Today I am going to make someone smile

1st May 2020

We are now into week 6 (whoa, how is it week 6?!?!) of lockdown at InterLearn and having read an article on how this amount of time will start to have an impact on our mental wellbeing, I was more than keen to seize the opportunity and attend a free webinar that was offered by Remploy; ‘How negative thinking can impact on your resilience.’

For most of us, working from home has always been a luxury, at InterLearn there are a large number of us who have always been used to working in an open plan office where human interaction is high and therefore working in isolation was rare. Whilst Microsoft Teams, companywide meetings and our daily elevenses have all been a tremendous help in bridging the gap, encouraging work colleagues to come together and stay in virtual contact, I have always been conscious how this shift in the way we work can have an impact on our mental wellbeing. The webinar highlighted how working in isolation can increase your negative thoughts, but also gave us ways in which we can recognise these thoughts and help prevent them in the future.

There are 5 negative thinking patterns that can have an impact on your , these are:

  • Mind Reading – where working in isolation can cause you start to think you know what people are thinking and also what they are thinking
  • Catastrophing – when you think about something and believe the situation is far worse than you think.
  • Fortune Telling – where you begin to assume that your prediction is fact.
  • Personalising – when you take responsibility for something that isn’t your fault.
  • Filtering – where you focus on the negative aspects of your job rather than looking at the positive impact you have had on others.

All of these negative thinking patterns have an impact on your work and ultimately your resilience. To help avoid these patterns it is important to RECOGNISE these thinking patterns and focus on the facts. It is through this process you will then be able to REFRAME your thoughts and start looking for solutions rather than increase your levels of stress and anxiety. This approach will then help you develop a strategy to deal with negative thinking and enable you to adopt a more positive approach within the workplace. A new mindset will then enable you to take a more optimistic approach, which surely is a good thing?!!! Some ways of achieving this are;

  • To focus on the good and try and plan something to look forward to in the future. We know this may be a little difficult with the current social distancing rules, but even if you schedule in a nice walk on a Sunday morning, it is surprising how something so little can have a huge impact on the way you think.
  • Use positive affirmations at the beginning of the day. Now, we are not expecting anything grand, we certainly appreciate how time is precious particularly on a Monday morning. But even if you start your day by saying something like, ‘today I am going to make someone smile,’ you will be surprised how this will have a positive impact on your thought process for the day.
  • Find and share humour in challenging situations. Everyone loves to laugh, and it is surprising how infectious a person’s laughter is! So with this said, it is important to try and find humour in any situation that you may find difficult. This does not lessen the problem you are dealing with, but helps you tackle the situation with a different mindset!

It is important to remember that these are unprecedented times, we have never experienced a time like this before, so it is perfectly natural if you are feeling low, or have a bad day. We hope the insight into this webinar helps strengthen your resilience and has also made you smile. 😊

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