Psychotherapist Noel McDermott looks at the rollercoaster of the last few years and the forthcoming transition from 2021–2022. He believes next year will offer a more stable and predictable future as fear of Covid variants reduces and we manage the current situation.
Here are some psychological resolutions for the nation that will help improve our mental health and well-being for 2022.
Stop panicking over the pandemicking
The way to predict the future is to look at the near past; over the past three years, we have managed and overcome this situation, and we will continue to do so in the future. As a society , we work extraordinarily well to survive and thrive through challenge, and human society is so much greater than the sum of its parts.
Having belief and faith in the future, it’s easier to avoid stressful and frightening events. Still, there is a lot of personal growth available through overcoming struggles and adversity. Celebrate your resilience and connection to loved ones, family, and friends.
Live more in the moment
Please don’t get caught up in events that have not yet occurred, and it is too easy to forget to enjoy what you have right now. Live in the here and now, focus your mind, and make decisions about what you choose to dwell on. Being mindful about what you nurture in your mind is one of the most excellent tools for well-being.
Own your personal power
We all have the personal power to decide how we respond emotionally to life events, but often we forget that and give away our ability to events that don’t matter. We can act from an internal child, adult, or parent within us.
The child is our capacity to be emotional, spontaneous, creative; the adult is our capacity to see reality and learn from it. The parent is our capacity to make even difficult choices for the greater good. Over the coming year, look at which aspect of self-functioning you choose to use for which part of life events is most appropriate and engage with your whole self.
Don’t rely on motivation alone
If you genuinely want to change something in the New Year, relying on motivation is an excellent way to ensure it doesn’t happen. Motivation is an emotion that can come and go; like any emotion, it tends to be useful for short-term gain in difficult tasks, like finishing a race. To genuinely change, you need to develop habits.
In general, in life, if we do things out of habit rather than through conscious choice or motivation, it is more likely that it will happen. That is because of what is happening in our brains. If we repeatedly do an action, it forms neural pathways. Anything repeated is viewed by the brain as important and is, therefore, automated by building neural pathways. It will be a habit to keep a new behaviour in place for three months.
To make the change, we need to start small. It sounds simple, but people make the biggest mistake in change. Let’s say you set yourself the goal of becoming fit next year; that’s too big, you will quickly lose your way. It’s better to set yourself the goal of being more active in your daily life by walking more until you build up to 10,000 steps a day. After you have mastered that goal, set a new one, such as joining a class in yoga or at your local gym.
Hold yourself accountable
If you want to achieve something, you will find a way to make yourself accountable for achieving it. The most effective way to be held accountable is peer pressure, so if you want to lose weight, then join a group of people trying to achieve that; if you’re going to run the marathon, then join a running group.
Psychotherapist Noel McDermott commented: ‘Set realistic, achievable goals, don’t rely on motivation but put it in your diary, get support from others to achieve goals where you can, or use other tools such as apps, build from small change to bigger change, keep going until it becomes a habit and once you have mastered one habit add the next on to lead to your bigger goal.’
He is a psychotherapist with over 25 years of experience in health, social care, and education. He has created unique mental health services in the independent sector. His company offer at-home mental health care and will source, identify and co-ordinate personalised care teams for the individual. They have recently launched a range of online therapy resources to help clients access help without leaving home.
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