Jump Start Jan: Quality of Life Week: Day 7
It’s not exactly a secret that your thought patterns can have a significant effect upon your quality of life. Today we’re going to have a look at ways to steer them in the right direction. No guru required.
For starters, if you’re currently feeling very anxious, stressed, down or depressed, make your first port of call a check-up and assessment with your local GP. Don’t tell yourself to ‘snap out of it’, be kind to yourself and make an appointment today.
If you’re feeling less under the weather, try some of these ideas instead:
- Start writing down things that went well during your day – say, three to five things, every evening. This can shift your state of mind towards looking for good stuff, and away from worrying or annoying things.
- Enjoy some comedy. A TV show, a live show, a podcast, or time spent with a funny friend.
- Quieten the mind. Again, no guru required at all, just five minutes or more spent letting your thoughts float by, and concentrating upon your breathing might be all you need. There are even free meditation apps for your smartphone – try the Calm app for natural sounds with the option of guided meditation over the top.
There are lots of books to try reading on the subject too. I’m inclined to say look for ones written by people who are well qualified, experienced and up to date with good quality research. Mindfulness is an interesting subject area, for example.
What’s happening here?
I’m going to get back into the habit of taking a pre-tea-break-break in the afternoons, just a few minutes each day to unwind completely and focus any scattered thoughts.
What are you going to try?
Do you have any tips on motivating yourself. I’m always struggling to get myself in the right frame of mind for studying. (I’m a mature student). I loved the routine of work but this left to your own devices study makes it so easy to procrastinate.
Hi Etta – have been going through a procrastination patch here for a few days, so might not be the best person to ask 🙂
One thing I do know is that waiting for the right frame of mind usually means nothing gets done, so perhaps try to reframe that into getting into the habit of regular studying (even if you aren’t in the right frame of mind half the time).
It depends on your personality, but if you find getting into the habit a bit unpleasant then you could try getting the studying out of the way first thing, then you could have the rest of your day to do more fun stuff. It would give you nice ‘rewards’ to look forward to. There’s a book called ‘Eat That Frog’ on this subject that might interest you.
You could set up a simple rewards system if you’re drawn to positive reinforcement. Study for two hours, have a treat for half an hour. Study five days a week, have a weekend treat etc. That works for a lot of people.
There’s some evidence that positive visualisation can be demotivating for some people, although not all. If it does demotivate you, then you could try worrying about it – what will happen if you don’t study? Will you get a bad grade, will you fail your course, will you waste your money or harm your career? It can be VERY motivating for some of us… If that might apply to you, check out ‘The Antidote’ by Oliver Burkeman.
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