January 2020, How exciting! New year, new beginnings, new opportunities, new adventures.
However, despite all this promise and excitement many fall victim of the phenomenon known as ‘Blue Monday’.
In 2005, British psychologist Dr Cliff Arnall, in collaboration with STA Travels, declared that, in approximation, the third Monday of every January is considered to be the most depressing day of the year!!!
Dr Arnall devised a formula in an effort to explain why we feel ‘blue’ on that particular day over any other.
The formula offered was [W+(D-d)]xTQ/MxNA.
W = Weather
D = Debt
D = Monthly Salary
T = Time since Christmas
Q = Time since failing New Year's resolutions
M = Low motivational levels
Na =The feeling of a need to take action
Is though ‘Blue Monday’ a legitimate occurrence?
Dr Arnall himself confessed that the formula is essentially pseudoscience and has urged Brits to “refute the whole notion’’.
Nevertheless, despite Dr Arnall’s declaration, marketing companies conveniently continue to use, abuse and manipulate the ‘Blue Monday’ fallacy by using it as an opportunity to increase sales.
We are bombarded with advertising slogans prompting us to spend our hard-earned money on items and concepts that allegedly take the ‘blues’ away.
We are relentlessly swamped with marketing strategies that arguably contribute towards the ‘blues’, resulting in a collective negative mindset further entrenched by the drab of winter, the abrupt end to the seasonal festivities and the sobering realisation that normality is once again upon us.
Not exactly an inspiring set of circumstances, it must be said.
However, I believe that we have a moral obligation and social responsibility to adopt an altogether optimistic mindset and turn our thinking on its head (excuse the pun). We really owe it to ourselves and all those around us to approach life in a positive manner. We are profoundly privileged to be alive and have the opportunity to enjoy the wonder of this world we inhabit and all that it has to offer.
Negative and unpleasant thinking generates unpleasant and typically unproductive feelings which are then translated into inhibiting and damaging behaviours. If we continuingly reinforce such thoughts, we can quite literally develop a detrimental thinking habit.
If we are to prevent this pattern of behaviour, we must first interfere with and interrupt the self-fulfilling cycle of negative thinking. We need to quite literally stop the process in its tracks by making a conscious effort to evaluate the validity and impact of our thoughts.
Fight back the toxic thoughts and dismiss them as nothing more than toxic chatter.
The next step is redirection. Redirect our thinking towards empowering, uplifting and ultimately constructive thoughts.
My clients are all too often shocked and equally thrilled to discover that we have such effective control over our minds. Control that can literally influence both our psychological and physiological state significantly without the need for pharmaceutical intervention. The belief that such control is possible is certainly not a new revelation. Evidence suggest that the use of mind centred practices was enjoyed as far back as 5000 – 3500 BC.
If, for example, something or somebody causes you to experience upset and consequently makes you unhappy, resist the temptation to engage in negative visualisations and self-destructive internal dialogues. View the circumstances as an opportunity for positive change, a chance to learn, bolster your inherent resilience and move on to a better place.
Use your time constructively and with purpose. How many hours a day do you spend contemplating negative past events and experiences that most likely have no real baring in your life today? If you spend 30 minutes of negative contemplation a day that equates to 182.5 hours a year. Contemplate for a second and think what else you could have been doing with all this precious, never to return time and life. The positive and constructive plans you could have made, the fun and meaningful experiences you could have enjoyed.
Having an optimistic life approach, is not about viewing the world through rose coloured glasses. It is about making the most of your life and enjoying who you are; project your qualities onto all those around you and enrich your life as well as the lives of others. Be a super hero!
As an Empowerment, Personal Performance and Neuro Linguistic Programming Coach I believe in empowering my clients by infusing meaning, purpose and strength into their daily professional and personal lives. I encourage, support and equip my clients with untainted optimism, positivity, confidence, hopefulness and the courage to achieve personal excellence, develop strategies and coping mechanisms to effectively deal with stresses, and the challenges of modern life. My mission is to assist my clients in becoming the very best version of themselves.
Let’s spin the ‘Blue Monday’ on its head. When ‘Blue Monday’ finally arrives let’s view it as an opportunity to celebrate our successes and marvel at the wonder of life. Don’t allow ‘Blue Monday’ to be a self-fulfilling prophesy. You have the power of control; choose to use it; you will be pleasantly surprised at what you are capable of achieving.
Happy 2020 Blue Monday Everybody!