spent a long time living in future-mode, this will all feel rather strange and unusual. Commitment for this part of our work is focussed on turning up more for your life in the here and now. In short, you are giving yourself permission to live fully, rather than in a state of preoccupation, worrying about something yet to come.
You will fail sometimes and get it wrong. There will be days when it feels tough, but these are the days when you will learn most, as is true of most of life.
Some ways in which you might achieve this are:
- Stop a few times in the day to check in with how you are in the moment. It will ground you.
- Schedule ‘catch a breath moments’ in your day when you take time out to simply breathe. It will take your attention away from the future.
- Practise letting go of future-focussed living.
- Become more focussed on experiencing fully everyday moments, even the simple things like drinking a cup of tea. It brings focus to the here and now.