Daily News

There’s a lot of colourful stuff in the media at the moment:  from corporate collapses to allegations of dodgy dealings and that high profile industrial action that none of us could have failed to notice! 

It’s all made the TV news and it’s all competed for our attention. Much of it feels threatening and negative. Because a lot of what’s going on has sparked strong emotions one way or the other, events seem to be even bigger and bolder they are. The mind confuses vividness with frequency: it’s a bias we all have.

In the same way, you could say we are all authors of our own personal narratives. Each day our attention is grabbed by something in our own little worlds and we create headline memories. Some things stay private but in the modern world of social media, a lot more is shared than used to be. Reading Facebook, it certainly seems that some people share so much happy news they appear to have near perfect lives. The social media newsfeeds of others are full or drama and sadness, even indirect pleas for help.

What we think about is what we become. Our happiness and sense of personal fulfilment is intimately related to where we pay most attention. Focus on the negative and we construct a bleak personal narrative: a story of failure, hopelessness and sadness. Focus on the positive and we encourage self-belief, purpose, satisfaction and happiness.

With the growth of positive psychology and the increasing interest in resilience, is it possible that we can teach ourselves the art of viewing our lives through a positive lens? I am not really talking about major life events like trauma and loss, because because it’s healthy to feel upset when it comes to these. It’s more the day to day niggles that are part of day to day life – the missed train, the setback at work, a dent in your car or a broken boiler. These hassles can be time consuming and costly to resolve, but they take up a disproportionate amount of our emotional time and have a detrimental impact on our wellbeing. Accepting the things we can’t change and taking control of the things we can, is easier said than done. However, it is possible not to turn a hassle into a crisis and then share our negativity with others. We have a choice about the headlines we write, share and remember.

Perhaps you’d like to write a better personal narrative? For more information book on our bite-sized Resilience Workshop: it’s a great place to start a new chapter.



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