The Wheel of Well-being and how to employ Curiosity and Gratitude
Posted on 29th June 2020 at 07:23
The Corona Virus era seems to be coming to an end leaving quite a few of us feeling unsecure and anticipating the future with uncertainty and fear. When the confusing dread of anxiety and depression infuse the mind we lose the ability to see clearly the very things that we are able to influence and improve.
The Wheel of Well-being and Resilience
The Wheel of Well-Being and Resilience can give us clarity of the four human life energies and the domains that can affect their levels.
The rest of the sections are representing the domains that we can cultivate and enrich, build and expand so our life-energy, resilience and well-being serve us well by being optimal or maximal when needed.
Each of the domains are important and interrelated. Improving or neglecting one of them will have relevant impact on the rest.
Resilience is our ability to adapt, maintaining psychological well-being and bounce back from difficult experiences having learned better how to deal with life adversities. The question of resilience is not if one has it or not. It is part of our evolutionary development as highly adaptable species; it is embedded as one of the internal resources ensuring survival.
Resilience is something we can build up and make it stronger through multiple different methods and practices. My favourite three are:
Practice Self-Care and honour your emotions and needs.
Value and build your Relationships.
See the Bigger Picture and find your place in it through contribution and gratitude.
When suffering with Anxiety Disorder there are two of the domains that one can work on improving relevantly quickly: Curiosity and Gratitude.
Curiosity is the ability to learn, investigate, wonder and explore. It supports the feeling of Freedom and the notion of Adventure. Interestingly the notion of adventure accommodates the emotions of Excitement and Surprise. Those two emotions are almost identical as sensations with the feeling of Anxiety as all maintain state of high emotional and cognitive arousal.
How we turn Anxiety to Excitement depends on our thought process and the valence of our expectations. For example, worrying about the future has a negative valence and is generated through cognitive distortions, overall negativity and fearfulness. The expectation here is that the future will not bring anything but terrible fate.
If decision is made, instead of feeling anxious, to begin anticipate the future with excitement will generate a completely different from anxiety mental state and inforce more positive attitude. Curiosity can be: wondering what one can do, exploring possibilities, investigate different options and exploring life instead of being stagnated. All of those, when put in practice, become alternatives to anxiety.
Gratitude is the ability to show genuine appreciation of life, people and experiences and to be prepared to return kindness to the world.
We fall victims of the law of familiarity where there are so many precious and beautiful things in life we take for granted or omit their existence from our attention. The reality is that we can focus on one thing at any given time. People suffering with anxiety, stress and depression focus their attention on the negative aspects of life:
Catastrophizing life scenarios
Consistent presence of sadness
Persistent worries, many of which are irrational and unlikely to happen
Inability to cope with daily tasks and life in general
It is only natural and logical that keeping oneself in a state of immobilising stagnation will result in a mental health disorder.
The Reticular Activating System (RAS) is the part of the brain that performs a vital role in maintaining consciousness and motivation. It is also responsible for filtering and prioritising our sensory information, helping us to focus attention and remain alert. Using the personal power of decision making we can direct attention to more positive, inspiring, intriguing, interesting and empowering thoughts and life experiences, hence, nurturing Curiosity and Gratitude.
The state of Gratitude and appreciation completely dissolves the state of Anxiety as both cannot exist simultaneously. Practicing Gratitude daily will help retrain the mental focus to direct and recognise those precious and beautiful things in life one has been taking for granted, resulting in depleted levels of anxiety and depression.
By making the decision to talk, think and engage with the things in life we love would eventually retrain our mental state. Very much like an athlete that trains for a race, it takes practice, awareness, specific regime and clear determination. The focus is on the race and how to win. The therapist and counsellor does exactly what a coach would do. Only, to become an athlete there is a necessity to have some natural talent for running.
As a client or a patient, we already have in possession the in-built human internal resources that can support any change we would like to elicit in our psychological and emotional state. The possibilities of what can be achieved with the help of a skilled and empathetic counsellor or psychotherapist, are limitless…
Tagged as: Anxiety, Burnout, Counselling, Depression, Hypnotherapy, Mental health, Mental health help, Psychotherapy, Self help, Stress, Therapy, Well-being
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