|5 Principles for a Better 2022 You
Find yourself wanting to turn off the television, social media and the radio to avoid the constant negative news? There are higher rates of clinical depression and anxiety than ever before. Addiction and alcoholism are up also. How do we find “groundedness” or the internal strength and self-confidence that sustains us through ups and downs?
Here are 5 Principles…
1. Accept where you are. You cannot work on something in a meaningful way if you refuse to accept where you are. It’s called acceptance and commitment. It’s a type of therapy to help well-being. Eastern tradition talks about the “second arrow.” The first is the event or circumstances that you cannot control. The second arrow is your refusal to see it clearly. Try the mantra: “This is what is happening right now, I’m doing the best I can.”
2. Focus on the Present. Multitasking takes away much of our energy and productive time. Those that focus on the present activity are much happier. The solution is to schedule and protect blocks of time for deep-focused work, play and connection with others.
3. Be patient with yourself. Breakthroughs and progress are often gradual. Big gains are the result of small steps over time whether it be losing weight, exercising, job improvement or relationships.
4. Embrace your vulnerability. Erving Goffman describes us as having “frontstage” and “backstage” selves. The frontstage is the persona we bring to social situations. The backstage is when we don’t consider how we’ll be perceived by others. Problems occur when there is a big disconnect between the two. However, when the vulnerability of the backstage self is expressed, others tend to perceive you as strong, grounded, and trustworthy.
5. Find community. The drive for productivity can be detrimental to our social, spiritual, and psychological well-being. It crowds out time and energy for friends and family. Loneliness is associated with anxiety, depression and burnout. St. Augustine wrote that “Life and friendship should be highly prized.” Buddha states that “This good friendship, good companionship, and good comradeship-is the entire spiritual life.” Make time for others.
(Did You Know? My own “mountain” began when I decided to become a plastic surgeon while in college. Knowing that it would be 11 long years of training was intimidating. I took solace from the analogy of skiing. At the top of a mountain the bottom looks a long way down. Instead of looking at the bottom, just look a few feet in front of you and slowly “ski” your way down the mountain.)
Love yourself as you love your neighbor. Make it a better 2022.
-Brad Stulberg, WSJ