Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Gumption



I've been doing the Mel Robbins #mindsetReset challenge. I watched all the videos and I've continued to use her guide to journal at the start of the day. One of the things you are to think about each morning is 'what are you grateful for'. Now, there's a lot of science behind this. Simply put, positive people are happier and attract more happiness. They don't see a setback or a bad thing as an issue, and they don't get caught in that downward spiral of negative thoughts. I have such a tendency to beat myself up, after being trained to do so by a bad relationship. I’m out of that but the thoughts remain. I’m trying to fix that.
She encourages you to pick a word for the year. Mine is gumption. I made a cute sign out of my old scrapbooking supplies and used my Quickutz hand cutter for the first time in ages. And it looks very cute. See. I like the way the word feels meaty in my mouth, you know?
A person with gumption is shrewd, resourceful and full of initiative. They have courage and common sense. As a bonus it implies not only that you stick it out and get stuff done but that you know what the next thing to do is.
Cambridge Definition: the ability to decide what is the best thing to do in a particular situation, and to do it with energy and determination.
I posted it on Twitter and the Mel liked it. [squees. sempai noticed me. lmao]
Gratitude has to be really specific to work like this. It won't work if you say you are grateful for your family, or your health, or something that's too big to see clearly.
The other day I wrote that I was grateful for the young girl who chased me down in the mall to hand me the book I had dropped. It was a library book, too, Imagine? The cost of replacement alone would have been too much for me that week. Libraries do not pay the RRP for titles. I have never lost a library book in my life; the shame might kill me.
I'm thankful for CHOICE, a consumer product testing group whose advice I took purchasing my coffee machine, which is still going strong after ten years.
I subscribe to a lot of author newsletters and recently it seems like everyone has a death in the family. There's been at least six; some unexpected, some long and dragging and in each case it has really derailed the author's life, as it would, but they are often the executors, or the eldest child. The one who is perceived to have the time to sort it out for everyone else. They don't have a full time job, right?
I don't believe anyone is lying about it. It's not a 'death delayed my book release' kind of homework excuse. And because I read their posts, follow them on Twitter, and watch their videos. I know their voice and they feel like my friend. I trust them. They know that, and those kind of dumb lies get found out pretty fast in this world of zero privacy.
Today I wrote 'nobody close to me is dying'.
And as I keep filling in the daily table, it gets easier to find things to be grateful for.
I've also challenged myself to do four exercise classes a week. My local Police Community Youth Centre has been rebuilt. It's really close to my house, so there goes one way to weasel out of classes. You derail a habit if it's too hard to do. So proximity matters most. It doesn't cost a fortune to join, has a bargain weekly fee, and doesn't have any of those crazy 'lock-in' contracts. [man, an awful lot of consumer law arguments are with gyms over bad contracts] I don't need a women only one, or one that supplies breakfast or free products in the showers, or whatever. PCYC is close and cheap. That's a win for me.
And as an extra bonus everyone over 18 is a 'senior'. You should have seen kid 3's face. Why am *I* a senior? That tickled me. We attend Pilates classes together.
I recently read the Upward Spiral. It was a library book - I am so grateful for my local library.
The full title is: The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time by Alex Korb
Whoa; that's a mouthful. But it was full of advice and science!
Quote: Everything is interconnected. Gratitude improves sleep. Sleep reduces pain. Reduced pain improves your mood. Improved mood reduces anxiety, which improves focus and planning. Focus and planning help with decision making. Decision making further reduces anxiety and improves enjoyment. Enjoyment gives you more to be grateful for, which keeps that loop of the upward spiral going. Enjoyment also makes it more likely you’ll exercise and be social, which in turn, will make you happier. P.194
And the thing he said that was the best bang for your exercise buck was Yoga; it had breath training, exercise, mindfulness, and if you went to a class, social interaction. I had forgotten how much that is true until this week after a month of attending classes, the instructor noted that I looked tired and asked if I was okay. I fetched an extra block for the person next to me. We all laughed at each other's attempts to balance on one leg in the flamingo pose. We applauded when one person managed another pose standing with their back against the wall.
And in the yoga mindfulness section, the cute gym guy fell asleep and snored. That made me smile, too.
Tiny steps up the upward spiral but steps worth taking given I spend so much time at my desk. I don't want it to be my kids suffering a death close to them.
***
OMG I wrote this days ago, and this morning when I go to post it, the news is all about the deaths of actor Luke Perry and Prodigy frontman Keith Flint. Sighs.
Links:
My GoodReads review of Upward Spiral.
Mel Robbins mindset reset YouTube
Cambridge Dictionary 

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