The Happiness Advantage
(photo by Allie Brock (Brock n Roller), showing my team being all happy <3)
So recently I was sent a link to a ‘TED talks’ video on youtube by one of my friends, I hadn’t really heard of them before, but the title intrigued me ‘The Happiness Advantage’.
I won’t lie, I’ve always struggled with maintaining a consistent level of positivity through my own training. In the past, I get frustrated with myself very easily and become very self doubting, making things a lot more difficult and frustrating for myself by beating myself up over even the smallest of things. And no matter how aware I was of what triggered this frustration, I have always found it difficult to try and overcome. Since realising all this, I’ve made it a one woman mission to try and turn the tables, to regain control over my emotions and in turn, use my new found positive approach in the most productive ways for myself and my league.
So enough of the back story right?! This is where the video comes in, so it’s a talk from a guy called Shawn Achor, and his main focus of the talk is to basically describe that "if we focus on the average, we will remain merely average." So by changing your focus, so if your focus becomes being the most positive person you can be, you will become the most positive person you can be. This instantly appealed to me just due to it’s simplicity. You shape how you react to the world by controlling your reactions, until it becomes second nature, then before you know it you will be ‘that person’ you wanted to be, without even knowing it!
He also explains how we make things more difficult for ourselves by constantly placing our goals ‘over the horizon’, so every time we hit a goal, we change it. Which makes our brains sad. Instead he suggests we focus on positivity, rather than goals, as it will increase productivity and in turn help us to achieve what we need as well as increasing our happiness levels. So how do you ‘focus’ on positivity?
Achor concludes his talk with this list of actions, to be carried out for 21 days, which should help shape your mind into a more positive space, meaning your brain ‘scans the world not for the negative, but for the positive’:
- 3 Gratitudes - write down three things you are grateful for every day
- Journalling - write down one positive thing in the last 24 hours so you can relive it
- Exercise - teaches us that our behaviour matters
- Meditation - helps us to zone out of multitasking and juggling priorities and helps to focus on one thing
- Random Acts of Kindness - write one positive email a day to someone praising or helping them
So, I’ll be giving this a go, it’s a small step on the way to having a stronger mind, but I think this would be a great foundation to work more sports psychology basics on. My aims for this are to have a new focus on positive outcomes rather than negatives, so that I can push myself harder in training and enjoy the journey of progress and learning even more. By focusing on the positive aspects in my training, I can engage in what I bring to the team meaning I’m a stronger player on track, I can push myself harder without worrying about ‘failing’ and upsetting myself, and I will just generally be a nicer person to be around! :)
I’ll post up an update once I’ve gotten into the swing of it a bit more, also I’d love to hear from anyone else who has used a similar approach to helping with their roller derby progression and how they got on with it :) I find this kind of thing really interesting and I’m excited for the possibilities of a positive mindset in my game!