Posts Tagged ‘Positivity’


Sunday, June 13th, 2010

I have heard the word “intention” mentioned in three different contexts over the past few days. This can’t be coincidence. There’s clearly something I’m meant to explore. It’s another one of those occasions where I have taken a rather long and protracted route to arrive at a common psychological concept, this being we are more likely to do that which we intend to do –

And that stating it makes it real.

Self Talking

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Thanks to some intensive therapy, I am now queen of self-talk; and, whilst I don’t always feel like “being positive” or “having an internal conversation”, an article last week got me thinking about just how valuable this is.

To emphasise the point, the ‘fact’ on my shampoo bottles (shampoo: “who is the person you talk to most?” / conditioner: “yourself”) have concurred to make the message heard. This is clearly a subject that I am meant to be writing about –

Self-talking is something I now do on a regular basis. It kicks in, the moment my head kicks off – and seems to work through a few key themes:


Walking on the Bright Side…

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Because things are changing at the moment, and so I’m tired – and panicky – and a little bit afraid, I have lost sight of the bigger picture – and ended up just focusing on what’s going wrong. It’s okay to recognise when you’re struggling; but it’s important to also keep the not-so-bad bits in mind –

I have become so entangled with the negative, recently, that I have stopped appreciating the things that are good. Have been so busy making comparisons and coveting other people’s treasures – that my own have become neglected and dull.

This is the kind of thinking that keeps my dissatisfaction high and kept my eating disorder thriving…

So I am going to step around the fear of acknowledging that which is precious to me (and therefore might be lost); and move beyond the guilt that often accompanies the good things (because having comes with the question of what I deserve); and get over my resistance to “things could be worse” type commentary…

Because, really, Melissa, things could be far far worse.

Sometimes it’s better to take a step back and allow the bigger picture in…

1. I am here

Things I Like About Being Me

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Yesterday, I stumbled across a link on twitter to an article listing “30 Things I Love About Myself”, and was immediately struck by the concept.

Listing things we love about ourselves is not something we are often encouraged to do, particularly in the UK. Modesty is seen as an attribute; and pride tends to come before a fall – or so I have always believed.

Accepting that an outfit looks nice takes places after some painful to-ing and fro-ing (“do you really think so?” – “yes really” – “but doesn’t it look out of place?” – “no, not at all”); and is, more often than not, accompanied by a mental twist (“she didn’t mean that”). Whilst blowing your own trumpet typically comes with an apology (“I don’t mean to brag but…”) or a quick justification (“well, that’s what so-and-so thought”) – so that it’s acceptably said.

Liking yourself might be mistaken for arrogance – or is halted, subconsciously, before the charge can be laid; and why wait for other people to point out your weaknesses if you can get there first…

You can not, I am beginning to learn, expect others to like you if you don’t even like yourself.

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Since going to see Alice in Wonderland, I have been completely taken by the idea of believing in “6 impossible things before breakfast”.

I have also realised that even getting to one is quite a challenge for me.

Despite my best attempts, a rather annoying voice chimes in and points out the irrationality of my thinking – and that’s before we’ve got anywhere near to blue caterpillars and talking cats.

“Today will be a great day” is countered by “you’re setting yourself up for a fall.” “Anything’s possible” is “provided” that things like rain, and ironing, and traffic jams, don’t get in the way. And, “crazy” ideas are negated with a “but”, or abandoned, mid creation, “because that would be ridiculous” –

Alice would disapprove. This is not at all what Lewis Carroll was talking about and my current approach is fundamentally flawed. I am vetting what’s possible – or not – before it even becomes a thought, let alone something I’d consider believing in.

So, in order to meet the target, I’m putting in a little preparation and trying to….

1. Create some space.

The Little Things

Friday, March 5th, 2010

The guy next door offered to walk me home.

I forget sometimes, that it really doesn’t take a lot.

One kind word or a gentle gesture, and suddenly, the bridge between me and the rest of the world seems infinitely smaller.

It is important, every now and then, to remember this.

New Year, New You?

Monday, December 21st, 2009

I am not great with new years.

I tend to find the ending, daunting; and the expectations, a little too much to take.

I get a little scared that I will wake up, on the first of January, to a completely alien landscape –

Or that it will be completely the same.

For a few years, I worried that I wouldn’t wake up at all.

I’ve clearly brought into the ‘new year new you’ hype and the inevitable annual apocalypse; so, this year, I’m getting prepared, and I’m trying to enter 2010 on a more positive footing –

It is an opportunity, and not an ending.

A Little Hope –

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

When I was walking back through Kings Cross station with the world on my shoulders and my eyes on the floor, I suddenly remembered a good idea that I’d almost forgotten; and, all at once, the weight was lifted and the bounce in my step returned –

There is nothing more important than a little hope.

It is that small glimmer of possibility, that makes the unbearable, bearable; and, changes the frustration of ‘can’t’ to ‘might’.

Without possibility, there is no hope; and, without hope – well, what’s the point?

Five Good Things

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

I am not great at positive affirmations and platitudes. I’ll do them – spontaneously and under a different name – but I find forced sentimentality a little nauseating…

Which is why my next strategy may come as a bit of a surprise!

‘Five Good Things’ is my version of the ‘things that I am grateful for today’ concept. I have used it at various stages in my illness, my recovery, and in those horrible periods when life seemed pretty bleak and it was hard to see the point.

Interestingly – and unintentionally – it also proved a great way of falling asleep at night; particularly during times when my head refused to be quiet or the emptiness of going to bed with a mind full of miserable thoughts was just too much to bear.

Now, it’s good for days when I have that nagging sense of dissatisfaction, or when I get caught up in the hype and forget that it’s the little things that really make the difference –

Because ‘Five Good Things’ is really simple and all about recognising the brief moments of specialness – so that they become a lot bigger.

Skipping With Flo Rida

Monday, September 7th, 2009

It has been a bleak day – and so I have been skipping.

Not with a rope – I hasten to add – but kiddie style, with an i-pod and Flo Rida, and because the sun is shining, even though I have had a bleak day.

I have learnt how to cheer myself up now.

I have been shown a few little tricks to ward off the black clouds and evade the tug of addiction

The Art of Positive Thinking

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

I am, by nature, a glass half empty person. If I think the worst, I’m tempting fate; if I’m quietly confident, then catastrophe is inevitable.

Or that’s what it feels like sometimes.

Fortunately, positive thinking can be acquired.

Like any bad habit, you can re-wire your head if you practice something enough.



Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

How simple is this. I don’t even need an extended post.

If you smile at someone, they’ll smile back.

If they don’t smile back, you don’t mind that much because at least you’re more smiley than they are.

If they do smile back, you feel all warm. The world isn’t that bad and you’re not really on your own.

Excellent all round.

You’ve just got to remember to do it.

The ‘what have you got to lose’ approach

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

Hitting the bottom is strangely liberating. It’s easier to throw caution to the wind when it feels like the worst has already happened.

The ‘what have you got to lose’ approach is similar to “what’s the worst that can happen?” in psychiatric speak. The latter never worked for me – because if I knew what ‘the worst that could happen’ was then it wouldn’t be so terrifying – but the former’s been quite useful.

The subtle difference? The ‘worst that can happen’ assumes something bad in the outcome; the ‘nothing to lose’ admits that your starting place ain’t worth conserving.


The ‘everything happens for a (positive) reason’ approach.

Friday, June 12th, 2009

A wise man once asked me what good had come out of my eating disorder. If it had happened so that something positive could come out of the whole experience; what would that positive be?

Sweet FA was my answer for a very long time.

But I was missing the point.


Negative Automatic Thoughts (a positive take on)

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

Apparently, expecting the worst and sticking to generalisations are common negative automatic thoughts.

This makes me feel a lot better about my own negative automatic thoughts.

Therapy and cognitive theories aside, I am reassured by the fact that the thoughts have a name. It infers a commonality. It suggests that other people entertain the same ideas – and shared things are so much easier to manage than those that you’re battling alone.

It is, possibly, a little unkind to feel comforted in the knowledge that other people are also tortured by their heads –

But, it’s also easier to start changing thinking when you see the thoughts as patterns and not realities. It’s far simpler to challenge the mindset when you see it through the reflection of other people.

Getting to that point’s the harder bit – but another nice thing about a generic term is that you’ve got a handy checklist so you know what you’re looking for.