Thriving through the pandemic: Rob Kelly – The Thrive Programme
16 June 2020
Rob Kelly, CEO and Founder of The Thrive Programme talks about how you can thrive in the Covid-19 pandemic and provides some further tips below.
Here are some simple suggestions for how to feel more upbeat, particularly when times are tough, but first, the science….
Humans, like most animals, are still naturally wired for “fight or flight” and therefore, particularly in our highly connected lives, we face the risk of over exposure to anxiety. Hence the importance of taking action to manage our exposure to anything that makes us feel anxious or down and to balance this by engaging in activities that improve our well being, e.g. talking with people we like, exercise, hobbies, countryside, mindfulness, project completion and including positive thinking itself!
It has been proven from several scientific studies that we only retain thoughts or images in our minds for up to about two weeks. This means that anything we think about or picture in our minds from the past is a conscious decision on our part to make those recalls. Research also shows that there is no link between our personal histories, good or bad, and our state of mental health, good or bad. A very simple prompt to help here is to say to ourselves “if I don’t like what I’m thinking, stop thinking it”.
Take a few moments every day or especially when you’re feeling low to “process some positives”. These positives can be very small things that have happened in the last day or so and it is important to dwell on recalling them for a few moments each. This helps to reset some positive balance to much of the negativity that we feel today.
More positive thinking leads to feeling more positive. This may sound like stating the obvious but it’s also astonishing in its simplicity. In the film, Rob Kelly sets a broad context for this and it is so helpful for us all to try and focus on anything positive in our everyday experiences. More positive thoughts create more positive feelings and the opposite is also true.
Taking responsibility for our own actions and thoughts is also helpful. Relying or depending on things outside of our control (eg luck or reactivity of others) increases our exposure to negative outcomes and therefore we should seek to have more control of our lives than we sometimes appreciate is possible. The Working Options in Education principles (Hard Work, Persistence, Networking, Positive Thinking, High Work Standards) are all good examples of capabilities we can embrace to be happier and more successful and importantly, that no one can prevent us from doing!
Try not to dwell on negative things in our personal lives or incidents outside of our control. It is helpful to accept the harsh reality of some experiences but also not to allow those thoughts to overwhelm us and to try and focus on something different and positive.