For Christmas, my best friend Becca (who has a blog you should check out) gave me the book Just One Thing by Rick Hanson. Here’s the summary on the back:
You’ve heard the expression, “It’s the little things that count.” Research has shown that little daily practices can change the way your brain works, too. this book offers simple brain-training practices you can do every day to protect against stress, lift your mood, and find greater emotional resilience. Just One Thing is a treasure chest of over fifty practices created specifically to deepen your sense of well-being and unconditional happiness.
Becca suggested that, while the book says to do one a day, one a week has been working for her. I’m going to start out trying that and see how it goes. Every Sunday, I’m going to read from this book and do a practice and I’m thinking that I’ll post about my reflections here.
You might be thinking, “Sarah, this is a blog about writing. How does this fit in?”
I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of trouble writing when I’m stressed out and my depression is weighing me down. I become lethargic and I don’t want to do anything, much less spread my soul across a story. Writing takes a lot of energy for me. I’ve been struggling with getting myself into a routine of writing every day, which I think is vital. If this book can give me new perspectives and help me get into a more peaceful place with myself, it can only improve my writing. Maybe some of my reflections can even help you.
So, here we go.
Chapter One: Be for Yourself
This chapter happens to be about something that I’ve struggled with most of my life, and which I’ve gotten much better at thanks to therapy. It’s about being on your own side.
The book says that the best times to do the practice in this chapter is when you’re feeling bad, when someone’s pressuring you to do something, or when you’re not doing something for your own good that you know you should. When you face these situations, it suggests (among other things):
- thinking of being with someone who cares about you, to help you feel like you matter
- recall a time when you had to be strong or fierce on your own behalf, and call on that energy
- ask yourself: Being on my own side, what’s the best thing to do here?
This can be harder than it sounds. I know that my problem was – and sometimes still is – having trouble telling the difference between being selfish and taking care of myself. I often sacrificed my own happiness to make the people around me happy, and I slacked off on doing things that would be good for me. I wasn’t really on my own side. As a result, I ended up surrounding myself with a lot of people who felt they could walk all over me.
I’ve gotten much better at this, and actually, it was using the same sort of tactics this chapter suggests. It took months and months before I got particularly good at it, and I know I could still use work, but I know that ever since I built that feeling of self-worth, I’ve felt so much better.
I think the lesson I want to take away from this and that I hope you take away from this is: It’s not selfish to be good to yourself.
Does this sound like something that could help you, or do you have more suggestions? What do you think of this new addition to the blog? Comment below.