It is week 4 of quarantine. I know this is a fitness/exercise focused blog, but I thought it would be pertinent to continue to share some insights on positive psychology that can help us make the most of our time at home. Exercise is definitely a big part of it, trust me! Before we get to it, I wanted to make sure you are aware of all mental and emotional health resources available to you as an employee. EVERYONE can benefit from the cathartic effect of verbalizing anxieties, insecurities, fears, and struggles to a listening and knowledgeable ear.
Resources available to you include
Now, let's tap into the power of MINDFULNESS in breeding HAPPINESS in our lives!
Are you robbing yourself of your front- and-center?
No one can look at the picture above and not be a little unsettled by it. Imagine not being able to drive, read, recognize a loved one's face, or perform routine daily tasks. It is similar to the field of vision experienced by those with macular degeneration - the inability to focus on the middle, and most important field of vision. Quite debilitating.
I use this image as a metaphor - crude and imperfect as it is - to suggest what we are effectively doing when focusing and dwelling on everything except what is front and center. The gray blotch represents the PRESENT and most important areas of our immediate life. Notice the outer field of vision is crystal clear, yet not much help to the immediate situation!
Our focus this week is on INSPIRATION, and I am challenging you to be inspired by the present. During this time of quarantine and uncertainty we're bombarded with news and information at a fast and furious pace, which unfortunately, tends to fuel stress and anxiety. I encourage you to take this opportunity to re-center your focus on the present. It is easy to let the mind wander into future uncertainties, and dwell on past circumstances. In fact, the anxious and stressed out mind can easily be described as a time-travelling mind. It's a mind that is trying it's best to define and make sense of everything outside of our sphere of importance and influence. It's a mind consumed trying to make life's peripherals crystal clear, with a blurred out middle. It leaves less time to be happy and content with all things, front and center, and helps define and how to react to the here-and-now.
Removing ALL anxieties and stresses may not be possible, but what IS possible is INTENTIONAL focus on other things. In wellness, we refer to this intentional effort as MINDFULNESS!
Last week, I posted two areas of positive psychology - the Zeigarnik Effect and the power of "getting started", and what Flow Theory - being consumed by a task purely for it's own merit - teaches us about a content mind. In addition to those concepts, try adopting some of these areas of mindfulness in your life today
Mindfulness is not a stand-alone cure for many situations, but we should realize that the mind can be trained to focus on positive things, just like it does on negative! The peripheries in life should be used to sharpen the center of your picture, not blotch it out.
As a follow-up, I invite you to watch this Ted Talk by renowned positive psychologist Shawn Anchor. He puts happiness in an EXCELLENT framework, in terms of our perception of work and success. It's a funny and worthwhile 12 minutes!
Until next time!
Welcome to the Broad Scope Narrw Focus Blog! I hope you find a lot of useful and applicable information as we explore the broad world of Wellness together. Check in often, as there will be new posts weekly! Enjoy