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When times are tough, don’t forget the Good Stuff

Taking time to notice and be grateful for the good stuff every day increases your chances of getting through hard times, and can make you happier in the good times.

This past year hasn’t been easy. Now more than ever, it’s important to tune into the good stuff when it happens. Make even a tiny space for it, try to savour it, and play it back in your mind afterwards.

The simple practice of noticing what makes you feel good and doing more of it is proven to support your wellbeing. In fact, “Take Notice”, or mindfulness, is one of Five Ways to Wellbeing.

It may sound too simple to be true - so it’s easy to forget when times are hard. And we know the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 are a real challenge that can really empty the tank over time.

In the video below Dr Lucy Hone talks about how humans are born with a negativity bias – which means we are really good at focusing on what’s wrong with us, what we can’t do, and want we don’t have. But sometimes we’re not so good at noticing what is going right for us. This negativity bias is great when we’re facing threats and need our flight or fight response to kick in, but it’s not so good during a long-lasting pandemic.

Slowing down and taking more notice of the ‘good stuff’ that really matters every day makes our lives happier and more memorable.

Doing stuff that makes us feel good really helps, especially when times are tough. And if we’re doing things that make us feel good, it helps our whānau feel good too. Is it the trip to the beach with the whānau, having some quality time in nature, or having a bbq with friends?

One of the simplest things we can do is a gratitude practice. Research shows that practising gratitude not only improves our mental health, but it can improve our relationships and physical health too.

Why? Because it lifts our thinking out of ourselves a little bit. It shifts our perspective from what is wrong, to what is going well or what is important to us. It’s simple cognitive tricks like this that can have profound effects on our wellbeing day to day.

Dr Lucy Hone on the Good Stuff

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