Your 90 year old self.. Relentless Optimism VS Toxic Positivity
So it’s a second national lockdown and emotions are running high. Very high. That feeling of no light at the end of the tunnel. I also had a bit of a wake up call when I realised that in reality, many parts of the UK have actually been in lockdown for much longer than we have in Bristol.
Here's a little video about a topic very important to me - optimism. If you'd prefer to read it as a blog then you can do below!
Yesterday I was a ball of impending doom and general apprehension. I wanted to share some incredibly reassuring advice that I heard which calmed me down. It was to imagine your 90 year old self and let them carry you through the next few weeks. 90 year old Helena (who also happened to have neon pink hair) put a month, or even a year, into perspective and I found myself feeling optimistic and confident and hopeful again about our future.
Energy is contagious and when the rhetoric is total powerlessness and hopelessness, the intensity of that negative energy causes me physical pain and brain fog. This scares me a lot more than the virus itself and I don’t want Leo and Arthur to grow up in a world filled with those negative energies which locks out creative thinking and narrows our minds.
But all of us are on an emotional rollercoaster so I’ve tried to make my priority to give myself a break when I’m having a meltdown (like yesterday) but when I’m feeling good, I see it as my job to transfer as much relentless optimism to others as I can. For me, relentless optimism is the literal opposite of toxic positivity, which is that fake, false happiness where real emotions are denied. Optimism involves reacting to real situations and emotions with a sense of confidence and ability. Optimism is a big part of who I am and when I lose it I feel really lost. So it’s got me thinking, what are we in control of right now? What difference can we really make, can I make, to the energies of our every day in lockdown?
There’s an amazing psychologist, he’s often called the father of positive psychology, a guy called Martin Seligman, who defines optimism as a belief that negative events are temporary, manageable and limited in scope - meaning they can’t pervade every aspect of our lives. For me, optimism is hope. Seligman talks about optimism existing on a continuum (like most things in psychology) and it being a learnable skill that has a huge impact on physical and mental well-being, including making our immune systems work better.
Because believe it or not, optimism has been proven to do exactly that, and even prevent chronic disease, as well as help people cope with difficult news. It does us all a lot of good.
Winston Churchill has a particularly good famous quote about optimism - he said that “a pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; while an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” I just love that quote.
So I want to feel optimistic and I want you to as well! I want to feel helpful, not helpless. And I want us all to see how we all have the power to make others feel good. It really matters how we interact with each other and transfer that optimism from person to person. Because we can do it, optimism in lockdown. I know we can.
So this month starting now (3rd Nov), we’re going to include an extra tin of our Barista Grade Instant Coffee, as a gift from us, with all orders of our tubs. The idea is that you gift this to a neighbour that needs cheering up, because this tin is a little pot of sunshine into their kitchen, it’s you transferring your hope and optimism and positive energy. My hope is that together doing this we remember how much influence we’ve got over ourselves and the world. Sometimes we need someone else to help us tap into it or feel reassured again.
So if you’re ordering a big 500g tub of our Barista Grade Instant Coffee to see you through the next month, add a 100g tin to your basket as well and it you won't be charged for it (if you've recently ordered a tub then don't worry, this offer is on for the whole month of November and the tubs have a nice long shelf life).
Click here to stock up on a tub and get your free tin (remember to add both sizes to your basket).
Thanks for giving this little blog a read and remember, when you feel crap check in with your 90 year old self and see what they have to say to you. It works wonders! See you again soon ❤