This week we are looking at Noticing our thoughts. Why? Simply because what we think affects so much of our lives

Watch your thoughts; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become stories.
Watch your stories; they become excuses.
Watch your excuses; they become relapses.
Watch your relapses; they become dis-eases.
Watch your dis-eases; they become vicious cycles.
Watch your vicious cycles; they become your wheel of life.

By experiencing our thoughts, physical feelings, and emotions in more flexible ways, we can reduce the negative behaviors they often lead to (Hayes et al., 1996; Bach & Hayes, 2002).

These 2 videos provide simple practices that can be used with a group or on your own, and by adults and teens. The first video uses the Mindfulness practice of S.T.O.P (Stop, Take a breath, Observe your thoughts, Peace with your thoughts and yourself)

The second video uses the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (a “third-wave” cognitive behavioral intervention aimed at enhancing our psychological flexibility (Hayes et al., 2006)) The technique aims to put some distance between us and our negative self-talk so that we can observe rather than live the thought.

Noticing I

Noticing II

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Building Happiness and a habit of Reflection

Our brains are wired to tune into perceived danger. Which was really useful back when we had to run from saber tooth tigers but while there is still danger, not everything is a threat and this built in pattern of focusing on negative things can impact our mental health and overall wellbeing.

The good news is that there are ways in which we can change our thought process, and rewire our brain (neuroplasticity) to focus on the positive aspects of our lives.

Increasing our access to and awareness of positive emotions provides us with feelings of greater purpose, increases our joy, pride and contentment. The Three Good Things intervention intentionally elicits moments to reflect on events that generated positive emotion (Seligman et al., 2005; Sexton & Adair, 2018).

In a recent study, published in July 2020, 3 Good Things Participants exhibited significant improvements in their well-being which endured at all follow-up time points (1 month, 6 months and 12 months).

This is a wonderful practice for both you and your class,

Try out this practice for yourself

3 Good things - Instructions

When: Pick a day to start (try starting today!).

Duration: Decide if you want to do this for 7 or 14 Days.

Aim: The aim is to raise your awareness of the positive things in your life by consciously looking out for them and then giving time to reflect on the cause.

Why: By allowing time each night to reflect on 3 things that were positive we are factitiing a change in our neural pathways which will strengthen our positive outlook and weaken our negative outlook

How: Make a conscious choice to notice the good things in the day. It helps to make a one or two word note or take a picture, or pick an emoji when you realise that something good has happened. It can be something small like a stranger smiling or saying hello, or something bigger like receiving praise for your efforts.

Jotting them in your app as you go along makes it easier to recall and savour it when you complete your practice at the end of the day.

Every night – before you go to bed, look at the notes you have made or the picture you took. Take each one individually. Really think about it:

  • what is it that made you smile,
  • what was the cause,
  • what part did you play in it,
  • what part did someone else play in it,
  • what emotions did you feel (eg happy, grateful, awe etc).

Note down the answers – this is important. Log them in your Clanbeat reflections. This may feel a bit awkward at first but you’ll soon get the hang of it.

Look back – after a week, have a look back on what you’ve written. How does it feel when you look at all these good things? Do you notice any themes? Keep it up – try keeping it up for another couple of weeks at least. Many people find it becomes a bedtime habit.

After a while you may find that you don’t need to do it every night. Three times a week or even once a week might be enough. You may also find that you start to appreciate the good things more as they happen.

Logging your 3 Good Things in Clanbeat

Get started with Clanbeat today!


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