A reality check can be a really useful tool to help improve your positivity. With Rob’s* permission I want to share his Life Coaching journey with you. Rob’s wife contacted me 6 months ago to see if I could help her husband cope with his depression and anxiety. Rob was under GP care and with his GP’s approval he was reducing the anti-depressants he had been on for a number of years. His depression had led to losing his job, falling out with friends/family and drinking unhealthy (excessive) amounts of alcohol. She thought I may be able to help him restore a little bit of positivity back into his life.
During our initial coaching session he talked about everything that he didn’t have and all of the things that he felt were going wrong in his life. He didn’t tell me one thing that was positive in his life. Not one.
Rob was living in a negative world where he perceived that everything and everyone else around him were happier and more content with life. He compared his life with posts on social media from his friends. It was clear that he was focusing on nothing positive at all. Knowing this I decided to open up, what I call, the REALITY box. I pressed on different areas of his life, focussing on the REAL positives in his life. For example, his wife who cares and looks after him, whilst feeling helpless when she sees him struggling daily. His children who think the world of him and hate seeing him unhappy. His grandchildren who love being around him. Work colleagues who still keep in contact to find out how he is.
Once I helped him highlight the realities of what he does actually have in his life, the pennies started falling. The reality check helped him understand that there are so many people that don’t have even one of the things that he does, yet they are happy. Over time and using different techniques, more and more pennies dropped. Rob slowly began to realise that he was extremely lucky to have the life and more importantly the love, that he has. This is just a glimpse into the coaching I provided for Rob.
Looking on the brighter side of life can be hard at times. By focussing on what you do have instead of what you don’t have, allows clarity and appreciation to set in. Thinking and feeling this way makes you appreciate the little things in life so much more, instead of feeling the need to have bigger things in order to be happy.
Here are a few tips to help you have a reality check:
1. Write a list of what you do have.
2. Be super appreciative of all of the things you do have. Realise that there are thousands of people in the world that would love to have a little of what you have.
3. Think about writing a daily gratitude journal / diary. Sometimes seeing the facts down on paper highlights them more clearly in your mind.
4. Ask yourself what you want more of, then openly and honestly discus this with those closest to you.
5. Remember there are hundreds, if not thousands of people out there who are so much worse off than you are.
6. And last but not least, remember that you’re alive and life is the most precious gift you have. We’re only on this earth very briefly, so don’t waste time and energy with negative thoughts.
Life isn’t about having huge houses, expensive cars and luxury holidays. It’s about having people around you who genuinely care. Be real, recognise the beautiful things you do have and try your utmost to ignore the things that you don’t. If you feel that you do need other things in life then us that will and desire to go and get them!
Depression needs expert help and advice. I urge anybody who thinks they may be suffering from mental health problems to go and see your local GP in the first instance.
Make the Change