Reframe of Mind

Episode 30: Toxic Positivity Vs. Optimism

Why toxic positivity is bad and how to avoid it

Andy Le Roy & Louise Poole, Reframe of Mind Hosts

You can connect with

Louise & Andy on

Reframe of Mind’s social media directly below:

Everything happens for a reason. That’s what toxic positivity will tell you, and it’s the reason we’ve not only been focused on dismantling toxic positivity throughout the series so far, but thought we’d dedicate a whole episode to it! It did, after all, take out the Angsty awards in episode one. 

 

So, what is considered toxic positivity? At best, it’s misplaced optimism, at worst it’s the dismissive statements that minimise or ignore a person’s experience. Would you be able to pick the signs when you see or hear it, and can you identify what is more useful instead? Because at the other end of the scale, optimism is something that IS useful, if we can wade out of the toxic positivity. 

 

In this episode, Andy and Louise talk to Australia’s Dr Happy, Dr Tim Sharp, from the Happiness Institute, who explores the concept of positive psychology, without the toxic bits, as well as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) expert, Dr Lisa Saulsman from the University of Western Australia, who unpacks some useful approaches to help us not only sit with our uncomfortable thoughts and feelings, but to find a way out of rumination and into action. 

 

Other guests include Professional Ultra-Marathon runner, Lisa Tamati, Chronic Illness Wellness Coach, Teisha Rose, author and CEO consultant, Lucy Bloom and  Director of The Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use, Professor Maree Teeson, who each share their personal experience dealing with Toxic positivity and opting for optimism instead.

You can connect with Louise & Andy on Reframe of Mind’s social media directly below:

Follow us now on your podcast app!
Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsAcastiHeartRadioRSSAmazon MusicCastBoxPodcast AddictStitcherYouTubePocketCasts

Reframe of Mind contains discussion around mental health that may be disturbing to some listeners.

 

If you are concerned about yourself or someone you know, please seek professional individual advice. 

 

Some of the main crisis lines in Australia are listed on our Mental Health Crisis Resources page, including those that operate 24/7 like Beyond Blue and Lifeline.

Reframe of Mind contains discussion around mental health that may be disturbing to some listeners.

 

If you are concerned about yourself or someone you know, please seek professional individual advice. 

 

Some of the main crisis lines in Australia are listed on our Mental Health Crisis Resources page, including those that operate 24/7 like Beyond Blue and Lifeline.

Follow us now on your podcast app!
Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsAcastiHeartRadioRSSAmazon MusicCastBoxPodcast AddictStitcherYouTubePocketCasts

Guests this episode:

Award-winning inspirational speaker, consulting CEO and author.

World-leading Australian neuroscientist in occupational therapy and stroke rehabilitation and recovery research.

Author and coach on resilience in the face of stress, anxiety and fear created by a life changing diagnosis.

Senior Lecturer and Deputy Clinical Director with the School of Psychological Science at UWA.

Australia’s very own ‘Dr Happy‘, at the forefront of the positive psychology movement and founder of The Happiness Institute.

Ultramarathon runner, Maori Sportswoman of the Year (2008), 2 x best-selling author. 

Australian expert on mental health, Director of The Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use, Principal Research Fellow at the University of Sydney.

Gallery

Show Notes

Here’s some extra things you might not know about our guests, as well as some of the things mentioned during the episode.

Lucy Bloom

Lucy Bloom is an Australian writer, speaker and management consultant who explores the topics of leadership, communication, changing the world and creative thinking.

 

She has worked as Chief Executive Officer of Sunrise Cambodia and is the former CEO of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia. 

 

Lucy’s strengths are in digital marketing, branding, story telling and fundraising. She has achieved online audiences in their millions and was Australia’s first person to be named in the world’s top 30 #socialceos.

 

Her charitable work has transformed lives in Australia and overseas, and her top-selling memoir, Get the Girls Out, was published by HarperCollins in 2019.

Connect with Lucy on her social media below:

Lucy shares her stories and insights with an auditorium full of librarians in this keynote speech:

Professor Leeanne Carey

Leeanne Carey is an occupational therapist and neuroscientist and is recognised as a world leader in the science of occupational therapy, evidence-based rehabilitation, and translation of neuroscience to stroke rehabilitation. 

 

Her program of research spans 30 years and focuses on five main areas: 

 

          (i) Restorative approaches to stroke rehabilitation.

          (ii) Translation and implementation of evidence-based practice. 

          (iii) Nature of sensorimotor impairment and impact on function. 

          (iv) Targeting of rehabilitation through novel brain imaging and biomarkers. 

          (v) Impact of depression and cognition on stroke recovery and participation. 

 

Her research is new and original, and represents a shift in rehabilitation focus.

Leanne talks about brain structure and function in Episode 22:

The Science of Changing Your Thinking

Connect with Leeanne on her social media below:

Leeanne talks about her approach to helping stroke patients regain their sense of touch in the video below:

Leeanne Carey is Professor and Founding Head of the Neurorehabilitation and Recovery research group, Stroke Division, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health and Discipline Lead of Occupational Therapy in the School of Allied Health, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia.

 

The Florey Institute teams work on a range of serious diseases including stroke, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and motor neurone diseases, depression and addiction. 

 

Learn more about the signs and treatments for Stroke here.

Connect with The Florey Institute of Neuroscience on social media:

Dr Lisa Saulsman

CBT Resources by Dr. Saulsman:

Centre For Clinical Interventions

 

Listen to more. ofthe conversation with Lisa in Episode 3: Understanding Depression and Anxiety:

Lisa Tamati

Lisa is a former endurance runner and has pushed her body to the limits, but not without gaining some insight into scientific theory about how our bodies work.

 

Lisa was the first Kiwi woman to finish the Badwater Ultramarathon, which is through hottest desert on earth, running 217km non-stop through Death Valley. She ran the length of New Zealand (2250km) for charity. Amongst other achievements, Lisa walked 250km in 7 days, carrying her entire water and food supply on her back and has run over 140 extreme ultramarathons in places including the Sahara and Gobi deserts as well as the Himalayas.

 

But Lisa’s story is not just about endurance running. She hosts a successful podcast and runs a business to help people optimise their health through the science of epigenetics. She has authored four books including Relentless, in which she tells the story of how she helped her mother defy the odds and make a full recovery from a stroke and brain aneurism.

Lisa tells her story of growth through discomfort in Episode 24:

Who is Lisa Tamati?

Watch the full movie about LIsa’s Himalayan experience here:

Lisa Tamati has authored a number of books, including Relentless, in which she tells the story of beating the odds, never giving up hope, doing whatever it takes, and what it means to go ‘all in’ after her mother Isobel had a an aneurysm and stroke and was left with massive brain damage.

Connect with Lisa on her social media below:

Watch the full movie about LIsa’s Gobi Desert Ultra Marathon Race here:

Watch the full movie about Lisa’s 333km non stop running event across the barren Sahara desert here:

Lisa hosts her own podcast ‘Pushing the limits’ where she interviews world leading experts across many genres from cutting edge scientists and leading doctors to biohackers, elite athletes and high performance experts to anti-ageing and longevity experts.

 

Check out some of her episodes below:

Teisha Rose

Teisha Rose was just 22, had completed a double degree at university and was on fast track to corporate success, when her life was interrupted by a huge and unexpected hurdle. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS).  

Immediately Teisha grieved for her lost dreams and was caught in an avalanche of endless hospital ordeals and gruelling rehabilitation. Her devastating physical condition came to dominate her identity… until she decided to turn her hurdle into hope.    

In prioritising her health and wellbeing, Teisha returned to university and gained a social work degree. Then travelled, lived, and worked overseas.

Even though every day presents different challenges, the good news is the aggressive MS relapses have stopped.

Teisha believes that in living with a life changing illness, you can have an impact on your experience. That your mindset really does matter. 

Teisha decided to share her story and insights writing her published book ‘Life Interrupted, My journey from hope’.

Listen to Teisha’s story in Episode 16 – Who Is Teisha Rose?

Teisha has also created a reference guide: Dealing with the STRESS of ILLNESS, that you can download for free on her website.

Professor Maree Teesson AC

Professor Maree Teesson AC is Director of the Matilda Centre, Director of the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Prevention and Early Intervention in Mental Illness and Substance Use, and an NHMRC Leadership Fellow at the University of Sydney.  She is a Former National Mental Health Commissioner, an Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences Fellow, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences and is the Chair of Australia’s Mental Health Think Tank. She was announced as a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2018 Honours List, awarded a Westpac/Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence for Innovation, and awarded an Australian Museum Eureka Prize as Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers.

Maree has made a major contribution to Australia’s health and medical research effort in the field of mental health and substance use. In particular, she is known nationally and internationally for her research on the comorbidity between mental health and substance use disorders.

The Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use is a multidisciplinary research centre committed to improving the health and wellbeing of people affected by co-occurring substance use and mental disorders. It was established in 2018, and aims to generate innovative and workable solutions to address substance use and mental disorders, which are currently the leading global causes of burden and disease in young people.

“Drugs and Alcohol: what you need to know”

For more resources on Mental Health check out the Matilda Centre website

Watch a Matilda Centre playlist of short explainers on mental health, comorbidities, substance use and more:

Watch a conversation from University of Sydney mental health experts, moderated by Maree, about young people and mental health:

During the interview Maree spoke about the Cracks in the Ice program. There are many tool kits available online and downloadable booklets on their website.

Here is a playlist of webinars from the program:

Maree talks about Mental Health and Addiction in Episode 14:

Transcript

Transcript has been auto-generated and may contain errors.

Your support on our patreon would go towards being able to provide a human-edited transcript for accessibility.

 

 

00:00:00 

We acknowledge the Yuggera and Kaurna nations as traditional custodians of the land on which we work, live and learn, and they’re continuing connection with the land waters and community. 

00:00:09 

We pay our respects to them and their elders past and presence. 

00:00:12 

All content related to this program is for general informational purposes only and contains stories and discussion around mental health that may be disturbing to some listeners. 

00:00:21 

If you are concerned about yourself or someone you know, please seek professional and individual advice and support. 

00:00:27 

More details are contained. 

00:00:28 

In our show notes. 

00:00:30 

I am a person who looks out and takes things in a lot. 

00:00:34 

I think I’m quite a positive thinker. 

00:00:36 

I’ve always been inducted into the power of positive thinking from a family and or particularly my father, and I think though it’s really looking how things. 

00:00:49 

And come together and match not being prepared to stick with what’s there and Billy just pushing on listening to what people say listening to what the needs are and getting on and doing something about. 

00:00:55 

Right? 

00:01:04 

That’s the Florey Institute professor Leanne Kerry. 

00:01:06 

Ward leading Australian neuroscientist in occupational therapy and stroke regularization and recovery, and this is re frame of mind. 

00:01:15 

Where we deep dive into discussions about mental health, joined by some of Australia’s leading minds to expand our understanding of. 

00:01:18 

Second, because we don’t exist in a vacuum, and the way we talk about mental health shouldn’t either. 

00:01:20 

The world and ourselves. 

00:01:25 

And where your hosts Louise Pool and Andy Leroy Andy you know we. 

00:01:29 

Had a bit of a crusade against toxic positivity since episode one. 

00:01:34 

In re frame of mind. 

00:01:35 

Yeah, and to be fair, they did win awards so it wasn’t hasn’t all been bad for toxic for city. 

00:01:40 

A good throwback there if you haven’t heard episode one yet. 

00:01:43 

Toxic positivity does win the angsty of the year. 

00:01:46 

Sponsored by Panacea for there. 

00:01:47 

So I’m not sure who’s. 

00:01:48 

Going to win it for next year. 

00:01:50 

For their contribution to covering things up and sticking platitudes on things without ever addressing the actual issues behind anything. 

00:01:57 

That looked. 

00:01:57 

Truly feel like toxic positivity is based on many people I know in real life. 

00:02:01 

Oh look, there have been plenty of examples through my life, toxic positivity and just letting things blow over and saying I’ll be alright. 

00:02:07 

Actually, I think I might have once been toxic positivity ’cause I can remember being the person who would just be like, you know, don’t think about the things that bother you. 

00:02:14 

Just think about the things that don’t bother you and you don’t have to think about those bad things. 

00:02:20 

Just think about the good things and it’ll all workout. 

00:02:22 

Yeah, how’d that workout? 

00:02:23 

Probably not as cool as Pollyanna would’ve thought. 

00:02:27 

So now that we’re at episode 30 in the series and we did start without Vendetta against toxic positivity, ’cause we’ve spoken to some amazing people along the way who shared both their professional experience and their lived experience. 

00:02:40 

And there is a common thread through their of optimism and positivity and looking towards things. 

00:02:47 

Working out so I think it could be really easy to get confused between what’s toxic positivity or what we’re calling that unhelpful toxic positivity and what’s actually really helpful. 

00:02:58 

Genuine optimism. 

00:02:59 

Yeah, what actually really helps to change the situation? 

00:03:01 

Because just slapping a platitude over it isn’t. 

00:03:04 

Going to do that, but there is a way to actually start to think differently about something and actually change the circumstances you’re in. 

00:03:10 

So Leanne, carry for example our guest last episode. 

00:03:14 

She says an amazing groundbreaking work in the field of stroke rehabilitation. 

00:03:18 

She had some incredible things to say about neuroplasticity and how the brain becomes more malleable and teachable after the trauma of stroke. 

00:03:24 

But she also described herself as a positive thinker, and you know that causes the alarm bells for us, Ding. 

00:03:29 

Ding Ding Ning ning. 

00:03:30 

Pulse yeah yeah could it be toxic? 

00:03:30 

I don’t know clang, clang. 

00:03:32 

Positivity, but I don’t think with Leanne it’s toxic positivity at all. 

00:03:36 

I mean, leons positive thinking isn’t the toxic kind because you know when we’re exploring the value of leaning into possibility and instead of limitation in the last episode. 

00:03:44 

We looked at. 

00:03:44 

Leanne academic journey and she explained to us how she had to actually fight back against some negative thinking in her field because she was doing some really innovative stuff. 

00:03:54 

You know she’s actually created an amazing program where people they regained their senses. 

00:03:58 

They regain the use of of. 

00:04:00 

Their physical limbs and you know they’re able to recover from the effects and impacts of stroke, and you don’t get to that kind of point of being able to develop something to that magnitude that people previously thought was basically impossible without having some kind of optimism about you. 

00:04:17 

You have to carry some kind of positive air about you to be able to go. 

00:04:21 

No, I believe in this and this is what we want to research and this. 

00:04:24 

Is what we’re going to follow. 

00:04:25 

So I think it’d be really interesting to find that balance between I’m optimistic and I’m. 

00:04:29 

Gonna leading into a possibility that there is another way versus, I’m just gonna stay positive even though. 

00:04:35 

Oh yeah, just like. 

00:04:36 

An empty planets. 

00:04:36 

Yeah, without the empty platitude, because if she just said it’s all gonna work out fine and it wouldn’t if she didn’t take a look at those other things underneath it and work with that. 

00:04:46 

And within people conditions and physicality of where they actually are to move them to where they want to be. 

00:04:51 

Yeah, within all that, there’s evidence, so she had cause to be positive because she saw some clues that other people didn’t. 

00:04:56 

She had a hunch. 

00:04:57 

She went on it and she moved on it and it worked out. 

00:05:01 

No, we’re not scientists. 

00:05:02 

Andy although. 

00:05:03 

No, really. 

00:05:05 

Well, look, we’re also not therapists, but we have no problem giving out unqualified advice. 

00:05:09 

No well look. 

00:05:10 

We’ve got plenty of that at all out. 

00:05:14 

I I think. 

00:05:14 

We face the challenge throughout our lives of having to push through limitations ourselves. 

00:05:18 

Yeah, and there is that never ending supply of positive things for graphics online, so you know like. 

00:05:22 

The mountain and look look at. 

00:05:24 

The view from above and. 

00:05:25 

Just do it. 

00:05:26 

Yeah, it should be right mate. 

00:05:28 

Now that we know that we’re not the X. 

00:05:29 

Birds, but what we are is very good at finding experts to talk to. 

00:05:33 

I think we should dedicate this episode to working out the differences between toxic positivity and optimism and find a bunch of people who can tell. 

00:05:40 

Us more about it. 

00:05:41 

Yeah, well, someone we did call on was Doctor Tim Sharp, also known as Doctor Happy. 

00:05:45 

The sound of the Happiness Institute and he helped us distinguish between toxic positivity and. 

00:05:51 

I wanted to. 

00:05:52 

Go back to the difference between being optimistic and toxic positivity because I think that a lot of people don’t make that distinction and that you hear things like positive vibes only. 

00:06:04 

You know, just think positive. 

00:06:06 

Don’t talk about the negative side of things, but I don’t think that’s helpful for people to move through. 

00:06:11 

Things, or for maintaining happiness? 

00:06:14 

I agree 100%. 

00:06:15 

I, I guess it goes back. 

00:06:16 

To a similar comment I. 

00:06:17 

Made earlier about being realistic. 

00:06:19 

The reality is bad **** happens. 

00:06:21 

The reality is there is negative stuff in the world. 

00:06:23 

There’s bad people and bad events. 

00:06:25 

And you know things go. 

00:06:26 

Wrong then and trying to pretend otherwise well again just later. 

00:06:30 

Frustration and disappointment. 

00:06:31 

I mean, if you pretend that everything is fantastic when it’s not, it’s just gonna come and wacky over the back of the head. 

00:06:37 

That spent a lot of time talking about this because it’s very important. 

00:06:40 

Optimism is undoubtedly something to aim towards because we know for a fact that optimism. 

00:06:46 

Is associated with not just more happiness with better health, better quality relationships, greater longevity, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. 

00:06:53 

But when psychologists, when people like me talk about optimism, what we’re talking about is something that’s a bit different. 

00:07:00 

To quote UN quote positive thinking and the primary difference is it’s grounded in realism. So for optimism if to work, it’s gotta be realistic. 

00:07:08 

If it’s unrealistic, again, you just set yourself up for failure and you’ll just be disappointed all the time, so there’s nothing inherently wrong with positivity as long as it’s grounded in reality. 

00:07:18 

How do you make that distinction? 

00:07:20 

As a person who wants to be optimistic, how do you know when you’re just kind of lying about? 

00:07:25 

How you really feel about it? 

00:07:26 

Well, like I think we know and I think we can just ask ourselves just constantly check, particularly if you’re constantly feeling frustrated or disappointed in yourself or in others or in the world. 

00:07:36 

But you know, if you constantly feel that you’re not living up to what you wanna do or that others aren’t, then there’s a relatively good chance that your expectations are unrealistic. 

00:07:44 

There might be other factors as well going on there, but again, if you’re constantly frustrated and constantly disappointed and just check your expectations and if you can adjust them and reduce that frustration and disappointment, then obviously that. 

00:07:56 

Will take away one of the at least one of the causes of unhappiness. 

00:08:00 

Yeah, well, Doctor Tim is an expert in happiness. Doctor Lisa Salzman is the senior lecturer at the School of Psychological Sciences at the University of WA and she’s an expert in the tools we can use to manage our thoughts and her specialty is in cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. 

00:08:15 

Lisa has authored several CBT self-help resources and also helped us to understand what CBT is. 

00:08:21 

Well CBT which stands for cognitive behavior therapy. 

00:08:25 

That’s kind of the long name. 

00:08:26 

It really rests on a pretty simple idea and that is that how we think largely determines how we feel. 

00:08:33 

So really, our thoughts really drive our emotional our physical and our behavioral sorts of responses and reactions to things. 

00:08:41 

So it’s really about looking at how we see different situations, how we see the world, the meaning that we make of things, and how that determines what our experience is, whether that’s a positive, helpful, pleasant experience, or whether that’s perhaps an unpleasant, more negative experience for us. 

00:08:56 

So it’s all about the meaning that we bring to life, I think. 

00:09:00 

So I can see how people get confused because how we think determines how we feel and in those thoughts drive our responses and reactions to things. 

00:09:08 

So if we only thought positive things, I suppose we’d only have a positive result, but toxic positivity doesn’t take into account that we exist in a world that is influencing everything, and we have to look at. 

00:09:20 

Working from where we are to get to where we. 

00:09:22 

Want to be? 

00:09:23 

’cause it’s not just good vibes only. 

00:09:25 

No, and I think you know there’s some. 

00:09:26 

Also, some theories and literature out there that kind of tell us that if we think something bad, something bad is going to happen can be kind of misleading as well, because all of a sudden we start to fear. 

00:09:37 

Those feelings that we quantify is bad. 

00:09:40 

Yeah, you want some trauma, go on. 

00:09:41 

I know you got some. 

00:09:44 

No look, it’s not. 

00:09:45 

It’s not too bad actually it well. 

00:09:47 

I mean it is the thing I’ve been working with a psychologist. 

00:09:50 

Now my own mental health for I think about 3-3 years or so and one of the things that I really, really struggled with before I was started working with her on it is negative emotions. 

00:10:02 

And it wasn’t even a oh, it’s a negative emotion and therefore I feel bad, and that’s bad. 

00:10:08 

It was, I feel like for my entire life, up until that lead up, I couldn’t just feel a negative emotion. 

00:10:14 

I had to condemn the negative emotion so the secondary emotion that always came with that was guilt or anger or shame I couldn’t. 

00:10:21 

If I felt sad, I couldn’t just be sad. 

00:10:24 

I was also angry that I was sad. 

00:10:26 

I was mad at myself for being sad. 

00:10:28 

I was disappointed. 

00:10:29 

You know, I all those I was condemning my own negative emotions and. 

00:10:35 

I think that that might have been toxic positivity. 

00:10:38 

It probably was giving you a hiding for feeling bad about feeling bad. 

00:10:43 

I was feeling bad about feeling bad. 

00:10:46 

It’s very matter of you. 

00:10:50 

What are you feeling bad about feeling bad about feeling bad? 

00:10:54 

No, but what happened? 

00:10:55 

I mean I got angry. 

00:10:57 

So now I’m mad that. 

00:10:57 

I’m angry either. 

00:10:58 

Felt bad ’cause I got angry. 

00:10:59 

And this it sounds ridiculous, but I would. 

00:11:03 

When you look at it like that, yeah, but. 

00:11:05 

If you’re living yet. 

00:11:05 

I would get madder and and I would get so down on myself about not. 

00:11:10 

I had this idea before I ever medicated for depression and. 

00:11:14 

Society that I’m I’m a. 

00:11:16 

I’m a smart person I’m a I’m an intellectual person I I think I’m exceptionally smart I think I get things really easily. 

00:11:23 

I think that I could talk to you and offer you some great advice and listen to your situation and and etc etc. 

00:11:29 

And you’d probably come away from that feeling uplifted and I’ve really struggled for a long time. 

00:11:34 

In so why can’t I do that for myself? 

00:11:38 

Why can’t I think myself out of this if I I feel this way this negative way? 

00:11:44 

I know that if you came to me and you were feeling negative, I’d be able to in a conversation with you. 

00:11:48 

Hopefully talk you around to feeling a little bit better just through our interaction. 

00:11:53 

I mean, you might not. 

00:11:54 

Sustain it, but. 

00:11:54 

Some of their route takes might say otherwise. 

00:11:59 

So, so why couldn’t I do that for myself? 

00:12:01 

I thought I should be able to think myself out of a negative place that I am, and so because I couldn’t, I was failing and that was the condemnation of those negative emotions. 

00:12:12 

Yeah, and also I think it’s important to say at this point as well that it’s not always just about being able to talk yourself out of it as well, because you know, sometimes medication is completely the most valid option. 

00:12:23 

Two in the case of clinical depression, for example. 

00:12:25 

Oh made it yeah medication 100%. I wasn’t until I started taking medication that I realized just how silly I was thinking that I could think my way out of it. 

00:12:32 

Silly girl. 

00:12:33 

Because you can’t think your way out of a chemical imbalance, you can’t think your way out of dopamine deficiency, yeah? 

00:12:38 

No amount of positive thinking. 

00:12:40 

He’s gonna think your way out of that. 

00:12:42 

You know, like. 

00:12:42 

I was watching. 

00:12:43 

I was watching a video the other day, actually still a young members, silly young she was. 

00:12:47 

Yeah, yeah. 

00:12:48 

She did. 

00:12:48 

A Ted talk. 

00:12:50 

And the theme of toxic positivity came up and she said, you know, no matter how positive, I think, no matter how much I’m sitting there, and I think positively, it’s not going to create a ramp where there’s a staircase. 

00:13:00 

And it’s exactly that sort of thing you’re talking about. 

00:13:02 

You know if there’s a chemical imbalance, you can think as positively as you like about. 

00:13:06 

It it’s still going to be there still on my trauma though. 

00:13:09 

Do you have any trauma to? 

00:13:10 

Add to this bit. 

00:13:10 

I will wait to the next pillar. 

00:13:11 

Oh, you’re right, we just wait for your trauma. 

00:13:13 

Just a 

00:13:13 

Little bit more of my trauma. 

00:13:14 

Hang on. 

00:13:14 

You wait on my candies interlude. 

00:13:18 

And this trauma until. 

00:13:19 

So now that I have the benefit of hindsight on looking back at that judgy of the judgy negative feelings I. 

00:13:26 

So I see that how a lot of the actions and behaviors that I was doing was actually trying to avoid feeling things that were negative, trying to avoid situations that I might feel bad in and and that really doesn’t play well when what you really want is to be authentic, because to really be authentic you you have to be vulnerable and two. 

00:13:46 

Put your vulnerability out there. 

00:13:48 

There is a high possibility that it’s going to be painful. 

00:13:50 

Info, yeah and. 

00:13:52 

You’ve got to find a way to be able to process that and deal with those things. 

00:13:56 

Don’t you? 

00:13:56 

Of course we can stuff it down. 

00:13:58 

We can try and ignore it. 

00:14:00 

We can try and give it to someone else, even you. 

00:14:02 

Know plenty of. 

00:14:03 

People do that, but in the end it comes back to us bigger and better. 

00:14:05 

And I thought if I think something negative then I’m just going to get more negative things. 

00:14:11 

And not with switch. 

00:14:11 

Well, it’s like blaming yourself for. 

00:14:13 

Two, so that’s you know that’s. 

00:14:15 

Beating yourself up again. 

00:14:16 

Oh, I’m thinking nearly if it’s my fault, I’m going to create warning. 

00:14:19 

You know how I say that the world around us influences our mental health and we we can’t separate the subjects we don’t exist in the vacuum. 

00:14:27 

Our brain is not the only thing that there is our thoughts and feelings aren’t the only thing that there is. 

00:14:31 

There are other peoples opinions. 

00:14:34 

There are situations that we live, there’s our body that we carry around with us. 

00:14:38 

There’s capitalism and. 

00:14:40 

Colonialism and inequity, and all of those things. 

00:14:43 

I think that sometimes when I’ve been in some of the lower points of my life, there really depressive points and I thought things like I could think my way. 

00:14:51 

I should be able to think my way out of this and judge myself for those negative emotions. 

00:14:55 

I don’t even know if it’s my own inner voice or if it’s the voice of someone that I’ve picked up from a a cultural patriarchal just. 

00:15:03 

Existing for being human place, but suck it up, Princess. 

00:15:06 

This, uhm, what’s moping around going to do? 

00:15:10 

Big girls don’t cry. 

00:15:11 

My question is, when you were considering that you should be able to. 

00:15:14 

Think your way. 

00:15:15 

Out of it, did you think about that optimistically or as a toxic positivity offering? 

00:15:21 

Are you be able to think? 

00:15:21 

Your way out of this. 

00:15:24 

He’s wonderful and for every time that I said I could think my way out of it. 

00:15:29 

For every list that I wrote where I said, do you know what if I just focus on the positive things then it’ll get better and I don’t have to think about the negative things. 

00:15:38 

The things that are bothering me or not working for me, if I write list after list of things that I’m grateful for. 

00:15:44 

Or if I write, you know, and and this is not to **** on these things as a as a as a process because they are useful but genuinely now believe that it takes an acknowledgement of where you are and the world around you, and an honest look at where you are to make change. 

00:15:49 

No, no, they will use for the Norway. 

00:16:00 

Yeah, I mean what listverse helps. 

00:16:01 

You with a chemical imbalance. 

00:16:03 

Well, I didn’t know I had a chemical imbalance. 

00:16:05 

I I sat there, you know, in in some of those darkest. 

00:16:08 

Times of depression you know. 

00:16:10 

OK, so the first one that stands out to me is I. 

00:16:14 

Think we covered off. 

00:16:15 

It’s the one that we spoke about in the depression and anxiety episode like Episode 3, where it was one of those first suicidal ideations times where the actor follow wasn’t that far off and instead I. 

00:16:28 

Ended up getting up. 

00:16:29 

Off the floor of the shower. 

00:16:31 

And went for a drive and started to think, well, I’m not happy. 

00:16:36 

What would make me happy? 

00:16:37 

I remember the last time I was happy was when I worked in Community radio and was doing that and I thought well maybe I should do that again. 

00:16:43 

I could do that as a career and then I went away and wrote lists and goals and all. 

00:16:47 

The things that. 

00:16:48 

I was going to do to achieve that and list after list. 

00:16:51 

After listing goal after goal after goal but I never addressed what was underneath it. 

00:16:56 

What that feeling was that taking action as beneficial as. 

00:17:00 

It was because it got me off the floor of the shower and it was certainly beneficial in that moment. 

00:17:05 

I then went and built 20 years on top of those action points without actually addressing the the why. 

00:17:13 

I I built lists of toxic positivity or or, uh, hopeful of future happiness instead of allowing myself to. 

00:17:21 

I don’t even know the way to describe it, but it was. 

00:17:24 

It was a House of Cards that. 

00:17:26 

Was built on lists that had no genuine. 

00:17:29 

And optimism, if I could. 

00:17:30 

There were just goals though. 

00:17:31 

Empty gold. 

00:17:32 

So well, they weren’t empty goals. 

00:17:34 

They were goals that I thought would bring me joy. 

00:17:36 

And then along the journey in my lifetime, yeah, something. 

00:17:41 

There’s there’s lots of things that have brought me joy. 

00:17:44 

I don’t know necessarily that actually obtaining any of the goals from my list. 

00:17:49 

We’re there and and as soon as you get our goal then it’s not enough and you need another goal. 

00:17:56 

Is always the next thing, yeah? 

00:17:57 

There’s always another thing because it’s never. 

00:18:00 

Or addressing the underneath and so to me like that process of. 

00:18:04 

I can write lists of all the things that are going well for me. 

00:18:07 

I could write my gratitude journal. 

00:18:09 

I can just focus on the good things. 

00:18:11 

I can just stay positive, because even if it’s not working out right now, all I have to do is just keep thinking positive and don’t talk about the bad stuff. 

00:18:19 

It’ll work. 

00:18:22 

In all of that toxic positivity, there wasn’t a genuine scrap of optimism that’s all hinged on. 

00:18:28 

A future happiness. 

00:18:29 

It’s the toxic positivity that the the platitudes are hinged on. 

00:18:33 

Fake it till you make it. 

00:18:34 

Maybe if I keep up this appearance this lie to myself and never look at what’s underneath eventually. 

00:18:41 

I’ll be happy. 

00:18:42 

It’s like that thing of when I get this, then I’ll feel that and always going for the next thing and never feeling that. 

00:18:49 

But thinking the next thing might just be the thing that does it come Dr. 

00:18:52 

Happy in sharp yeah. 

00:18:56 

Specialist in positive psychology and you know, I know what some people might be thinking already, you know. 

00:19:00 

Oh, here we go, but it’s not about spraying the empty platitudes of proxy positively around the place he. 

00:19:07 

Uses it in his therapeutic approach and it’s a therapeutic approach that shift the focus from distress to flourishing, which she made some detail. 

00:19:15 

With us about. 

00:19:17 

Well, it’s interesting. There’s there’s a bit of a debate about when positive psychology started. I guess officially people often dated to around the 2000 or early 2000s, when when Martin Seligman was president of the American Psychological Association, and he he kind of formalized the discipline. There, he said, you know, what? If we were to study what’s? 

00:19:34 

Well with people. 

00:19:35 

What if we were to study thriving? 

00:19:37 

In flourishing, rather than just distress and dysfunction. 

00:19:40 

So yes, it is about approximately 20. 

00:19:42 

Years old, but I. 

00:19:43 

Guess it’s also important to state and acknowledge all the people who went before that. 

00:19:47 

And there were many people, many academics and researchers and clinicians who were focusing on similar issue. 

00:19:52 

You know concepts like meeting and optimism and and love and connection. 

00:19:56 

And you know that have been around for hundreds, if not thousands of years. 

00:19:59 

Just not. 

00:20:00 

Necessarily formalized in the structure that we now. 

00:20:03 

Now know as positive psychology, but you know if you put that debate aside, the the primary difference is that some of backgrounds in clinical psychology and as a clinical psychologist, we pretty much only focused on problems on on where people were going wrong on faults and failings and weaknesses and and the idea was that if you could fix them, then that. 

00:20:23 

That’s the best you could do and and that’s not completely inappropriate to to fix mistakes or to correct faults in the way we’re doing things, but I guess what positive psychology saying is there’s much more we can do. 

00:20:33 

You know, that’s a good starting point if we can help. 

00:20:35 

People overcome some of the obstacles in their lives, fix some of the mistakes they’re making, reduce or eliminate distress and dysfunction. 

00:20:43 

That’s a good start, but positive psychology, saying, well, let’s go much further and really promote thriving and flourishing and happiness and well-being. So that’s probably the that’s the short answer so. 

00:20:52 

So would it be more about trying to rather than 6 problems to actually lead people into a place of modeling behavior, that’s the. 

00:21:00 

Course the happiness more and then that will diminish the things that aren’t working so well or how does that fit into that, that whole scheme. 

00:21:07 

Yeah, definitely look at. 

00:21:08 

I think it’s really important that I. 

00:21:09 

I believe it’s really important anyway, not to see them as mutually exclusive. 

00:21:12 

But as as things that work together, I mean look in in my all of my studies. 

00:21:17 

Is a clinical psych. 

00:21:18 

I did 3 degrees in psychology to become a a clinical academic and I I don’t think we discussed happiness once right, which is bizarre that we didn’t talk about. 

00:21:27 

Happiness. We didn’t talk about. 

00:21:28 

Doing well, we didn’t talk about love or success, it was. 

00:21:31 

All about misery. 

00:21:33 

Basically, and and and there’s not totally inappropriate. 

00:21:37 

Unfortunately, there is a lot of misery. 

00:21:38 

I mean, we’ve all experienced the misery in our lives, or depression, anxiety, whatever. 

00:21:42 

And and it is important and clinical psychology I say clinical psychology. 

00:21:46 

But I mean, you know the broader mental counseling and psychiatry as well, obviously. 

00:21:49 

But you know, we’ve done a great job in recent decades to conduct the research. 

00:21:54 

And develop strategies to help people. 

00:21:55 

So we we, you know we can now help a lot of people who are suffering. 

00:21:58 

We can help them self unless but there really was a a massive absence within all of that research and practice that didn’t even consider. 

00:22:06 

The the brighter side. 

00:22:08 

The the good things in life and to come back to your question, I think that the the reason they’re important is that, well, they’re obviously important life, you know, we can’t live a good life without positive emotions like happiness. 

00:22:18 

But what we also know is that focusing on some of those positive psychology principles can prevent some of the problems that people get into. 

00:22:25 

So it’s both a preventative and. 

00:22:28 

Booster, you know, so it’s like a double win in a way. 

00:22:31 

Bold statement Toxic Positivity teaches us we aren’t worthy. 

00:22:35 

Do you think? 

00:22:36 

Yeah yeah, have you? 

00:22:37 

Heard of the the Burnt Shop syndrome? 

00:22:39 

I think I have but explain it to me. 

00:22:41 

Well, I mean. 

00:22:42 

The Burnt shop syndrome. 

00:22:43 

It’s not really toxic positivity, but I think it’s a toxic chop like it’s it’s when you kind of the type of person who, if you’re cooking dinner for your family and one of the chops is burns, you’ll give that chopped. 

00:22:45 

It’s a toxic chop. 

00:22:55 

I’ve known people who don’t give the top of themselves, but I’m actually a burnt shop person. 

00:23:01 

But they’re also the sort of people that kind of go, oh. 

00:23:03 

Well, you know it’s. 

00:23:04 

  1.  

00:23:04 

Brush it off. 

00:23:05 

Yeah, it doesn’t really matter. 

00:23:07 

Yeah, it’s Tony burnt shop. 

00:23:08 

I’m sure it’s only a bird shop, but maybe you could have half a burnt shop and. 

00:23:11 

Someone else going to have the other half of the good job? 

00:23:13 

Well, that’s a good way of thinking about it actually. 

00:23:15 

’cause I was thinking about who I’d give the burnt shop too and not actually are sharing the Birch up. 

00:23:18 

Yeah, right? 

00:23:21 

I was thinking. 

00:23:24 

Sometimes when I’ve gotten. 

00:23:26 

Mad at ex partners or whatever else, and I’ve thought that they were lazy and not very helpful. 

00:23:31 

I have taken the best thing for myself and I’ve given them the crud leftover. 

00:23:35 

Like if you’re not going to cook your own ******* dinner, you can eat the ship part. 

00:23:39 

But yes, we kind of split the burnt shop, I suppose. 

00:23:43 

Good job, I don’t know where exactly I was going with that burnt shop. 

00:23:46 

I think I was. 

00:23:47 

Thinking of my. 

00:23:47 

Mum, you know? Because she? 

00:23:49 

She was a sort of person who, you know, she talked me through life. 

00:23:53 

She tried to teach me, to be optimistic, but I think where I went with it was toxic. 

00:23:57 

Positivity, ’cause I didn’t quite understand. 

00:23:59 

You know, like you say, hindsight is a wonderful thing and. 

00:24:01 

I bet your mum was a burnt chop person, she. 

00:24:03 

Would have taken it for her. 

00:24:03 

Thank you. 

00:24:05 

Jesus, she ate a little bit. 

00:24:06 

Oh no, she didn’t need a lot of bad chops ’cause she was actually pretty good cook. 

00:24:08 

But if there was a bad shot, you can rest assured that they would have actually had the better job. 

00:24:12 

But you know, looking at. 

00:24:13 

At her and how in? 

00:24:15 

In some scenarios you know there’s a family member that would actually treat her. 

00:24:18 

Quite badly and. 

00:24:20 

She wouldn’t actually combat them. 

00:24:22 

She wouldn’t come back at them and. 

00:24:24 

I think that’s also where I get. 

00:24:26 

You know, my passive nature from as well because. 

00:24:28 

You know I was brought up. 

00:24:29 

Don’t fight yeah and and don’t get aggressive. 

00:24:32 

Write some stuff which are great things to actually bring your kids up to. 

00:24:35 

Be but also. 

00:24:36 

Yeah, but there’s a difference between. 

00:24:37 

You know, one punch can kill and don’t stand up for yourself. 

00:24:41 

Yeah, and even. 

00:24:42 

Even those words you just said, then stand up for yourself. 

00:24:45 

To me, that sounds like fighting words. 

00:24:47 

So I kind of missed out on learning at that early stage of what it meant to actually advocate for yourself. 

00:24:55 

So that’s another way of saying it, and it doesn’t involve any kind of physicality, doesn’t even involve any kind of. 

00:24:56 

Yeah, that’s a better way. 

00:25:01 

Verbal aggression 

00:25:02 

It just means being able to say, look, you know what you’ve. 

00:25:05 

Just said actually. 

00:25:06 

I sound quite hurtful or what you’ve said isn’t true. 

00:25:10 

And please don’t say that sort of stuff about me, so I would observe parent situations where she was being verbally attacked, but this family member and she would just kind of put it down too. 

00:25:21 

Well, that’s just how they are. 

00:25:22 

Little blowers are they’ll be OK in a in a couple of hours. 

00:25:26 

We’ll just let it be toxic. 

00:25:27 

Positive iti yeah. 

00:25:29 

You know it’ll be OK? 

00:25:30 

Don’t worry about. 

00:25:31 

So, like you’re saying, it teaches us that we’re not worthy because she really should have been able to say to their relatives. 

00:25:38 

That’s really unfair of you to say those things, and I don’t accept it and I want you to think about that or whatever might have actually been a proper response for her to advocate for herself. 

00:25:47 

But we get into these moments of powerlessness as well, and you know. 

00:25:51 

Sometimes if we haven’t learned those skills because it takes courage to even say that there’s some. 

00:25:55 

Yeah, dance. 

00:25:56 

On who’s launching in at you? 

00:25:58 

And they know that if they’re being aggressive against you, they know that they’re rattling you, and they’ll feed off that sometimes because they’re winning. 

00:26:06 

They’re winning the fight. 

00:26:07 

No amount of toxic positivity is going to actually change how they behave in future. 

00:26:12 

It’s not even just courage that it takes, it also takes energy. 

00:26:15 

Oh yeah. 

00:26:15 

I think we’re exhausted as a human race, I think we’re exhausted. 

00:26:21 

Your mum was probably just. 

00:26:23 

Do you know what it’s easier not to argue? 

00:26:25 

Because I’m tired, don’t want to do that. 

00:26:29 

You know, it’s easier not to rock the boat. 

00:26:31 

It’s easier just to pretend everything is OK. 

00:26:33 

Totally, yeah definitely. 

00:26:35 

Definitely wanted to keep the peace and keep the status quo because who knows if something was said then it might inflamed things more or you know, things could get really out of hand. 

00:26:46 

So yeah, we don’t live in a vacuum. 

00:26:48 

You know there’s fear within that and there is. 

00:26:51 

Self worth within that so you know where we tend to land, unless we know. 

00:26:57 

Better is we. 

00:26:58 

Just plastered over with, I’ll be OK I’ll be your IQ is a couple of hours or. 

00:27:01 

Come back tomorrow and everything will be fine and we just kind of let things ride. 

00:27:05 

It’s like we got a shiny new pair of veneers on our teeth, but underneath they’re rolling. 

00:27:10 

Sing, yeah yeah they’re gonna fall out. 

00:27:11 

And but but it’s OK. 

00:27:13 

’cause we got the shining new ones on top. 

00:27:15 

I know you. 

00:27:16 

You were saying earlier about judging yourself for having negative emotions, but negative emotions exist and they exist for a reason because for me they they drive me to let me know when something isn’t right for me. 

00:27:29 

And that’s not a bad thing. 

00:27:30 

But I need to be able to sit with that and understand it and process it and find out what is right for me instead of actually either getting inflaming in the angry about it and then judging myself for getting angry, or doing the opposite thing and actually suppressing it and saying, oh, it’s sort of also over, it’ll blow over, you know, sooner or later, if you want to start to experience letter about positive emotions. 

00:27:50 

You have to deal with the – 1. 

00:27:52 

You can’t just let them stay hidden. 

00:27:54 

It’s true, I think. 

00:27:55 

Actually, you’ve probably been braver than me for a long time to actually feel your emotions. 

00:28:00 

And let them sit with you and actually look at the negative emotions. 

00:28:05 

That sort of mind that negative emotions are bad didn’t come from nowhere. 

00:28:10 

I I picked it up from somewhere. 

00:28:12 

Look, I bet it’s really common. 

00:28:14 

I wouldn’t be surprised if your mum was afraid of what the negative emotions would mean if it escalated a negative. 

00:28:21 

Situation, what that would mean for the behavior of other people. 

00:28:24 

What that would mean for family dynamics, what it would mean for. 

00:28:28 

You know? 

00:28:29 

Sometimes when you do advocate for yourself and somebody else doesn’t want to hear it, you have to have strength of character to to back yourself because. 

00:28:39 

Oh yeah. 

00:28:40 

It can cause a rift it can cause anger and it could cause a family. 

00:28:46 

It could cause a family separation or something like that. 

00:28:48 

I mean, we don’t live in a Disney film. 

00:28:50 

You know this isn’t like a three act play where we have the point of crisis and then everything gets better and everybody smiling and and hugging at the ends. 

00:28:58 

Sometimes it does, but sometimes. 

00:29:00 

You end up with those rifts. 

00:29:02 

To advocate for herself at that point where she was being treated like that, it might have meant that that person removed themselves from her life and maybe that emotion that she felt at the the the possibility that someone that she cared for, no matter how badly they treated her, would remove themselves that she was. 

00:29:22 

Afraid of that negative emotion that she was afraid of. 

00:29:24 

What that would mean, I it. 

00:29:25 

Yeah, afraid of the loss. 

00:29:27 

I think it’s it’s very brave that he’s been able to look at that for as long as you have and make the decisions based on your own emotional health and not the response of other people. 

00:29:37 

Yeah, you know I I saw how we ate her up I saw how you know she was affected by some of that treatment and some of the comments that people would make and that sort of thing and how. 

00:29:51 

Yeah, it’s almost. 

00:29:52 

Like she gave up, she she confided in people and she had great friends and she would. 

00:29:58 

You know, confide. 

00:29:58 

It’s not the same, though it’s being able to. 

00:30:01 

Resolve it, is it? 

00:30:01 

It’s not no ’cause it it doesn’t you off. 

00:30:03 

Because she sources like ship. 

00:30:06 

In the end, you know like and you know, like you say, that I’ve been doing fine with seeing and stuff and well, not thank you like it. 

00:30:12 

Not, not necessarily fine because. 

00:30:15 

It’s not, it’s not fine, it’s not fine. 

00:30:16 

Ordered it or. 

00:30:17 

It’s not easy, but I mean that you’ve been prepared to look at it. 

00:30:18 

No, no, no, I didn’t mean that. 

00:30:21 

It takes enormous strengths, yeah. 

00:30:22 

That’s right means you know that’s that’s that’s what I was getting it like acknowledging like that message because like, I mean you should resend my sucking journals. 

00:30:31 

I’ve heard some new journals. 

00:30:33 

You have heard. 

00:30:34 

Some of my journals and actually even my my, my therapist and therapist, my my therapist said to me the other day, ’cause I’ve given her a couple of my entries to read ’cause she asked me if I could read them. 

00:30:46 

I said yeah. 

00:30:46 

Yeah, so I. 

00:30:46 

Gave in to see actually some people. 

00:30:49 

I say to try writing and to see if that actually helps. 

00:30:52 

And you know it doesn’t really work with them, but you should, right? 

00:30:54 

But The thing is, like when I write, that’s me sitting with those emotions. 

00:30:58 

That’s me, actually. 

00:30:59 

Honestly sitting there, pens or paper going. 

00:31:02 

This is what’s running through my mind. 

00:31:03 

At the moment. 

00:31:03 

Initially, putting it out there and nobody else has to read it. 

00:31:07 

It’s only me that that sees it generally and this side bring it to a podcast or take some therapists. 

00:31:12 

But there’s no pressure on myself to actually go and then state this to that person, or do that. 

00:31:20 

Or but it’s it’s me. 

00:31:21 

It’s my way of being able to. 

00:31:23 

Actually just get those emotions onto a page. 

00:31:25 

Get those thoughts and feelings out onto the page so I can actually see where I am, because when I can. 

00:31:29 

See where I am then I can do something about it, but if I? 

00:31:32 

Bottle it up. 

00:31:32 

It just keeps going. 

00:31:33 

How do you think? 

00:31:34 

You learned that because I didn’t learn that. 

00:31:36 

Where do you think you learned that as a skill to actually be able to to get those emotions out? 

00:31:41 

Because I, my father, was horrible at expressing his emotions, unless they were negative. 

00:31:47 

Even to you know, I think we’ve spoken about it before, but to the point where. 

00:31:52 

Even before he died, he wouldn’t tell me he loved me and he said, I I was a disappointment or not a disappointment in those words, but he said I hadn’t done enough. 

00:32:00 

You know, like. 

00:32:00 

It was all of that like some of those things are cruel. 

00:32:03 

But also I I know that a lot of my trouble in expressing over my lifetime negative emotion is because. 

00:32:12 

I wasn’t allowed to express negative emotion. 

00:32:15 

I wasn’t allowed to express positive emotion either. 

00:32:18 

Like I didn’t matter what the. 

00:32:19 

Emotion was it was. 

00:32:21 

It was gonna. 

00:32:21 

Get picked on. 

00:32:22 

No emotions Louise stay flat. 

00:32:25 

Stay flats. 

00:32:27 

No no. 

00:32:27 

Hello, my name is Louise. 

00:32:29 

Nice to meet you. 

00:32:31 

Look and The thing is. 

00:32:33 

I I like, I don’t want to. 

00:32:34 

I don’t want. 

00:32:35 

To pin this all on Oh my parents though. 

00:32:37 

It’s her fault because he was a victim of his parents and his parents were a victim of their parents and it is a. 

00:32:44 

It’s a generational pattern. 

00:32:45 

You know, like if I. 

00:32:46 

And so you’ve got insight now too. 

00:32:48 

If I thought that he was closed off emotionally and he 100% was closed off emotionally. 

00:32:54 

Yeah, the thing that ******* opened my eyes to how he became, how he was was the day that I met. 

00:33:00 

His mother, whatever she’s not listening to the podcast. 

00:33:03 

As I’ve learned more about his family background, I’ve seen how he thought he was doing better than the model that he had, and he was doing better than the model that he had. 

00:33:15 

It’s just that it wasn’t good enough for me. 

00:33:17 

Yeah, but he was just as much a victim of. 

00:33:21 

A ****** unemotional model as I was, but in a different way. 

00:33:25 

And then I wouldn’t be surprised if it goes back more generations than that. 

00:33:29 

So if you’re in not that same situation, but I you know what got to 3930 forty almost before, I could even acknowledge that my negative emotions weren’t a bad thing. 

00:33:41 

That I could even actually let myself feel emotions without shutting them down, whether they were negative or positive. 

00:33:47 

I’ve tended to curb them either side, but. 

00:33:49 

’cause we don’t show emotions around here. 

00:33:52 

Your situation is not that different from mine. 

00:33:55 

So where did you pick up the ability to put it out there and actually? 

00:34:00 

Sit with it. 

00:34:00 

’cause it’s not something that we learn. 

00:34:03 

It’s not. 

00:34:03 

I mean it’s not something we were taught and I don’t think it’s something that we innately know. 

00:34:07 

No, it’s not. 

00:34:08 

I have to say that when I actually started the journaling, I don’t know if I was actually really sitting with the emotions. 

00:34:12 

I was actually just getting out of the page because I knew that to help my mind help clear my mind that you know when when Dad died and all the ship went down, I would take myself away and I would write. 

00:34:24 

Sometimes it would be poetry, sometimes it would just be pros. 

00:34:26 

Sometimes it was completely. 

00:34:28 

Illegible, but whatever I was writing, I was actually just getting whatever was running through my mind under that page, and if it was on the page, it wasn’t in my head, so I probably wasn’t sitting with. 

00:34:37 

It at that point. 

00:34:38 

So as we started talking to to people like Kimberly Norris Way way back in, there was Episode 3 and talking about this concept of sitting with. 

00:34:48 

Things and. 

00:34:49 

I really kind of then just started to think OK, because I’m writing this stuff, pay attention, pay attention to what you’re writing. 

00:34:56 

I’d then start to not only. 

00:34:58 

Write about it, but. 

00:35:00 

I wasn’t thinking about it and think about how it could be different. 

00:35:03 

Like I know that that’s something fairly recent with Kimberly Norris in the last 18 months or so, but but I think you were doing it before then. 

00:35:11 

I think you were writing like it. 

00:35:13 

It sounds like you were writing honestly your emotions I used to when I used to journal. 

00:35:18 

I think I was still lying. 

00:35:21 

Even even in my journals I I think I was still lying. 

00:35:21 

Yeah yeah, yeah. 

00:35:22 

I have been through that too, yeah. 

00:35:25 

He’s coded language so that if anyone did read it, they wouldn’t really. 

00:35:28 

Know what was going on and. 

00:35:29 

Not, not even. 

00:35:30 

Coded just I think I was lying to myself about how I felt about things. 

00:35:35 

So what you’re saying is you were writing these journals and you’re. 

00:35:37 

Going today, it was a ******* great day. 

00:35:41 

Better than yesterday, but. 

00:35:42 

It was actually **** 

00:35:43 

I mean. 

00:35:43 

It was actually complete **** 

00:35:45 

It’s not that far. 

00:35:46 

From the truth, though, is it. 

00:35:49 

Kind of or my early journals. 

00:35:53 

I’m calling people sucking cuts in my journals. 

00:35:54 

Cut this. 

00:35:55 

You just ******* can’t said. 

00:35:58 

That I know I was angry. 

00:36:00 

I was angry. 

00:36:01 

I turned that anger inward. 

00:36:03 

I was ******* angry. 

00:36:04 

Yeah, I used to and I got ticked off for saying some things that I probably shouldn’t have said around that time. 

00:36:10 

Is this in your early journals or? 

00:36:10 

It’s part. 

00:36:11 

Where else does that anger go? 

00:36:13 

This is in. 

00:36:14 

Like when I was actually. 

00:36:15 

Be still like in Sydney around the time of dads funeral because I was journaling and I was getting great deal of that anger onto the page, but I was still angry. 

00:36:24 

I was so angry. 

00:36:26 

Where else does that anger go? 

00:36:27 

Especially if you feel like you’re getting shut down, it just goes wolf and other comes and. 

00:36:35 

You know, that’s the point. 

00:36:35 

You don’t want to get, too. 

00:36:36 

You know the point we want to be at is being able to have conversations with people early and actually resolve things we don’t want to get to the point. 

00:36:44 

Of such anger that it annihilates relationships. 

00:36:47 

Saying weird deep diving into some drama here which wasn’t planned in the script I this. 

00:36:52 

Wasn’t planned. 

00:36:54 

This wasn’t flat list these these stories weren’t planned. 

00:36:57 

There’s completely off the cuff. 

00:36:58 

I realized that. 

00:37:01 

In in the in the work that I’ve been doing recently, for most of my life, I every time I was feeling negative emotions. 

00:37:07 

Whether there was sadness or I was mad or grief or whatever it was. 

00:37:12 

It kind of just hit an overwhelmed for me and I dissociated from it, so it’s like something clicked in my brain and just said no, it’s just too much. 

00:37:22 

It’s too hard. 

00:37:22 

I’m just going to turn that off right now and not in a creepy horror movie. 

00:37:28 

Someone dissociates and then goes and murders you kind of way, but. 

00:37:32 

Just as I think as like as a as a protective mechanism, that’s just my brain. 

00:37:37 

My body just went. 

00:37:38 

This emotion is overwhelming. 

00:37:40 

Let’s just not feel that anymore and instead just feel kind of muted or or or numb to it. 

00:37:47 

And it works the other way as well, where I think I’ve held myself back from feeling, you know. 

00:37:52 

Extreme Joy, a lot of those higher emotions as well, because they’ve also been overwhelming at times. 

00:38:00 

Also, you know we’re kind of Miss taught around the concept of resilience as well. 

00:38:05 

You know, I think for a long time I thought resilience was about saying to myself. 

00:38:09 

It’s OK, pick yourself up and move. 

00:38:10 

On it’ll be OK, and it’s not that it’s not that toxic positivity. 

00:38:11 

Yeah yeah no. 

00:38:15 

Keep pushing through. Just keep going that that that piece of paper that I remember being on the back of the door at the Cambridge curves gym in Frog in 2003 or whatever it was. 

00:38:27 

And it was. 

00:38:27 

On the back of the Twitter tool. 

00:38:29 

He was on the back of the toilet door was the IT was the motivational poster on the back of the toilet door and it it was something like commitment is making your promise to do it. 

00:38:39 

No matter what. 

00:38:40 

And you know. 

00:38:41 

Different series we could go into, but Jim positive ITI I can remember at a time then I’m hating my body so much that I literally sprained my ankle. 

00:38:50 

At one point there and I was still going to the gym every day and all I was eating was watermelon and like. 

00:38:56 

Thing else and spending 3 hours on the rowing machine pushing through an ankle injury because commitment means doing it, no. 

00:39:03 

Matter what? 

00:39:03 

Yeah wow. 

00:39:05 

That when you say that’s what resilience felt like, that is what resilience felt like. 

00:39:09 

It meant that that pushing through. 

00:39:10 

Through whatever the cost, but that’s toxic. 

00:39:11 

Whatever the cost. 

00:39:14 

Yeah, it is toxic, so a little way back now we met mindset Coach Tisha Rose who is an amazing lady and she’s someone who has had her own life, interrupted twice now by major illness. 

00:39:27 

You know when she was 22 she was diagnosed with Ms and more recently she was diagnosed with stage. 

00:39:32 

Four breast. 

00:39:33 

And she’s got her own views on toxic puzzle. 

00:39:37 

I think when people do the thing that we are calling toxic positivity when they say I just don’t think about it or you could feel differently. 

00:39:44 

You don’t have to change anything. 

00:39:45 

I don’t think that they take into account chronic illnesses that get your attention because you can’t escape your own body. 

00:39:52 

So how? 

00:39:54 

How do you deal with changing your mindset when? 

00:39:56 

Your body is working against you. 

00:39:58 

I think I’ve learned. 

00:40:00 

To focus on what I can do as opposed to really lamenting what I can no longer do for me, even when I was really. 

00:40:08 

I don’t like the word dysfunctional, but you know I was really in mobile. 

00:40:11 

I was really unable to walk or and at the beginning I was like, oh, that’s not fair. 

00:40:17 

You know, I can’t walk. 

00:40:18 

But then I was getting excited because I could. 

00:40:20 

Rigoletto or I could move before, so I think it’s very much not accepting where my body was because, gosh, I work so hard in rehab and I do so much now like I have a neuro physio come to the house every two weeks. 

00:40:34 

I got osteo. 

00:40:35 

I do so much to maximize. 

00:40:37 

The functioning that I have, so yeah, I’m certainly focus on what I can do and try and keep on improving that. 

00:40:47 

Yeah, so it is hard though. 

00:40:48 

Like when you do have limitations in your body, you’re constantly reminded of what you can’t do, but you really gotta try and shift your focus. 

00:40:58 

On to what you can do. 

00:40:59 

One of the things I kind of wanted to go back to when you mentioned that when we talk about the idea of moving through like you don’t really move through Ms, you don’t get to the finish line and then suddenly it’s. 

00:41:10 

All OK like it. 

00:41:11 

Come back and I think of how that relates to my experience with like depressive episodes. 

00:41:16 

As much as I’d like to say that you know today on my score chart, I’m only mildly depressed, and that’s a win. 

00:41:23 

I’ve noticed that over you know the course of my life. 

00:41:25 

They come back again and again triggered by whatever it might be. 

00:41:30 

I suppose it’s like I’m. 

00:41:31 

I’m never actually cured of that, because if I don’t do the work every day to try and keep on top of something like that, then my thoughts will get out of control and things will happen and. 

00:41:41 

There’s not an end goal to any of those situations that we’re living in. 

00:41:45 

No, that’s right, and that’s the same with so many experiences people have and you do have to keep working on yourself and you do have to apply then what you’ve learned in previous episodes. 

00:42:00 

Or you know periods of poor health. 

00:42:02 

To what you’re experiencing now and you get better at it. 

00:42:06 

I guess if you sort of want to as well. 

00:42:08 

So if you do the hard work, I know you know turn into my physio. 

00:42:11 

She sits on. 

00:42:12 

People get really annoyed that because of their illness they have to do so much work to get in their body up and right. 

00:42:19 

Whereas I think, well, this is part of it like I. 

00:42:22 

I’m just grateful that she comes around and can help me come so it’s all of that work that you do, but the outcome of that is a positive one because you’re better equipped to deal with whatever challenge, and I think too, like having gone through something like Ms. 

00:42:40 

It equips you to deal with any challenges that come your way and Ms is not the only thing you have to deal with in life. 

00:42:48 

You know, some things are always gonna come across our paths, and at least I’m better equipped to deal with that. 

00:42:55 

I think often we look for a magic bullet or a magic pill that’s going to make everything better or everything go away. 

00:43:02 

You think that? 

00:43:03 

There is something within each of us that’s different that we can find that strength and motivation in. 

00:43:09 

Yeah, I think what’s really interesting everyone experience with Ms is very different, but that’s because we’ve all been very different in our outlooks in life before. 

00:43:19 

Being diagnosed so I think you know you really need to build on the strengths you display in all aspects of your life and then apply those and remind yourself of those when you’re dealing with something. 

00:43:32 

So build on those strengths. 

00:43:33 

I really think it’s important when working with people to highlight those strengths and those strengths. 

00:43:39 

Don’t abandon you when you’re faced with something like a long stay in hospital, but you need to call on them to help you out to learn from what you’re going through and learn what works. 

00:43:50 

Learn what works for you. 

00:43:52 

I wish there was a magic pill though hey. 

00:43:54 

Yeah, I mean there are some pretty magic pools out there, but. 

00:43:56 

Pills healthy? Where’s my panacea? 

00:43:58 

Not going to get you. 

00:43:59 

Where you actually need to go. 

00:44:01 

It’s like that. 

00:44:02 

Saying we’re doing some fat girl trauma today. 

00:44:05 

It’s the. 

00:44:07 

It’s the 11 year old who used to say a prayer every night before she went to bed that she’d wake up thin tomorrow and then God never delivered Bich 

00:44:18 

Maybe maybe the which is still coming if there are so many wishes. 

00:44:20 

Maybe it still kept. 

00:44:21 

Me know. 

00:44:22 

Well, you wake up tomorrow, **** gone they. 

00:44:24 

They’ve got much further to go now than they did when I was eleven, I’ll tell. 

00:44:28 

You that so. 

00:44:29 

Good good luck to disappearing a whole other person overnight. 

00:44:33 

I could lean into possibility though it is possible. 

00:44:35 

Yeah, but it’s that important to. 

00:44:36 

You not anymore, no. 

00:44:38 

A whole. 

00:44:38 

The rabbit hole with you go down. 

00:44:40 

Well, fat girl Trauma is an old story, so that’s passed. 

00:44:44 

Why don’t we move on to you? 

00:44:45 

Know more recent trauma, then like some of the stuff that we’ve experienced in the series. 

00:44:49 

And also you know some of the insights, right guests because with every story that we’ve heard, and you know, the stories that we’ve been telling along the way. 

00:44:56 

There is a turning point, isn’t there? 

00:44:58 

People have their stories. 

00:45:00 

And yeah, I I said earlier, like we’re not in a Disney film whether you’ve cut that out or not. 

00:45:04 

I don’t know, but. 

00:45:04 

No, we’re still not in a Disney film, and if we were, it would be that Zootopia **** Reddit subreddit. 

00:45:10 

I found the other day. 

00:45:12 

I’ll send it to you later. 

00:45:13 

Gotta try everything. 

00:45:17 

Anyway, there is there is a turning point in installing people stories. 

00:45:20 

I’m leaving that in. 

00:45:24 

The turning point you know is where people kind of have that. 

00:45:28 

I guess it’s in our moment. 

00:45:30 

I’ve heard it described as before. 

00:45:31 

You know where they go? 

00:45:31 

OK, this is actually what I’ve got to do. 

00:45:33 

This is what it’s going to take. 

00:45:35 

Yeah, a couple of episodes back we spoke to Lucy Bloom and she was telling us about when she was in hospital after an accident and she didn’t know what the outcome was going. 

00:45:42 

Be with with her. 

00:45:43 

Leg didn’t know whether we amputated, didn’t know whether she was going to be fine, or somewhere in between. 

00:45:49 

And she said that she fantasized about what could go right instead, because at that point she had just as much control over that as whatever could have happened in the opposite direction. 

00:45:58 

And that’s something that could sound like toxic positivity. 

00:46:01 

He could he could, but it. 

00:46:03 

Wasn’t we asked her, you know, we asked. 

00:46:05 

How this different two toxic pause? 

00:46:08 

How do you feel about some of these affirmations? 

00:46:11 

That kind of getting around? 

00:46:12 

Don’t worry, be happy. 

00:46:13 

All that kind of stuff. 

00:46:14 

It’s it’s stuff that just kind of doesn’t hit the mark. 

00:46:18 

That’s floppy, isn’t it? 

00:46:18 

I’m an optimistic person because it feels better. 

00:46:23 

I make lots of choices because it feels better rolling around in this body of mine. 

00:46:27 

So I choose things because they’re fun. 

00:46:29 

Example, rather than super serious stuff, but you’re right about toxic positivity being just like sort of surface. 

00:46:37 

It’s a bit like peanut butter on top when there’s actually Jelly underneath it. 

00:46:43 

I prefer to be optimistic and my philosophy and life is to just keep moving forward, especially when things. 

00:46:51 

Are really really tough. 

00:46:52 

So some really tough things that happened to me in my life and the only way I can see through them is to just keep. 

00:46:59 

Moving forward and what that forward looks like is different for everyone, so for me it might be reinventing myself changing my career. 

00:47:07 

You know I got fired. 

00:47:08 

Bam I changed my career then my marriage ends. 

00:47:11 

OK, I’ve got a whole new next decade where I’m not living in a nuclear family like I thought I would for the rest of my life. 

00:47:18 

I get to. 

00:47:19 

Reframe my whole life. 

00:47:21 

I see that as an opportunity. 

00:47:23 

I have some time to grieve it, but then you can only move forward. 

00:47:27 

So I’m not a fan of toxic toxic masculinity either. 

00:47:31 

Top Secret Service there. 

00:47:32 

Same same. 

00:47:34 

I’m I’m not a fan of that and you know it might be cute on a T-shirt, but it actually doesn’t sues anyone and I think it tries to but doesn’t work. 

00:47:43 

The best way to I think the best way to sue someone like me, ’cause we’re all different, is to acknowledge that something is **** and then help that person keep moving forward. 

00:47:54 

Just keep moving along little steps. 

00:47:56 

Keep moving forward. 

00:47:59 

I’m just going to do a little circuit breaker here and say thank you for listening to us. 

00:48:02 

If you love the show, let us know. 

00:48:04 

Hit the subscribe button on your podcast app and show us those five star ratings. Remember to tell your friends about us and check out Patreon page for access to even more content like extended interviews at patreon.com/re frame of mind. The more people we get talking about. 

00:48:20 

Mental health the more supported will all be. 

00:48:23 

Another one of our guests who has moved mountains before is some professor eteson she’s next. 

00:48:28 

Omari is so cool but very high Marie. 

00:48:32 

Hi Mary, she’s an expert on mental health. 

00:48:34 

She’s the director of the Matilda Center for Research and Mental Health and Substance use and now we don’t want to say we necessarily tasked her with her next research brief, but she did love. 

00:48:43 

We’d never make that claim. 

00:48:45 

She did love when we coined that term toxic positivity as a description for empty positivity. 

00:48:51 

That masquerades as opt. 

00:48:52 

I really love that term. 

00:48:55 

Toxic positivity. 

00:48:57 

We’ll get it printed on the paycheck. 

00:48:57 

I think that’s amazing. 

00:49:00 

Wow, I I think let’s Chuck out toxic positivity and toxic negativity and let’s talk about greater compassion so it’s being self compassion. 

00:49:12 

And compassion to others. 

00:49:14 

So I do love that toxic positivity makes me want to throw it out but. 

00:49:21 

I think we’ve found the subject. 

00:49:22 

Of your next research paper. 

00:49:23 

Right? 

00:49:24 

No, exactly, I’m a very. 

00:49:27 

Listen you sorry, hear the expert compassion first. 

00:49:30 

Being a human understanding that we’re human, that comes first. 

00:49:35 

Shoot is an incredibly powerful one to one. 

00:49:38 

Just challenging that normative stuff. 

00:49:40 

Everyone doing it. 

00:49:41 

Maybe it is, and everyone that’s an incredibly powerful one too. 

00:49:44 

I even practice making sure I don’t say should and that. 

00:49:48 

Shouldn’t they should? 

00:49:49 

Yeah, that’s right band. 

00:49:53 

It’s completely banned and and I use that in all sorts of aspects of my life, so I 100% agree these are amazing skills that you can have and that you can transfer across so many different areas. Unlike that little word should is so powerful because it’s so laden. 

00:50:12 

And guilt and. 

00:50:13 

And expectations, so I think really it’s not underestimating the power that one word can have in our lives, and the way that we can change the way we interact with the world by reflecting on that, and by just making a small change. 

00:50:30 

What seems like a small change. 

00:50:32 

But I think you’ve both picked out. 

00:50:34 

Where it can snowball into being a really large positive change. 

00:50:38 

Notice that in things like particularly, I suppose in forecasting stuff you know. 

00:50:43 

I should have this done or I should have this figured out by now? 

00:50:47 

And who’s really putting these arbitrary rules on things? 

00:50:50 

Because it’s just adding anxiety to the pile that didn’t need to. 

00:50:52 

Be added, yeah? 

00:50:54 

And I should feel this way or I should feel that way and again, like you said, it’s adding the anxiety onto that pile and you really don’t need to add any more anxiety onto that pile and expectations on ourselves like we are in control. 

00:51:08 

We can actually set the rules and we can set the timeline and to allow other people to do that. 

00:51:14 

Can just really increase that anxiety? 

00:51:16 

What are you replacing your shoulds with when you hear them? 

00:51:19 

Oh, it depends on what the area is that I’m saying should in a big one for me is, you know I should finish my work a lot faster than I am finishing it. 

00:51:30 

And the reality is that I’m finishing. 

00:51:34 

The time that I am finishing it there are factors that are associated with that. 

00:51:39 

I may like to do it slightly faster or in a different way, and I can then by chucking away, should think about well, what are the things that stop me from doing it in a way that I wanted to do it another. 

00:51:53 

Strategy I use is not. 

00:51:55 

I should finish the work. 

00:51:57 

But what are some of the positive things about finishing earlier? 

00:52:02 

What are some of the best positive things about finishing earlier and how can I? 

00:52:05 

How can I get to those? 

00:52:07 

So checking away should allows me to pull the issue apart a little bit more and to reflect that. 

00:52:14 

OK, I might be doing it slower, but I’m still getting it done so. 

00:52:17 

It allows the pool. 

00:52:18 

Good evening, you call me Pollyanna before rude. 

00:52:22 

I know, well, you know, we’re all familiar with that. 

00:52:24 

Term Pollyanna and you know. 

00:52:25 

I don’t know if we are this this is this is borderline of one of Andy’s old references because I did not read Kalianna growing up. No, no one. No one knows. Holy pollyanna. 

00:52:31 

Do you think? 

00:52:33 

Ryan Tolley I didn’t read polya. 

00:52:36 

I didn’t read Pollyanna growing. 

00:52:37 

Up either, but I’ve. 

00:52:38 

Heard it used plenty of time. 

00:52:40 

Is to describe someone who’s naive or who’s got that excessive optimism that everything is just gonna be fine tomorrow. 

00:52:47 

Different character, but you get the idea. 

00:52:48 

You know the like. 

00:52:49 

I think it might have came in the same book Clubbers Black Beauty. 

00:52:52 

Might it might even have been earlier than Black Beauty, but it’s a term that’s thrown around for people who are just overly optimistic who just think that everything is just gonna be fine. 

00:53:00 

And there’s nothing wrong here, nothing. 

00:53:01 

There’s a year, everything good Pollyanna. 

00:53:02 

Leanna, so how do we avoid being Pollyanna or being naive with excessive optimism that isn’t actually real? 

00:53:12 

When we’re re framing our mind? 

00:53:14 

Lisa Salzman explain. 

00:53:16 

I wonder how we can approach that without bringing ourselves into a situation where we can be accused of being Pollyanna. 

00:53:22 

You know where sometimes we we try to reframe and get a different perspective. 

00:53:25 

But people say, well, you just ignoring the facts in denial. 

00:53:29 

Yeah, well I think in CBT it is very much about balance thinking more kind of realistic thinking and it’s not that everything is wonderful and everything is rosy and there aren’t things that we can work on ourselves. 

00:53:40 

But it is about trying to bring a more helpful perspective. 

00:53:43 

Two different things that we might have been through or might be predicting we’re going to go through. 

00:53:47 

So if it’s all just positive and not realistic, but probably not gonna believe it. 

00:53:51 

So that’s another element to it. 

00:53:52 

We you know those sorts of thinking, we’re trying to move to more helpful perspectives and helpful ways of thinking. 

00:53:57 

But we want it to be helpful and reasonable and realistic and balanced and therefore believable. 

00:54:01 

’cause if you don’t believe it’s probably not gonna make much of an impact on you emotionally. 

00:54:05 

It’s just gonna be a bunch. 

00:54:06 

Of words you’re telling yourself. 

00:54:07 

That doesn’t really have. 

00:54:08 

Much conviction or or traction? 

00:54:11 

We’ve had this conversation between ourselves around toxic positivity and how sometimes we see memes on social media, which really conflate a lot of ideas that aren’t discussed in arriving at that particular kind of conclusion. 

00:54:24 

Is there more value in us being able to unpack those do? 

00:54:28 

You think I mean often? 

00:54:29 

We’ll see things on social media where people talk about I’m feeling super inspired today and I’m just going to go and smash everything, and that sounds just like an empty affirmation. 

00:54:40 

Yeah yeah, and I think for me it’s not that one way of thinking is right. 

00:54:44 

And one way of thinking is wrong. 

00:54:46 

I think you really need to look at the individual and what the consequences are of adopting that attitude. 

00:54:51 

And maybe for one individual. 

00:54:53 

Maybe that’s really helpful and it does lead to them being motivated and getting things done or what have you, and maybe for another individual. 

00:55:00 

That’s really not a helpful way to go, and it’s just sort of empty words that don’t really lead anywhere particularly productive. 

00:55:05 

So I think with CBT it’s not that there’s a right way to think. 

00:55:08 

There’s just different ways to think different perspectives, we can bring, and it’s really about starting to find. 

00:55:13 

Of the individual, what works for them in helping them, I guess leader life work that’s very Intune with kind of their goals and their values and what they want to get out of life. 

00:55:21 

And it’s helping them live. 

00:55:23 

I guess a good quality of life really so. 

00:55:25 

So I always like to look at kind of not what is it that the person is doing with their thinking, but what’s the consequences to them? 

00:55:25 

Right? 

00:55:31 

And is that helping them or not helping them? 

00:55:33 

I wonder if also there is the possibility that we can overthink in the positive sense and fall into the trap of daydreaming and not taking action. 

00:55:40 

Well, yeah, and I think most of the time I’m often working with excessive repetitive negative thinking, but I think you’re absolutely right. 

00:55:46 

I think anything. 

00:55:48 

That success, if it can be excessive over planning or absolutely getting caught in daydreams and that kind of inhibiting taking action. 

00:55:54 

I think we can get very caught in our thoughts and again it is about for me looking at the consequences when someone engaging in excessive positive thinking. 

00:56:02 

Well, what’s the outcome of that for that person? 

00:56:04 

Is it, uh, helpful outcome? 

00:56:05 

Or is it not? 

00:56:06 

Is it inhibiting them from doing the things they need to be doing? 

00:56:09 

So again, it’s the excessive nature of the thinking. 

00:56:12 

And what does that lead to for that person? 

00:56:14 

How does that bulk them down? 

00:56:15 

How does that paralyze them from the doing? 

00:56:18 

And I guess from the things that we want or need or would like to be doing in life, how is the thinking getting in the way regardless of whether that’s positive thinking or negative thinking or neutral thinking, there’s just lots of thinking going on and and is that inhibiting them in some way? 

00:56:31 

Yeah, it kind of struck us while we’re having these conversations throughout the series that we seem to be in, like a constant pursuit of happiness. 

00:56:38 

Fabulous, not like the Will Smith movie. 

00:56:40 

You know, like. 

00:56:41 

I don’t know. 

00:56:41 

It’s like we’re all. 

00:56:42 

Chasing some ideal that’s being used, you know, like. 

00:56:46 

And just go on tour. 

00:56:47 

Just one I know you’re busted to get it covered. 

00:56:47 

I’m just going to shift. 

00:56:49 

I’m busting to shoot on it. 

00:56:50 

It’s just ’cause it’s called the pursuit of happiness. 

00:56:53 

But there’s literally nothing that he does. 

00:56:55 

In that movie, that’s happy he he. 

00:56:57 

Well, no. 

00:56:57 

’cause he’s pursuing years. 

00:57:01 

That’s that’s the thing like. 

00:57:02 

And then he gets to the end and then and then and then what then he he he put up with a really ****** journey to. 

00:57:08 

Get this job. 

00:57:09 

I think I’ve ever seen that, yeah. 

00:57:11 

Yeah, this one way with his kid and then they have to with with the real joy. 

00:57:14 

And then he tries to sell those machines and then he ends up homeless and he loses all his money. 

00:57:18 

Yeah, that’s right. 

00:57:19 

And then they end up in the shelter. 

00:57:20 

And then he’s got no money for anything and he’s working all these things and anyway, and he goes, he gets that job and it’s like 2 hours of hard ******* strips log and then they have the nerve to call it the pursuit of happiness when he’s done. 

00:57:24 

It’s new. 

00:57:32 

Nothing happy. 

00:57:32 

It’s new interesting though, because like with the Bill of Rights in the American, you know, like the decoration of independence, it gives people the right to pursue happiness. 

00:57:33 

The whole movie. 

00:57:42 

It doesn’t give him the right to happiness. 

00:57:45 

You can’t obtain it, you can just. 

00:57:46 

Try for it. 

00:57:47 

The funeral you. 

00:57:47 

Like you’ll probably never get it. 

00:57:49 

Pursue it. 

00:57:51 

All they knew what they were doing. 

00:57:52 

When they set that up. 

00:57:54 

Do you think we have to? 

00:57:55 

Be happy all. 

00:57:55 

The time, though I mean, Will Smith could have done with being a little. 

00:57:57 

I don’t think so. 

00:57:58 

Happy somewhere in. 

00:57:59 

That movie called happiness. 

00:58:02 

There must be some happy moments. 

00:58:04 

I feel some kind of. 

00:58:04 

He must. 

00:58:05 

No no. 

00:58:05 

No, he’s awkward. 

00:58:06 

You go back and rewatch it it, it’s just, uh, it’s. 

00:58:09 

It’s not happy. 

00:58:10 

I don’t even think the endings. 

00:58:11 

That happy not. 

00:58:11 

Yeah, it’s pretty hot. 

00:58:12 

Not after that long Aslaug I was more I was. 

00:58:14 

Happy it was over. 

00:58:15 

It was probably a comment on that exact point about the pursuit of happiness, never getting it. 

00:58:19 

Ah, and I never. 

00:58:20 

Got it maybe, but you know, I I don’t think that we have to be happy all the time and I I don’t even think. 

00:58:27 

That it’s kind. 

00:58:28 

Of I don’t know. 

00:58:28 

No, it’s one of those things that we’re told in these platitudes and all of this toxic positivity that we see online or even here with people we speak to or on TV or radio or whatever. 

00:58:40 

There’s this push for us to be happy, but there’s gotta be some other emotion out there, right? 

00:58:44 

That’s not sadness like just because we’re not happy doesn’t. 

00:58:47 

Mean that we’re. 

00:58:47 

Sad right? 

00:58:48 

It’s gotta be something else. 

00:58:50 

Well, it doesn’t have to be negative. 

00:58:51 

More on this from Doctor Happy. 

00:58:54 

You talk of happiness being just one type of positive emotion. 

00:58:59 

And I wonder if in constantly pursuing happiness, whether we’re actually disregarding or downplaying some of those other great positive emotions that we don’t tend to focus on and possibly are. 

00:59:09 

Missing out on. 

00:59:10 

Yeah, sometimes I must mean I’ve heard this sort of a bit of a love hate relationship with the name that I came up with. 

00:59:14 

The Happiness institute. I do like it. It’s catchy. It gets people’s attention and you know it’s nice sort of simple brand I suppose. 

00:59:20 

But your 100% right and and so I spend a lot of my time busting a lot of the myths associated with that and trying to encourage people to understand that. Yes, happiness is just one of many. 

00:59:29 

Positive emotions the others are just as if not more, or you know they’re all important. 

00:59:34 

And in addition to happiness, there’s joy and calm and contentment and satisfaction and pride and the other bit that I also talk a lot about, which is just as if not more, important is. 

00:59:43 

That the so. 

00:59:43 

Called negative emotions are important as well and this is again one of the myths that I spend lots of time busting that just because I focus on happiness. 

00:59:51 

Just because I encourage people to work towards positivity which which really is important. 

00:59:55 

Those things really important doesn’t mean you know no one will be happy every minute of it. 

00:59:59 

We don’t, we shouldn’t try to be. It’s an unrealistic expectation. You would just get disappointed and frustrated, and those again those so-called negative emotions are important. 

01:00:07 

They’re important parts of being human. 

01:00:09 

I mean, we wouldn’t have survived as a species without fear and anxiety. 

01:00:12 

We wouldn’t be humans connected to other humans without sadness and grief, so it’s a really important message. 

01:00:19 

That I do spend a lot of time talking about is that we shouldn’t dismiss or try to deny the rear. 

01:00:24 

Reality of all of those emotions, you know that’s what being a human is experiencing. 

01:00:29 

All of those accepting all of those. 

01:00:31 

Certainly we wanna try to manage some of those unpleasant ones because they are unpleasant and there are things we can do to minimize them or manage them or accept them. 

01:00:39 

And we do want to maximize the positive ones, ’cause they’re good for us. 

01:00:41 

They provide a whole bunch of benefits, but it really is about getting that balance. 

01:00:44 

Right, and that will vary from person to person, and even for the same person at different times. 

01:00:49 

Of their life is there? 

01:00:50 

Also, a range of neutrality within that. 

01:00:53 

I wonder, you know if it’s possible for us to go through some days not feeling any kind of extreme of happiness or sadness, but just feel. 

01:01:00 

In content, and that is actually neither happy nor sad. 

01:01:04 

Well, technically contentment is considered a positive emotion. 

01:01:06 

I mean you were talking to. 

01:01:07 

If I put my academic head on, contentment is a. 

01:01:07 

Right? 

01:01:10 

It’s a pleasurable feeling, so it is a positive motion. 

01:01:13 

I guess that’s one way to think about it is we can divide those emotions, both the positive and the negative ones into high versus low arousal. 

01:01:20 

So when most people think about happiness that they think about it in the high arousal. 

01:01:24 

Bomb, which is things like joy and excitement, but what they often do is is. 

01:01:27 

They’re sort of overemphasize or or. 

01:01:29 

Exaggerate the importance of those ones and under emphasize the importance of some of the lower rows are ones like caramel contentment, which is a pity because as you quite rightly said, those things are just as important and and in fact there really important parts of our lives and arguably some people would say they’re more important over the longer term, because by definition the high arousal ones tend to be fleeting and short lived. 

01:01:49 

Which doesn’t mean they’re not good. 

01:01:51 

They’re still. 

01:01:51 

They’re still good for us, but you know they can come and go within sometimes within seconds or within minutes or whatever, whereas if we’re thinking long term and this is really what positive psychology is about. 

01:02:00 

It’s about it’s not just those minute to minute emotions, but it’s about living our best life, which is obviously a well, hopefully a. 

01:02:06 

Long term thing. 

01:02:07 

If we’re going to live a long life, and if we’re gonna thrive and flourish, then those longer term sort of more enduring, deeper emotions like contentment and satisfaction are really, really important. 

01:02:17 

Doctor Happy is allowed to talk about arousal, but I get in trouble for Zootopia **** references. 

01:02:24 

I think he’s talking about. 

01:02:28 

Just quietly. 

01:02:30 

Much like that subreddit, negative feelings are uncomfortable for me. 

01:02:36 

I mean, they probably offer everyone actually probably. 

01:02:37 

Right? 

01:02:41 

Back to suck it up. 

01:02:42 

Princess, those beliefs that I had, you know, I really have lived my whole life feeling don’t show feelings. 

01:02:49 

It only hurts if you allow the yucky feelings. 

01:02:52 

It doesn’t hurt if you don’t allow them, and letting go of that need to judge the feelings and instead understanding that they’re just feedback. 

01:03:02 

That I can use to reframe my mind that I can use as guidance on how I feel about particular things or situations that I. 

01:03:13 

They really they really feedback. 

01:03:15 

That’s a big one, isn’t it? 

01:03:16 

But yeah, I could briefly touched on it last episode that feeling towards the end of one of my depressive episodes, my depressive periods, and they were, as Doctor Happy would say, clinical, chronic depressive episodes. 

01:03:32 

It wasn’t a bad mood, it was a sustained period of time. 

01:03:37 

And as you start to come out of those sustained periods of time, but because you’re not that far away from where you were like for me, I was so, so scared of. 

01:03:49 

Slipping back into the depressive place because, you know, it’s not like one day. 

01:03:56 

The the depression ends you. 

01:03:58 

You get, you get off the ride. 

01:03:59 

The tickets over it’s some. 

01:04:01 

Yeah, magic fog lifts and everyone happy. 

01:04:03 

I took the magic pill I am I I prayed to not be fat and I woke up feeling the next day it doesn’t. 

01:04:09 

They prayed to not be depressed and I woke up happy the next day doesn’t happen either and so I’m. 

01:04:14 

Feeling more confident about it now. 

01:04:16 

Now a number of months have passed by, but for I think for a few months at least once I started to get medicated, seek therapy, make changes in my life, work through those feelings, allow myself to feel those things I was afraid of sliding back into it and spiraling back down. 

01:04:35 

And I thought. 

01:04:35 

If I allow myself. 

01:04:36 

To feel negative feelings, then that’s a that’s a. 

01:04:39 

That’s the gateway path to we’re back down to depression town. 

01:04:43 

I actually think that that statement has been true for my entire life because it’s not just the last period of clinical depression, I can probably count at least five periods of clinical depression in my lifetime, whether they were diagnosed or not to the same extent, and they’ve always been places that I’ve been afraid to be. 

01:05:00 

I’m very much afraid of sliding back down there, so. 

01:05:03 

Sometimes that toxic positivity of you know, let’s make the lists of the things that we’re grateful for, and it’s going to be OK no matter what. 

01:05:11 

Don’t think about the bad things. 

01:05:12 

Don’t feel the bad things has been. 

01:05:14 

A or shift, because if we think of those things then off we go on the slippery dip back down to depression town. 

01:05:20 

It’s such a steep and slippery slope, isn’t it? 

01:05:23 

It’s just bull ski there. 

01:05:25 

It doesn’t take much. 

01:05:27 

But all of that was through the eyes of somebody who wasn’t seeing negative emotion as feedback. 

01:05:32 

That was through the eyes of someone who were seeing negative emotion as something to be avoided. 

01:05:37 

That was judging that negative emotion. 

01:05:39 

That they felt as. 

01:05:40 

Well, because I think once I I got that idea that it could be feedback. 

01:05:44 

And much like all other feedback, it’s just another tool that’s in our arsenal that we can use. 

01:05:49 

It doesn’t have to be paralyzing. 

01:05:51 

No it doesn’t, and I think you. 

01:05:52 

Know we were. 

01:05:53 

Talking earlier about how I sit with my journal and how I’ve got all those things on the page. 

01:05:55 

You know? 

01:05:59 

I don’t feel paralyzed by them. 

01:06:00 

I feel like I’m liberating myself from them when I’m getting them down there and I feel like that OK, I’ve named it now. 

01:06:06 

I’ve actually I’ve put it there. 

01:06:08 

I’ve called it something and I I can. 

01:06:10 

I can see it and I’m saying that I can. 

01:06:12 

See it now I can do something with it. 

01:06:13 

Yeah, I think there’s immense power in giving it a name. 

01:06:16 

It gets it out of your head. 

01:06:18 

It makes it tangible so that it becomes something that you can work on. 

01:06:22 

It’s not so scary when you give it a name. 

01:06:24 

And it can stop. 

01:06:25 

It from going around and around. 

01:06:26 

And ramming it as well. 

01:06:27 

Oh, you mean on my loops? 

01:06:28 

Because, well, you know, like yeah, but I’ve had those two. 

01:06:29 

My anxiety loops. 

01:06:31 

And when I journal the loop stops. 

01:06:33 

It’s a bang. 

01:06:34 

It’s out on the page. 

01:06:35 

I’m doing something with it now. 

01:06:36 

And so you talk about your anxiety loops and and I’ve had them as well in the past. 

01:06:41 

You know I’ve had times where I’ve had really, really persistent thoughts. 

01:06:46 

Things that just would not let up, and what I would do with those thoughts is in some way I’d heard myself with them, obviously because I don’t. 

01:06:53 

I still feel sad or angry or whatever and push it down. 

01:06:56 

Push it down and they’d still go. 

01:06:58 

They’d still be there. 

01:06:59 

This idea of suck it up Princess. 

01:07:01 

Why I love that phrase so much. 

01:07:03 

Maybe it’s ’cause I heard it so many times growing up. 

01:07:05 

Sort of subreddit. 

01:07:06 

Ha ha ha. 

01:07:08 

No, no, no no. That might be a mantra for my whole life. Up until recently, suck it up. Suck it down, suck it up, feelsbad, slap it in. Oh my God. It’s the socket 3000. 

01:07:16 

****** focker 2000s. 

01:07:20 

There you go. 

01:07:21 

We were ahead of the time with that sketch. 

01:07:23 

Suck it. 

01:07:24 

You know, like I, I feel like I was sucking. 

01:07:28 

Up my 

01:07:30 

My my life with you know things I didn’t like in in in my career. 

01:07:36 

Suck it up come. 

01:07:39 

Relationships I didn’t like suck it up. 

01:07:42 

Just suck it up, just suck. 

01:07:43 

It up and move on. 

01:07:44 

Not living authentically suck it up. 

01:07:47 

Just suck it all up. 

01:07:48 

This is how I knew that didn’t work very well is I ended up in the hospital actually twice twice. 

01:07:57 

One time I had chest pains for three days and thought it’ll be fine. 

01:08:01 

It’s nothing, it’s probably just anxiety. 

01:08:03 

And then it was just anxiety, but still not a great story. 

01:08:07 

Go get chest pains looked at. 

01:08:08 

Yeah yes yes. 

01:08:10 

Please do if you have chest pains. 

01:08:12 

Go to the hospital, stop listening and go to the hospital. 

01:08:15 

But this one I’m thinking of, I actually had in my neck. 

01:08:18 

I had this really hard lump in my throat and I was like like what is that like it? 

01:08:24 

If you put your hand right on kind of that larynx E area at the front of your throat, it was really like rock hard for me and I was starting to feel like I couldn’t breathe and I couldn’t swallow and it was. 

01:08:34 

Causing that what wasn’t causing it was part of that anxiety, but when those kind of physical things happened to me, I feel like then the next step is is the meltdown. 

01:08:41 

Is the anxiety attack, so actually went to the hospital with it and when I saw the doctor? 

01:08:48 

He said, are you feeling anxiety? 

01:08:50 

I mean no **** Sherlock. 

01:08:51 

Right, I said yeah, and he’s like. 

01:08:54 

Well, I think. 

01:08:55 

This is called a globis for Angus. 

01:08:58 

Oh, like Lupus for Angus. 

01:08:59 

Yes, I guess. 

01:09:02 

Stunning sample. 

01:09:04 

I don’t even know if that’s how it’s said. 

01:09:06 

To be honest. 

01:09:06 

A globis for Angus, which is apparently it is a literal manifestation of anxiety that sits in your neck, so it makes your glands pop out and hardener. 

01:09:08 

It is now. 

01:09:19 

It hardened up Princess in my throat and. 

01:09:22 

’cause I was I. 

01:09:23 

Was like, oh. 

01:09:23 

My God, what is it a tumor isn’t? 

01:09:25 

My thyroid, what could it be? 

01:09:27 

Yeah yeah, like in their throats. 

01:09:28 

Not a good sign. 

01:09:29 

He said it’s your global for Angus. 

01:09:31 

I think it’s. 

01:09:32 

Anxiety related and and here’s how I know he was right. 

01:09:36 

It’s ’cause when he said it’s anxiety related, I instantly felt the tension, ease and I could breathe again, wow. 

01:09:42 

Wow, so you released your anxiety about what this stopping the threat was and it was a self referential globe’s friend. Cheers. 

01:09:51 

It was and it was probably it was. 

01:09:52 

A self referential metaphor as well for feeling like I couldn’t express myself in my day-to-day life. 

01:10:00 

So I manifested an anxiety lump in my face in my neck that literally made me feel like I couldn’t breathe and and then as I. 

01:10:08 

Was able to sit with it. 

01:10:09 

And say, oh, OK, well, that sounds right. 

01:10:12 

It’s like you know, try breathing and try breathing. 

01:10:15 

Everyone says bring your anxiety breathe I am sucking. 

01:10:18 

Breathing I am sucking breathing doesn’t change the rest of my life and and he’s right it went away after a couple of days. 

01:10:26 

There you go. 

01:10:26 

It it completely released out of there and just knowing that it was an actual and until that point I didn’t know that anxiety could manifest physically in the body in that way, but to to know that. 

01:10:36 

It made it ease it felt like relief. 

01:10:38 

Yeah, yeah, amazing. 

01:10:39 

So maybe that’s why good vibes only sucks. 

01:10:42 

’cause bad vibes. 

01:10:44 

Can be necessary messages and ignoring them land you in medical situations driven by anxiety and in hospital with suspected heart attacks. 

01:10:52 

Good vibes only. 

01:10:52 

Well, yeah, if you don’t deal with it, you’re gonna end up in hospital bed. 

01:10:53 

Not so good. 

01:10:56 

When I’ve been anxious in the past, you know I talked about those persistent thoughts, you know. 

01:11:00 

So what do you do when those thoughts just keep assisting? 

01:11:03 

And like I’ve said, for me, it’s useful to write things out. 

01:11:06 

It might not be useful for somebody else though. 

01:11:08 

Like I said, Oh yeah, my therapist said to me recently when she read a journal entry of mine. 

01:11:12 

I don’t recommend this for everybody, but you should keep doing it ’cause it works for you and it does. 

01:11:17 

I feel like it does. 

01:11:18 

Also, we’re talking about talk therapy here as well. 

01:11:20 

So there are medical conditions that exist. 

01:11:23 

Where persistent thoughts are actually a part of that as well, and that’s a completely different thing. 

01:11:28 

Yeah, we’re not here to offer any form diagnosis, we’re just kind of looking for ways to give ourself the mental space to create change. 

01:11:34 

So this is stuff that’s worked for me specifically it it might not be anywhere near the same for anybody else because. 

01:11:44 

We’re all different and we all have our own things going on. 

01:11:47 

Having said that though, this is valid stuff that we’re talking about, you know, because other things out of the equation. 

01:11:53 

When you give mental space to yourself to create positive change, then positive change can happen. 

01:12:00 

And Lisa Salzman our cognitive behavioral therapist have some great techniques to teach us about postponing our thoughts. 

01:12:06 

Thoughts, what’s the best way out of that forest and into the pathway of doing? 

01:12:12 

Kind of a big strategy often work on with with lots of people that I see is the idea of trying to postpone their thoughts. 

01:12:20 

Kind of sounds like an unusual concept, but the idea of recognizing when we are getting caught in our thoughts, whatever they might be, and actually sort of intentionally making the decision to postpone that. 

01:12:30 

For now to. 

01:12:31 

To come back to that at a later time to delay thinking more about that so it’s not a problem that whatever it is, whatever thoughts popped up. 

01:12:38 

That’s not an issue. 

01:12:39 

But to be able to step out of chasing that thought and getting into that excessive thinking and postponement can be a helpful way of doing it. 

01:12:45 

’cause typically what people do when they have a negative thought, perhaps pop into their mind is they often do one. 

01:12:50 

Of two things. 

01:12:51 

They either pull the thought really close, they do lots more thinking on it, and often what can be driving that is that they think they’re gonna get something out of that. 

01:12:59 

Giving this. 

01:13:00 

Just worry, for example, more thought I might fix the problem. 

01:13:03 

I might understand the problem. 

01:13:04 

I might be better prepared for things or preempt things, or there can be lots of different reasons, but the idea I’ll get value out of giving things more thought. 

01:13:12 

So they pulled the thoughts closer. 

01:13:13 

That’s kind of how I refer to it, and it makes a lot of sense that we do that you think about education you. 

01:13:17 

Know if there’s a problem, just think lots more about it. 

01:13:20 

That’s kind of what we’ve kind of been used to, so that’s one thing here. 

01:13:23 

We pull the thoughts close and we do lots more thinking or whatever that worry might be. 

01:13:26 

The alternative is that sometimes we realize that it’s not helping. 

01:13:29 

So it’s not good for us to be getting so bogged down in the negative thoughts and then we try and push them away. 

01:13:34 

We try and suppress our thoughts and what we know happens when we try and suppress our thoughts. 

01:13:38 

If they just come back with more fury suppression, thought suppression really doesn’t work. 

01:13:42 

You just get more of that thinking. 

01:13:43 

So what can often happen when people are getting caught in their thoughts is they’re getting caught in this tussle of pulling the thoughts closer ’cause they think they’re gonna get. 

01:13:49 

Something out of doing what’s our thinking and then at the same time, sort of pushing him away ’cause they know it’s not good for them and they caught in this push. 

01:13:55 

Pull kind of tug of war almost so postponement is kind of doing something completely different. 

01:14:00 

It’s putting the thoughts to the side for a later time. 

01:14:02 

And what I do find happens when young people have a go at doing this. 

01:14:05 

Bringing this into their own lives and having a go at. 

01:14:08 

But is often people come back and say Gee, lots of the things that seemed important like seem like burning thoughts. 

01:14:14 

I needed to think about you know later on when I looked at them, most of them were kind of really irrelevant. 

01:14:18 

I really didn’t need to think about them. 

01:14:20 

They were not really important, so I guess a a big thing. 

01:14:24 

I often work with people on is that later is always when we do our. 

01:14:27 

Best thinking, I don’t think. 

01:14:28 

Any of us do our best thinking. 

01:14:29 

In the moment when a negative thought or worry or whatever is popped into our head and it seems like it’s really important, I think we all do our best thinking later, you know, coming back to something later with fresh eyes having a much different perspective about whether that thing actually is important. 

01:14:42 

Whether it is worth thinking about and then if it is for the subset of things that are, I think we come back with fresh eyes about how to think. 

01:14:48 

About it in a more productive. 

01:14:50 

Sort of a way and more helpful way rather than just like a repetitive, overthinking, overanalysis sort of a way that gets us bogged down. 

01:14:57 

I wonder how this connects to kind of procrastination as well. 

01:15:01 

If I can share a quick story from me this week, is there’s a thing that happens. 

01:15:05 

That I felt worried about not having an answer to, and even though I could have taken an action of making a phone call and getting an answer instead, I chose to spend 3 days deciding whether or not to take a phone call and get an answer to the thing that was worrying me. 

01:15:22 

Yeah, yeah. 

01:15:24 

And then when I made the phone call because Andy said, you know, you could have just made the phone call by now. 

01:15:28 

After three days. 

01:15:29 

Of procrastinating or whether to make a phone call. 

01:15:32 

It was easy, so that’s fine. 

01:15:33 

It’s a nice example. 

01:15:34 

Yeah yes yes. 

01:15:34 

I think that’s a nice example of our overthinking, really bogging us down and paralyzing us from taking action. 

01:15:39 

And so something I often will say I’ll be very clear. 

01:15:42 

Here about is we’re talking about postponing unhelpful thinking. 

01:15:45 

We’re not talking about postponing action, so it’s about postponing and stepping out. 

01:15:49 

Of those thoughts. 

01:15:50 

That bog us down, but taking action where? 

01:15:52 

We need to. 

01:15:53 

So I try to distinguish postponement from procrastination, ’cause sometimes people think that delay concept means I can delay doing things. 

01:16:00 

You know, it’s it’s about doing the things. 

01:16:01 

We need to do now. 

01:16:02 

And stepping out of the thinking, that’s the barrier to that doing. 

01:16:06 

That kind of falls into that, not tolerating those uncomfortable feelings though doesn’t it. 

01:16:11 

I’ve chosen that procrastination, ’cause I think it’s going to feel worse if I make that phone call. 

01:16:16 

Well, even though I’ve called. 

01:16:17 

Myself 3 days of worry about it. 

01:16:19 

And that can be a big underlying reason why we procrastinate. 

01:16:22 

It is to avoid uncomfortable feelings. 

01:16:24 

You know, we anticipate whatever that thing is that we need to do is gonna be aversive. 

01:16:28 

In some way. 

01:16:29 

Can be all different sorts of feelings attached to it and procrastination is our way of not having to therefore face those uncomfortable feelings so procrastination can be a very effective. 

01:16:38 

Short term way of trying to avoid those feelings, but long term we know it actually is. 

01:16:42 

I’m just making that situation worth making the feelings that we do have to face kind of worse for ourselves. 

01:16:47 

It makes the task even more aversive the more we put it off. 

01:16:50 

But yeah, I think trying to avoid discomfort is a big driving factor in procrastination. 

01:16:54 

Because it’s not just laziness though is it? 

01:16:56 

I think some people think that procrastination is just you’re. 

01:16:59 

You’re too lazy to do this thing. 

01:17:01 

No, absolutely not. 

01:17:02 

I think there. 

01:17:03 

Be many, many things that we’re concerned about and it can be that we fear the outcome of what’s going to happen or we feel that we might not do well at something that we’re not capable or we don’t. 

01:17:12 

Yeah, we feel we’re not up to the task in some way. 

01:17:14 

Will fail at something. 

01:17:15 

It can also even be things that depending what the task is that we have a lot of trouble tolerating boredom. 

01:17:21 

And you know, sometimes tasks we have to do are boring. 

01:17:23 

Then we have to sort of face and tolerate that board, and that can be an uncomfortable emotion as well. 

01:17:28 

So I think you know blaming procrastination and laziness isn’t really appreciating the psychological factors that underlie it. 

01:17:34 

And really, at the end of the day, it is about trying to to avoid. 

01:17:38 

So this idea of postponing thoughts when I first started, kind of thinking about, I thought I have no well is it deny, or, you know, like is it? 

01:17:44 

It’s not like the same way I postponed my bills. 

01:17:50 

Is it just kind of squashing things down, but you know clearly from what this is telling us? 

01:17:54 

It’s not that it’s actually saying, OK, I’m gonna bracket this for now. 

01:17:58 

Going to put it into a box and I’m going to think of this later because it’s OK. 

01:18:01 

You think about it later because you know, do something with it later. 

01:18:04 

I mean clearly with the stuff that I’ve been dealing with, I’ve been. 

01:18:07 

Putting that away in. 

01:18:08 

A box for quite a significant amount of time, probably with never any. 

01:18:11 

Kind of intention to deal with it. 

01:18:14 

But here I am. 

01:18:16 

The box has turned into a dump yard. 

01:18:19 

And here you are. 

01:18:20 

Look, it suffice. 

01:18:21 

To say it went from a box to a whole crate and then probably a shipping container. 

01:18:25 

But you know, now I’m sitting with the situation where I’m looking at the way that these relatives behave that you know I’ve had issues with. 

01:18:34 

And I’m looking at the fact that our relationship won’t be the same and I’m OK with that because the way the relationship was I was supporting it. 

01:18:44 

I was always kind of saying uncle I was actually always the one to to give over to let it blow over to just not actually say what was important for me. 

01:18:53 

The other important thing. 

01:18:54 

That came out recently with. 

01:18:56 

Therapist made one of my therapists the. 

01:18:59 

But recently with my therapist is that the question around being OK with things that aren’t OK because for me that hits right on that family value. 

01:19:08 

If there’s a conflict you have to resolve it, because families should get along and families stick together, yeah, but what if someone in you in your family treats you really badly? 

01:19:17 

You know, do you still owe them the privilege of continuing that? 

01:19:19 

Behavior, do you still go? 

01:19:20 

Oh that’s alright, that’s OK, we’ll just we’ll just forget it we won’t we won’t do it no no, I’d rather completely cut off that blend with the. 

01:19:24 

Not at all. 

01:19:29 

Tree than to go through any of that ever again hand on heart or at least limit the relationship because it becomes a situation where you’re in that relationship out of duty, because someone, somewhere along the line, said that blood thicker than water and then someone hearing that felt that because of that it’s OK to treat people like **** 

01:19:49 

He’s not. 

01:19:50 

No, not at all. 

01:19:51 

Even you know when I was in high school, so coming back to my spoken about her earlier and she said to me, I look you worry too much. 

01:19:58 

I was the worrywart, you know? 

01:20:00 

Always be anxious about something or worried about something and she say focus on the positive it’ll be. 

01:20:04 

OK yeah classic toxic. 

01:20:06 

Positivity and my mom was beautiful. 

01:20:08 

She didn’t mean it maliciously, but that’s kind of the best that she knew how to actually deal with those those Robin situations. 

01:20:14 

But did it work? 

01:20:15 

Didn’t work today. 

01:20:15 

No, even then I knew it didn’t work. 

01:20:18 

Tell someone not to worry and you just keep on worrying. 

01:20:20 

Not exactly, yeah exactly. 

01:20:21 

You just stop saying it out loud. 

01:20:22 

So you know, there might be something simple like, Oh yeah, I’m really worried about this exam, which everybody gets worried about exams, but. 

01:20:29 

Rather than say you already too much stop worrying, you’ll be fine. 

01:20:32 

Maybe something like OK, have you actually gone over all the material you need to? 

01:20:37 

And are you confident that you actually covered everything in Eurovision? 

01:20:41 

Umm yeah it would be more useful to sit with it and then make a rational conclusion. 

01:20:44 

Once you’ve looked at the actual facts because you know feelings aren’t facts. 

01:20:48 

No, they’re not. 

01:20:49 

And you know, maybe those feelings of worry that I had was something in me saying I’ve missed something. 

01:20:55 

Yeah, so when you’re in a situation like an exam or even putting in an assignment for a course that you’re doing. 

01:21:00 

They’ll tell you what they’re looking for and what to look out for, so that gives you some indication of what you need to be revising or what you need to be putting into that assignment so that you know that you’re gonna be happy with the mark that comes back from that, and you know you’ll never know if it’s going to be perfect and we’ve had conversations about perfection before, so yeah. 

01:21:18 

And we will have many more after that. 

01:21:20 

I’m sure we Will’s on and offline. 

01:21:24 

But the point is, you know just to say, stop worrying isn’t enough. 

01:21:28 

Yes, I’ll stop worrying when I know how to stop worrying. 

01:21:30 

So what’s gonna make me start worrying is is probably the more useful question. 

01:21:35 

In that part of it. 

01:21:36 

And how can that be helpful to like you said with the worry, you realize that if you did have. 

01:21:40 

That worry maybe. 

01:21:41 

It was because you forgot something so it it can be useful feedback. 

01:21:45 

Absolutely you can. 

01:21:46 

And if you go through this, the logical steps of saying OK? 

01:21:49 

Well, I have actually literally covered everything I need to cover here, and I’m confident that I know it then either the worry will stop or it’s not that you’re worrying about. 

01:21:57 

It’s useful to sit with things, that’s that’s. 

01:22:00 

So I kind of reflect on what sitting with it means. 

01:22:03 

It’s actually saying, OK, well I’m feeling this. 

01:22:05 

I’m not comfortable with it, but what’s this about? 

01:22:07 

Why am I feeling this? 

01:22:08 

Sometimes you need help to explore that. 

01:22:10 

Though sometimes it’s. 

01:22:11 

A bigger question than what we’re actually brave, or even capable enough of actually uncovering. 

01:22:15 

You mean sometimes it’s more than two podcast hosts sitting here? 

01:22:19 

Talking about their trauma. 

01:22:20 

I can’t recommend therapy highly enough. 

01:22:22 

I know I. 

01:22:23 

I yeah, I think that’s that we’re talking at. 

01:22:25 

You it’s much better to talk to a therapist who will listen and help you with your specific situation. 

01:22:32 

And I also can’t recommend it highly enough as well. 

01:22:34 

And you’ve got to find the right one as well, like not every therapist is going to seek you, and that’s not a roof. 

01:22:40 

Poor reflection on them. 

01:22:41 

It’s just that we will have different ways of relating and sometimes you have to kind of just. 

01:22:46 

Try it out. 

01:22:47 

And if you go to one that doesn’t work out then try someone else. 

01:22:50 

It’s never bad to talk, never bad. 

01:22:52 

I mean unless it’s about Zootopia, pool and. 

01:22:54 

You had a problem with that. 

01:23:00 

No thoughts, why did they leave the sloths out? 

01:23:03 

That’s what I. 

01:23:03 

Want to know too slow? 

01:23:04 

I’ll go searching for it later, then I’ll yeah too slow. 

01:23:06 

Ha ha. 

01:23:07 

I don’t know. 

01:23:08 

I think I feel like flash would be good at some foreplay though. 

01:23:11 

Yeah, maybe. 

01:23:15 

OK, we’re talking about emotion. 

01:23:17 

We’re talking about sitting with the emotion and we’re talking about on a crusade against toxic positivity. 

01:23:23 

So the opposite of toxic positivity then is genuine optimism when you. 

01:23:28 

Cannot before you go into that. 

01:23:29 

Sorry, I just meant to say one more thing. 

01:23:32 

Is it about flash? 

01:23:33 

Oh, I saw that flash so. 

01:23:35 

Do although you know, sometimes I feel like flash when I’m sitting there pondering my my thoughts but coming back to like you know, like in the trajectory of the stories that we’re telling in this series, you know I’ve been speaking about my mum and stuff today and that’s separate to the main story. 

01:23:51 

You know of this family draw and all this kind of stuff that went down so. 

01:23:55 

You know I’m in a place now where I can’t just ignore it and I can’t just tell myself it’s going to get better and I can’t change that relatives of you on how I live or who I am. 

01:23:59 

Right? 

01:24:07 

Better yet, I don’t feel the desire anymore to try. 

01:24:10 

It’s better for me to release that toxic positivity and move on. 

01:24:14 

Oh, it feels like catharsis. 

01:24:16 

It feels that’s the turning point. 

01:24:18 

Act 3 

01:24:22 

Views at a turning point in this, but I. 

01:24:23 

Want a turning point in this bit? 

01:24:25 

You can have a turning point, e.g., list. 

01:24:26 

To be jealous, jealousy attorneys will you. 

01:24:27 

Let’s see final point. 

01:24:28 

What’s the turning point? 

01:24:29 

I wasn’t my turning point. 

01:24:30 

Chassis turning point. 

01:24:31 

Chassis a turning point, right? 

01:24:33 

Chassis turning point. 

01:24:35 

Oh OK, then the turning point of my story arc then of this last year or so of of recording this series is accepting the validity. 

01:24:46 

Of all of my emotions and taking the judgment out of them by allowing myself to experience them without judgment, I’ve been able to uncover and really get to know who I am authentically, and so that is a turning point. 

01:25:00 

I think, because I I I can’t stress enough, how hard it was for me. 

01:25:05 

Before to feel and it’s. 

01:25:07 

Yeah, and to actually allow yourself to. 

01:25:09 

You remember when you’ll remember this? 

01:25:12 

Our listeners won’t remember this ’cause they weren’t there, but you remember the first few times that we were on zoom. 

01:25:18 

And we would do what we called therapy Tuesday, which just happened any day ’cause recording recording re frame of mind and recording a lot of these things. 

01:25:28 

These stories at the time, not our stories, but even the stories of our. 

01:25:31 

Guests it brought. 

01:25:32 

Up a lot of emotions fast, it really hit home on a lot of things. 

01:25:34 

Yeah, deeds. 

01:25:37 

And you’ll remember that the first few times that we had the the trauma Thursdays, or the therapy Thursdays. 

01:25:45 

I felt like. 

01:25:46 

I couldn’t cry on the zoom like you. 

01:25:49 

Can’t see me cry. 

01:25:50 

Don’t see me cry I want you to see me, yeah. 

01:25:52 

Crying is weak, and that’s not a true statement, but that’s what I felt that showing that emotion was was week we don’t. 

01:25:58 

That’s right here. 

01:26:00 

We don’t cry because if you cry then someone has one. 

01:26:03 

And then they will. 

01:26:04 

If if, if if it’s someone saying something cruel to you and then you cry then they got the better of you and they won or you let it get to you. 

01:26:07 

They’ve got the better of you. 

01:26:12 

Or if you if you show emotion if you shows under. 

01:26:15 

Ability that someone gonna use that against you and there’s an unconscious belief that I picked up from many years of career in the media is that if you ever show someone that slither of vulnerability as much as it seems like, it’s OK at the time, it will come back out later and and and be wielded as a weapon. 

01:26:33 

And so yeah, those those those first times. 

01:26:36 

And like for a long time, I didn’t feel comfortable, but I think that turning point was that acknowledgement that all the motion is feedback and is valid and I don’t have to be ashamed for having emotion. 

01:26:49 

And I don’t have to be angry for having emotion. 

01:26:52 

Even if it’s negative or positive and it is OK to cry and it’s OK to feel things and and actually accept that that that’s a turning point. 

01:26:58 

It’s healthy. 

01:27:01 

’cause that is monumentally changed. 

01:27:03 

My experience like now we get on the zoom and if it’s a therapy Tuesday I have no problem bursting into tears about something you know we were talking to a client. 

01:27:10 

And obviously they go and just cry, just cry. 

01:27:13 

But I talked to a client. 

01:27:14 

Like not long ago and then she she. 

01:27:16 

Said something really kind and I’m like. 

01:27:20 

And I never would have done that back in a in. 

01:27:23 

A radio career. 

01:27:24 

Eva would have considered that I never would have considered asking for help at wherever earthquake was at. 

01:27:29 

Well, you would have gone over your break. 

01:27:31 

You would have gone past the time allocated fear you logtalk break have no count for tears and then. 

01:27:34 

Ah yeah. 

01:27:38 

Unable to cried on a podcast and we’ve had some episodes where it’s been. 

01:27:42 

Quite yeah. 

01:27:43 

So you know. 

01:27:44 

Yeah, that’s how I took your. 

01:27:46 

Segment and made it about me. 

01:27:47 

Well done so you know, like we’ve through the conversations that we’ve had and also with the one we’ve had specifically with. 

01:27:54 

Doctor happy sharp. 

01:27:56 

He’s helped us to really come to an understanding of how toxic positivity is passive, whereas optimism is active. 

01:28:02 

When we experience something like, say, we have a goal, we’ve set a goal and then we reach that goal. 

01:28:09 

We expect that that’s going to make us really happy. 

01:28:12 

We’ve put all this pressure on it, but quite often it doesn’t. 

01:28:15 

Is that because our expectations around happiness are wrong? 

01:28:19 

One of the biggest problems with the people experience when they when they think about happiness is having unrealistic expectations. 

01:28:24 

There’s no doubt about, and there’s a whole bunch of reasons for that. 

01:28:27 

I mean, we’re sold on realistic expectations by. 

01:28:29 

Advertisers and marketers all the time and in fact, you know what a lot of that leads to is a problem that I talk a lot about, which is the tyranny of when, then we’ve all done this at times, you know I’ll be happy when, yes, I’ll be happy when I’ve achieved that goal when I’ve lost weight or made more money or kick that goal, or when I’ve got that fancy new car or the new iPhone or whatever, whatever, whatever, and 

01:28:50 

That’s highly problematic because we know in a number of ways, one often those expectations are unrealistic, so we just sort of setting ourselves up for failure. 

01:28:58 

But also we know, particularly when those. 

01:29:00 

Things are tired to external factors. 

01:29:03 

That’s not where you find happiness, particularly in material possessions. 

01:29:06 

Now, I often find on qualifying myself here because there’s nothing inherently wrong with material possessions. 

01:29:11 

There’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting or lacking a new tech gadget or a a new jacket or shirt or whatever it might be. 

01:29:18 

These aren’t bad things, but they can be problematic. 

01:29:21 

If our expectations of what they will bring us are unrealistic and we know for a fact that they won’t bring us nearly as much happiness as we think they will, and certainly not for us. 

01:29:28 

On and this is what we find fix to go back to your question manner when we is similar with goals, achieving a goal is not a bad thing. 

01:29:34 

In fact, it’s a very good thing we can get a sense of satisfaction and pride, but we also need to understand that. 

01:29:40 

That won’t last. 

01:29:41 

Very long because by nature will move on to the next thing. 

01:29:44 

That’s just who we are as humans. 

01:29:45 

We’re constantly moving forward and again, that’s not a bad thing. 

01:29:48 

So the the remedy to that? 

01:29:50 

And there’s a bit of a cliche, but it’s trying to enjoy the journey along the way. 

01:29:53 

There’s nothing wrong with getting to the end of the end of the journey. 

01:29:56 

There’s nothing wrong with getting to the top of that mountain whatever. 

01:29:59 

In fact, those things are good things. 

01:30:00 

We know setting and working towards meaningful goals is apart to happiness. 

01:30:03 

But we need to enjoy the path as we. 

01:30:05 

Well, and this is where a lot of us do go wrong. 

01:30:07 

We don’t enjoy the process. 

01:30:09 

We’re not mindful were not present each and every minute niche everyday. 

01:30:12 

So we miss out on a hell. 

01:30:13 

Of a lot. 

01:30:14 

So that’s the idea of postponing our thoughts. 

01:30:18 

I know you said that first time you heard it, you thought? 

01:30:20 

Maybe it means denying. 

01:30:21 

It, but Lisa Salzman, our CBT therapist, went into more. 

01:30:26 

Depth about how it actually works. 

01:30:28 

So when we do pay. 

01:30:29 

Phone in a positive way? 

01:30:32 

Yeah, how do we actually cut that off in our mind and say yes we are going to postpone this? 

01:30:37 

I’m gonna I’m gonna think about it at 7:00 o’clock tonight when I feel get up and then not spend the next 7 hours going. 

01:30:42 

I’m not going to think about that thing that I’m thinking about. 

01:30:44 

Yeah, and I think it is. 

01:30:45 

It’s about acknowledging that the thought is there and accepting that that initial thought is there. 

01:30:50 

But you’re making a decision to not get caught in the excessive thinking at that point in time, so you might need to keep postponing the same thing, and you know there’s a kind of a cool app. 

01:30:58 

I don’t know if you’ve seen it the word. 

01:31:00 

Anytime app no which is through reachout.com it’s called worry time and it is about worry, postponement and that’s a really kind of nifty app where people can actually just record in just a couple of words like what the worry is or what the thought is. 

01:31:12 

It’s always good just to write it down very briefly. 

01:31:14 

Sometimes if people write too much when they’re kind of postponing their thoughts, they can kind of accidentally kind of just get into doing. 

01:31:20 

Not so worrying at that time, so just join a couple of words down to remind yourself of what the concern was and it kind of locks it away. 

01:31:27 

And then if that concern pops up, you can just kind of almost. 

01:31:30 

Ticket sort of thing. 

01:31:31 

That, Oh yeah, it’s just registering. 

01:31:33 

Yeah, it’s it’s come up again, but you know I’ll see you at 7:00 o’clock kind of thing. 7:00 O’clock’s, kind of when I’ll deal with you later on. 

01:31:39 

And then when you come to it later on, it will give you your worries for the day, and you can sort of it’s. 

01:31:43 

Kind of neat. 

01:31:44 

You can kind of scrunch them. 

01:31:45 

It’s like there’s a little. 

01:31:47 

It’s like the worries on a little piece of paper on the screen. 

01:31:49 

You kind of scrunch it with your fingers and flick it off the screen. 

01:31:52 

If it’s not important to you anymore. 

01:31:54 

Or for those things that are still important, then it prompts you to like what actions could I take for this so it tries to channel your thinking into. 

01:31:59 

Like more action, problem solving oriented thinking rather than just repetitive negative thinking. 

01:32:04 

I love the idea of putting all the. 

01:32:05 

Worries on us. 

01:32:06 

To Do List. 

01:32:07 

Yeah, and I do think yeah, actually writing, you know so old school is to have a little notepad that you carry around and just jot it down. 

01:32:14 

New school is. 

01:32:15 

To kind of use an app to do that, but it’s sort of signaling, I know you’re there and it’s OK that you’ve popped up, but later is when I’m going to give you my time and attention and you know sometimes to bring a bit of humor to that. 

01:32:26 

I kind of find you know, with the client I might be working with a metaphor that might work for them that helps them to sort of detach from their thoughts in the moment. 

01:32:32 

So I remember clients that have come up with the idea. 

01:32:34 

That you know their worrisome thoughts are like a seagull squawking for a. 

01:32:38 

Chip that at this scale. 

01:32:38 

Is it the skin? 

01:32:40 

The seagull wants your attention, you know. 

01:32:42 

And what happens if you feed it a chip? 

01:32:44 

More seagulls come kind of things, so the idea that it’s just that seagulls squawking and I’ll deal with it at 7:00 o’clock for me. 

01:32:51 

I have a little character that I referred to. 

01:32:53 

I call her worrying Wilma and so that’s when I notice I’m having a worrying thought I’m sort. 

01:32:57 

Of like oh, hey, Wilma, how you? 

01:32:59 

Doing and just jot it down. 

01:33:01 

In my in my app and you know lock it away for for seven o’clock 7:00 o’clock happens to be my thinking. 

01:33:05 

Time and I can revisit it. 

01:33:06 

I’m glad we picked the same thing. 

01:33:07 

Yeah I. 

01:33:08 

Don’t know why seems to be a thing. 

01:33:09 

7:00 o’clock have some dinner, then get into some worry, yeah. 

01:33:11 

Yeah, that’s right. 

01:33:13 

And it’s not necessary that you have to worry. 

01:33:14 

Mr. Answers. 

01:33:16 

You know it’s that you can re-evaluate whether they were thinking more about and then, and if they are worth thinking more about, how can you do it in a helpful kind of like I said problem solving way rather than just rehashing kind of negative things over and over. 

01:33:27 

Again in your mind. 

01:33:28 

I feel like this is different from a technique that might be unhelpful that I. 

01:33:32 

Use which is. 

01:33:33 

If I experience, uh, a negative emotion like something that is quite overpowering, not necessary. 

01:33:38 

Really worry, I’ll almost imagine like sticking it in a box and throwing it under the bed. 

01:33:42 

And then I think maybe that’s more suppressing and the way that I feel like I don’t ever wanna open that box back up again. 

01:33:48 

I’m not looking at it at 7:00 o’clock, so just thought maybe we should make the distinction in that this is not that. 

01:33:48 

Yeah, yeah. 

01:33:53 

Yeah, and I think that’s often I think we need to consider like ’cause sometimes people use postpone with the expectation. 

01:33:59 

That thought will go away. 

01:34:00 

And we’ll get rid of things, so again, that’s kind of a form of suppression. 

01:34:02 

That’s a form of pushing away, but it really is about this. 

01:34:05 

Accepting the thought is there, but making active choice as to when you’re gonna engage with it or or not. 

01:34:10 

Yeah, the idea of the box you often we’re working with children. 

01:34:13 

They might have a worry box where they kind of got it on a post it note what their worries and stick it in the pretty box that they’ve decorated so they can look at it later on. 

01:34:20 

And that often people might want to avoid looking at things later on, but I’d encourage people to kind of go. 

01:34:24 

Well, yeah, when you revisit things, are they all still important? 

01:34:27 

You know, are they all still relevant? 

01:34:29 

Look and if you put it in the box and putting away helps you to kind of not engage with it and there’s no downside, then maybe that’s helpful for you. 

01:34:36 

But if it keeps coming back. 

01:34:37 

And keeps being a struggle. 

01:34:39 

Since our that that is becoming a form of suppression, that’s why. 

01:34:42 

Well, because we know that thought suppression generally doesn’t. 

01:34:44 

Work for people. 

01:34:45 

Ohh, I’d say there’s definitely a downside when it comes back to bite me. 

01:34:46 

Right? 

01:34:48 

In the RC a year later after I haven’t thought about it. 

01:34:51 

And then yeah. 

01:34:52 

And then I’m. 

01:34:52 

Triggered by all sorts of things, it yeah, it definitely doesn’t work. 

01:34:56 

I wonder if there’s the opportunity then for late creating that worry To Do List. 

01:35:00 

Can we do something similar where we create a positive thoughts, positive things that have come into our head, write them down and then revisit them at 8:00 o’clock instead? 

01:35:09 

Yeah, I think that’s a lovely idea. 

01:35:10 

Often something I encourage clients to do at the end of the day is to you. 

01:35:14 

Know have some? 

01:35:15 

Sort of a little notebook that they do. 

01:35:17 

Collect some of the positives. 

01:35:19 

Some of their strengths, or positive qualities or positive things that have happened in the day with that idea that our mind isn’t very good at looking at the positive, it’s evolutionary design would mean that it only hones in on the negatives. 

01:35:29 

So to purposely turn our attention to the positive, I think is actually really important and to to recognize our strengths and our achievements. 

01:35:37 

Even just the little things or things that we might be grateful for, I think is a really worthwhile way to utilize our attention. 

01:35:44 

I guess this that’s kind of what it comes back to us where we’re focusing our attention where we’re focusing our energy. 

01:35:50 

So yeah, I would agree that that you know to counterbalance that natural default that we have to see the negative then purposely tuning into some of the positive. 

01:35:58 

Highlights of our days and our weeks is actually really important. 

01:36:02 

So how does Doctor? 

01:36:03 

Happy, make sure he’s happy from day to. 

01:36:05 

Day what does Doctor happy do in a day to make sure? 

01:36:08 

That he is happy. 

01:36:09 

Well, one of the first things I do is accept that I won’t be happy every day and I won’t be happy every minute of every day. 

01:36:14 

That’s a short, but there are some things. 

01:36:16 

There’s there’s some things I do, I’m happy to share them with him, but I I will preface this by it might sound simple, but very important. 

01:36:22 

I mean that we’re all different, So what works for me might not work for you. 

01:36:25 

You or anyone else out there listening, however, that being said, we have more in common than we think sometimes, so there are some you know there definitely general principles that we know work for most people most of the time. 

01:36:35 

So the things that I do that work for me, I’m always trying to set and work towards meaningful goals. 

01:36:41 

So for me, achievement and accomplishment is important. 

01:36:44 

I think it is for all of us, but for me. 

01:36:45 

Maybe a bit more, so I need to be careful with that because that can have a dark side I suppose. 

01:36:50 

So at the moment I’m writing another book, so I’ll try to get at least a few words down. 

01:36:54 

Hopefully a chapter down. 

01:36:55 

You know whatever and I feel good when I’ve done that, so setting and working towards meaningful goals is important for me. 

01:37:00 

My physical health and well-being is also vitally important, so I exercise pretty much every day, and that’s for a couple of reasons. 

01:37:07 

It, I mean, there’s obviously physical benefits associated with exercise, which I’m sure you know about, but for me what’s just as, if not more important, the psychological benefits for me. 

01:37:15 

Exercise as a stress Buster. 

01:37:17 

It’s an antidepressant. 

01:37:18 

It’s a mood. 

01:37:19 

Booster, so I genuinely feel better emotionally when I exercise on a regular basis in the same way I try to meditate every day and practice mindfulness. 

01:37:28 

Sometimes it might only be 5 or 10. 

01:37:29 

Minutes sometimes it’s a bit longer, but again, we know there’s bucket loads of research and there’s different ways you can do it, so different things work for different people, but for me that’s an important part of trying to manage some. 

01:37:39 

You know my monkey mind my busy mind that can get a bit out of control sometimes, so that’s another habit that I try to practice on a regular basis. 

01:37:46 

Some of the other things that I know are good for me, but I find a bit. 

01:37:50 

Harder, uh, and this might sound a bit strange, but connecting with other people I’m actually quite an introvert, despite the fact that I spend quite a bit of my time on stage talking to thousands of people, I’m sometimes too happy sitting in a corner reading. 

01:38:02 

A book that’s one of my. 

01:38:03 

My favorite things to do and I do love that and and that’s an important part of my happiness as well is reading, but I I mean, almost everything has a dark side and the dark side is that I can get sucked down into being isolated and alone. 

01:38:14 

Too much of the time, which can also mean getting sucked into being too much time inside my own head, which which is a pretty scary place at time, so I’ll tell you. 

01:38:21 

So what comes easily for some people. 

01:38:23 

Socializing comes a bit harder for me, but I know that if I just forced myself and it doesn’t. 

01:38:27 

Always take a lot of effort, but I know. 

01:38:29 

That’s important for me to just get out to be with people to interact with friends and family and colleagues, etc. 

01:38:34 

So they’re probably the main ones. 

01:38:36 

And then there’s lots of other. 

01:38:37 

I mean, one thing that I I would love to do more of, and maybe I’ll get some tips is to develop more hobbies. 

01:38:43 

I’ve never actually well apart from reading, maybe that’s something I’ve kind of always struggled with a bit, and yet I know it would be good for me. 

01:38:51 

Well, one thing I suppose is I do love bushwalking and getting out in nature, but I make an effort to try to do that as best I can, but I would love to have some recreational hobby and one thing that you touched on this earlier which is really interesting. 

01:39:02 

One of the things we know from the research is important. 

01:39:04 

One of things that I think I could benefit from is spending time in activities with no real goal. 

01:39:09 

Another sort of one of the definitions of hobbies. 

01:39:11 

Or of play is pleasurable activity without any specific outcome, and I know that would be beneficial for me because too often I do focus on outcomes that’s probably driven. 

01:39:20 

Some of my quote UN quote success, but it also has a dark side as well and I think I had certainly one of the things I’m trying to do more of is just do stuff without trying to be. 

01:39:29 

But it without wanting to succeed or have any outcome whatsoever. 

01:39:33 

So yeah, there’s a few ideas that that that might might help. 

01:39:37 

Some of you. 

01:39:37 

You’re not alone in being the extroverted introvert. I’ve found that my career as well stand on stage comfortably with you, know, 5000 people in an audience, but put me with 10 people at a pub and I will hide in the corner and not want to make small talk. 

01:39:52 

They would often ask about that, so when I and I you know I spent a lot of time in the last decade or two speaking at conferences and events, there was a heady do that. 

01:39:59 

No so. 

01:40:00 

Well, it’s actually not me up there. 

01:40:01 

It’s Dr. 

01:40:01 

Happy and that’s been one of the I didn’t call myself Dr Happy as a colleague called me that years ago and I was quite reluctant to accept it, but I eventually did sort of embrace it because it’s almost like this alter ego. 

01:40:12 

This other persona, like a lot of performers, will have a stage name or writers will have a pen name whatever. 

01:40:17 

And that’s when I get up there. 

01:40:18 

I feel like it’s a bit of a. 

01:40:20 

Protection in a way and that helps me is, you know it’s not really Tim sharp up there. 

01:40:24 

It’s Dr Happy and he’s almost like this other person that I can kind of hide behind. 

01:40:28 

So as uncomfortable as it may be, sometimes the idea of sitting with thoughts and feelings. 

01:40:33 

It’s the key to ending toxic positivity and a good counselor. 

01:40:37 

A good therapist is going to. 

01:40:39 

Be able to help you do. 

01:40:40 

This yeah, Lisa Salzman explains the benefit of doing it authentically. 

01:40:44 

I really like that. 

01:40:44 

Idea of breathing into that feeling of hatefully, because I know from personal experience, is that often breathing, as you say, is used to try and deflect or to remove from the situation. 

01:40:55 

But what you’re describing there is actually trying to stay with it. 

01:40:58 

Yeah, and I ’cause I think that. 

01:41:00 

Really, anything, yeah, I’m thinking now we’re in a therapy kind of setting, but I think any kind of strategy or technique that we might teach a client we might be working with can kind of be misused as a as a form of trying to suppress our thoughts and feelings. 

01:41:11 

You know he’ll do this and will take away the bad feeling or the negative thoughts or what have you. 

01:41:15 

I think the idea of trying to do the. 

01:41:17 

Different things we might be doing, but actually more within a spirit. 

01:41:20 

Of beyond except how we’re feeling, be able to kind of accept that we’re having this thought, but not buy into it so intently and listen to it so intently right now, for example. 

01:41:28 

So I think I’m a big believer that it’s not just what you do. 

01:41:32 

It’s the spirit or attitude within which you do it. 

01:41:34 

So I try to have that spirit and attitude that I’m using the breathing to cope with the feeling. 

01:41:39 

Like I said, make space for it breathing to it, not to try and get rid of it and suppress it and take it away because we know that if that’s our kind of overarching attitude, it’s usually gonna backfire on us in some way. 

01:41:49 

And it’s actually just gonna kind of continue. 

01:41:52 

The struggle that. 

01:41:52 

I have 

01:41:53 

Oh, so now that we’ve learned how to combat the tendencies of toxic positivity, we’re probably going to be dealing with some big emotions. 

01:42:02 

Weren’t we already dealing with big emotion in this episode? 

01:42:05 

Oh yeah, well, actually words. 

01:42:05 

I didn’t cry. 

01:42:07 

No sorry. 

01:42:08 

I next time. 

01:42:10 

Next time I’ll bring out the tears. 

01:42:13 

Well, you know. 

01:42:13 

We weren’t dealing with the big emotions, that’s the thing. 

01:42:15 

So now that we’ve actually kind of identified that, yeah, we do need to sit with it. 

01:42:18 

And even if we put off thinking about it, we’re still going to think about it. 

01:42:22 

And we’re not going. 

01:42:22 

To deal with them. 

01:42:23 

We have to at some point, yeah, otherwise it just keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger until. 

01:42:23 

We gotta be willing. 

01:42:24 

Yes we have to yeah so. 

01:42:30 

Yes, so fit your career out. 

01:42:33 

Next time, every frame of mind we can’t go from shooting that out to Marty. 

01:42:39 

OK, so it just keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger until you implode and then you gotta deal with it one way or another. 

01:42:46 

Yeah you do so. 

01:42:47 

If if you’re not, if you’re gonna keep putting it in the box under the bed until the box becomes a crate and the crate becomes a storage container. 

01:42:52 

And the storage container becomes a small explosion. 

01:42:56 

You gotta deal with. 

01:42:57 

It at some point. 

01:42:57 

So next time on re friend of mind, author and director of Positive Minds Australia Marvina Wanna Parker? 

01:43:03 

Helps us dig a little. 

01:43:04 

Bit deeper into how feelings work and how to deal with those big emotions. 

01:43:09 

Everyone wants to feel good and we fill. 

01:43:12 

Our best when we come. 

01:43:14 

When you’re in a calm state of mind, everything else flows so much per staff. 

01:43:19 

If you’re concerned about yourself or someone you know, please seek professional advice and support. You can contact beyondblue on one 300, double 24636 or it beyondblue.org dot AU. 

01:43:30 

Or you can contact lifeline on 131114 or at Lifeline. 

01:43:35 

Dot org dot AU. 

01:43:37 

You’ve been hearing our story and now we really want. 

01:43:40 

To hear yours. 

01:43:40 

Connect with battery frame of mind on Instagram. 

01:43:43 

Facebook Tik T.O.K and Twitter. 

01:43:45 

Or connect with at welcome, Change Media on LinkedIn. 

01:43:48 

You can also contact us via re frame of mind.com dot AU with your stories or suggestions for future topics. 

01:43:55 

We’d like to thank today’s guests for sharing their personal stories and insights. For more information on any of the subjects, guests or references used in this episode, please see our show notes or reframeofmind.com.au

01:44:06 

Reframe of Mind is a Welcome Change Media production. 

 

 

Download transcript at this link:

Coming soon

Check out all the guests who appear this season:

Former Australian Diamonds Head Coach, now head of high performance and assistant coach for the London Pulse

Award-winning inspirational speaker, consulting CEO and author.

Board Director, Mentor. Mother, Entrepreneurial thinker and innovative strategist. Empowerer of women.

World-leading Australian neuroscientist in occupational therapy and stroke rehabilitation and recovery research.

Co-founder and Managing Director of Thankyou.

Australian social psychologist, currently Scientia Professor at the University of New South Wales, Sydney.

Diversity trans-relator, educator, life coach, speaker and consultant. 

Best-selling author, entrepreneur and global presenter.

Wellbeing Educator specialising in prevention of burnout and empathy fatigue.

Business expert, best-selling author and international keynote speaker on mastering the power of mindsets.

Highly-awarded cognitive neuropsychologist at the Brain and Mind Centre at the University of Sydney.

Founder and CEO of LAJOIE SKIN, qualified and experienced chemist, marketer with a passion for sustainability and the dance floor.

Internationally recognised public speaker, educator and researcher on high performance.

Experienced senior executive and board director with an international track record of leading teams to address complex challenges.

Professor of Entrepreneurship, La Trobe Business School, La Trobe University.

Inspirational speaker & performance coach turning near death into durability model of strength, self-esteem, overcoming adversity.

Highly experienced strategist, leadership champion and expert in the area of human potential.

Yorta Yorta/Ngarrindjeri man, Australian Indigenous Comic Con Director, Founder of Indiginerd popculture company.

Director of Positive Minds Australia, widely published Author of Resilience, Wellbeing, Confidence & Social Emotional Intelligence.

Associate Head of Learning and Teaching in Psychology, Director of Postgraduate Professional Training Programs in Counselling and Psychology.

Australian doctor, lawyer, scientist and disability advocate.

Pilot, mentor and motivational speaker with an inspiring story and message of resilience.

Author and coach on resilience in the face of stress, anxiety and fear created by a life changing diagnosis.

Senior Lecturer and Deputy Clinical Director with the School of Psychological Science at UWA.

Australia’s very own ‘Dr Happy‘, at the forefront of the positive psychology movement and founder of The Happiness Institute.

Ultramarathon runner, Maori Sportswoman of the Year (2008), 2 x best-selling author. 

Australian expert on mental health, Director of The Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use, Principal Research Fellow at the University of Sydney.

Award-winning performer, comedian, author, educator and broadcaster.

Professor of the Department of Psychology, Director of the Music, Sound and Performance Lab at Macquarie University.

New Zealnad explorer, public speaker and best-selling author.

Queer, non-binary, Jewish writer, performer, activist and public speaker based in Naarm/ Birraranga / Melbourne.

You may also like:

What would happen if we chose to let go of...

Read More

How important are other people’s opinions to you? Seeking advice...

Read More

Has anyone ever told you to ‘just think positive’? That’s...

Read More

Episode 22: The science of changing your thinking. Can it...

Read More