In our weekly slot where we chat about bits and bobs to do with mental health and wellbeing, a few words about trying to find some positives.

Hello and welcome to Wellbeing Matters, our weekly spot to have a chat. This week, a look on the bright side.

There’s a weird thing our subconsciousness sometimes does. It filters out the positive voices in our lives, and amplifies the negative. It highlights differences, creates doubt about our lives, our achievements. The things that make us happy.

Not cool, not professional, not the best, why bother? A litany of discontent, bubbling away at the back of our minds. But what if we switch that voice off? Bring the positive one to the fore.

Think about what you do well. And it doesn’t have to be much. What do I do well? If there’s one thing living with a chronic underlying health condition has taught me, some days it’s just to get up and get washed in the morning. Some days I feel like I’ve been fighting orcs in my sleep. My immune system is on overdrive on a continual basis, and it shows.

But there’s other stuff, small stuff. I’m great with dogs. I love them, they reciprocate. I grow beautiful roses in my yard. I’ve been told I make a great old-fashioned gin and tonic. I’m practical, level headed and punctual when I need to be. And I’m pretty nifty with words.

What do you do well? Hold a tune or belt out rock songs? Draw, paint, sculpt, weld metal sculptures? Bake amazing banana bread? Have a difficult job that often gets overlooked, but without which the wheels would come off our community? Or bringing people together in a safe way that makes them feel loved and valued.

It can be as small, as insignificant seeming as you like, so long as it’s something you do that makes you think hey, I did alright with this. Or it can be a great big glorious achievement that you busted your ass over, like gaining qualifications or a new job. Something that you’ve committed to, and seen it through to the end.

Achievements, however insignificant seeming, can have huge personal significance. There are odd days I pass out trying to lace my boots up. That’s okay, taking them back off is as much of a win as I need those days. Accepting this has been a huge step towards positivity for me. We all need a bit of self-care; the scale of how much just changes according to personal circumstance.

Some of that can start by taking pride in the things we are good at. Even if it is just wearing pyjamas and lying horizontal while your body re-enacts the Battle of Helm’s Deep inside of you.

Maybe today take some time to think about those small things that you overlook that you do well. Don’t be modest. Consciously, unconsciously – they’re your achievements, and far better a pillar to build your day on than the negative voices. Have a great day, and let the sunshine in.

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