There are many ways all or nothing thinking can get in the way of happiness or success, and perfectionism is one of them.
Our minds are more powerful than most of us give them credit for. One of the most amazing things about our minds is how our thoughts can not only influence our feelings and interactions with the world, but physically change the structure of our brains! Even seemingly small shifts in the way we think or act can lead to significant improvement in our wellbeing and satisfaction with life. Introducing “Psychology tip of the week.” Each tip is designed to give you something small to work on to improve your quality of life. I encourage you to treat each one as an experiment—try it out for a week and see how it feels, then continue using the ones that work best for you.
Tip 1: “What ifs” cause anxiety that can rob today of its joy over fear of something potentially bad (that may or may not actually happen) in the future. In some cases, this fear feels worse than it would feel if the “bad” thing actually happened. This week, try focusing on “what is” instead of “what if…?”
Few things are more stressful than natural disasters. They are unpredictable, often happen with little notice or time for preparation, and feel completely out of our control. For this reason, I often use the “hurricane example” when teaching stress management techniques—particularly the importance of differentiating what you can and cannot control, making a plan to control what you can, and coping with the emotions of what you can’t.
Are you and anxious parent? I know what it’s like to lay awake at night worrying. Do you? Worrying about whether you’re doing the right thing for your kids or doing enough for your kids. You might be worrying about your child’s future and how they will be able to make it in this world, or how they will be judged by others.
Doing your best is not a reason to stop trying. It's possible to be doing your best and try to do better. With continued effort, your best can improve over time.
Ok, I know a bowl of beets isn't as appetizing as a box of chocolates, but bear with me here. The other day I had beets that someone had given me that I wanted to use before they went bad. So I found a recipe and spent a good 30 minutes preparing this beet dish. Now I should mention that I have a long-standing mental-block against beets.
Progress is rarely a straight line. Today, try to focus on the progress you've made more than any setbacks you've experienced.
Mindfulness involves purposefully bringing attention to the present moment without judgment.
Today, find 5 minutes to intentionally be mindful of your breath.
Progress is rarely a straight line. Today, try to focus on the progress you've made more than your setbacks.