PPI: What’s the best possible life you can imagine?

Here’s a positive psychology intervention you can try that besides helping you to feel happier, being sick less often and bringing about sustained improvements in your wellbeing after you’ve tried the intervention, it will support you in clarifying what you’d like to achieve, and prompt you to develop an action and prioritisation plan in order to meet your goals.

 Simply plan some quiet time and think about your life over the next 5 years. Imagine that everything has gone as well as it possibly could. You have worked hard and succeeded at accomplishing all of your life goals. Think of this as the realisation of all of your life dreams.

 Now spend 15-20 minutes writing about what you imagined, for 4 days in a row.

 And after the 4 days, reflect on the following questions:

What exactly have you achieved?
How did you feel once you achieved your goals?
How did you do it?
Who was supporting you?
What strengths did you use?
What do you need to do in order to meet your goals?
What else did you notice?

 How did you find this intervention? And what do you notice about your levels of happiness and positivity after repeating it for 4 days?

Team engagement checklist for leaders

What are some easy ways to engage a team?

Do you have team management responsibility? If yes, what do you do to keep your team members engaged and motivated? 

In my coaching work, I’m increasingly working with leaders to support them in engaging their teams in the most authentic way possible. And perhaps you already know that for most of my former career, I managed employee engagement campaigns within large organisations. It’s definitely a passion of mine! 
 
So, I did some research, and along with my own insights I created this list of 41 simple and impactful ways for leaders to engage their teams
 
Perhaps you do all of this already, or maybe there are a couple of points here that you find helpful…I’d love to know if you have any more that have helped you engage your team, please don’t hesitate to share them with me – hello@kellycampino.com
 
You can download it here.

What is Positive Psychology? And what’s it got to do with coaching?

Perhaps you know that I’m working towards my MSc Applied Positive Psychology & Coaching Psychology at the University of East London. So what is Positive Psychology, and how can it benefit you? Here’s a quick overview…

Positive Psychology defined

There are many, many different definitions of positive psychology, but I chose this one by Gable and Haidt as I find it is the best summary of what is actually a complex and evolving science: positive psychology is ‘the study of the conditions and processes that contribute to the flourishing (wellbeing) or optimal functioning of people, groups and institutions’. Or put more simply, it’s the science of human flourishing and focuses on enhancing what is already right.

The ultimate goal – to flourish

Here are some descriptions of flourishing that I collected:

  • emotional vitality
  • positive mental health
  • vigorous and healthy growth
  • living an authentic life
  • functioning positively both individually and socially

And studies have shown that when we flourish, we can:

  • feel more empowered, and less helpless
  • develop clear and attainable personal goals, and achieve better results
  • have higher levels of self-control and persistence
  • have less illness
  • experience higher levels of intimacy

What a very worthwhile goal to aim for!!

A diverse science

The science of positive psychology covers diverse topics such as happiness, optimism, strengths, creativity, flow, wellbeing and personal growth. The focus is on what is already right and going well for us, whilst still recognising negative emotions and challenges as natural and important aspects of our lives. And it’s not just to support our individual wellbeing, but when we for example show acts of kindness and enhance our social connections, there are also benefits for group and communities as well.

Positive psychology coaching & its benefits

Applying positive psychology can support us to thrive in all aspects of our lives. That’s why it goes so absolutely perfectly with coaching. Anyone is able to flourish, however sometimes some extra effort and the right support is needed to get there. Positive psychology coaching is an approach to coaching, that’s science-based and includes different strategies or interventions that are implemented to support the clients’ wellbeing. In my coaching practice, my mission is to support my clients to thrive at work. In every session, I apply science-based tools and models to support them, with benefits including:

  • developing meaningful goals
  • becoming more resilient
  • maximising their strengths
  • increasing their self-confidence
  • improving their overall wellbeing.

This is just a very brief snapshot of positive psychology and its relationship with coaching. As I continue with my studies, which I am absolutely loving!, I’ll be very happy to share more of what I learn with you. Over to you… Are you currently flourishing? What do you already know about positive psychology? Have you already implemented positive psychology practices? If you’d like my support to flourish / thrive, then I’d be delighted to hear from you! Please get in touch at hello@kellycampino.com for a complimentary consultation.

Why I do what I do: My journey to find work in which I can thrive

A few years ago, I was on the brink of a burnout.

… I was sick often and hadn’t been sleeping well for months.

… In the nights before work, it was not unusual for me to sleep for only 3-4 hours. I’d wake up and worry about everything.

… I was always depressed and anxious, often even the smallest worry would send me into a huge panic.

… I was unfocused and had lost all confidence in my abilities. This lack of confidence also impacted me outside work and I avoided social contact with friends.

(does any of this sound familiar?)

After failing to manage this on my own for months, I decided that I simply needed help and found a wonderful therapist. I had no idea how sick I was getting, but she assured me that we managed to catch my situation just before it descended into a full burnout, which would have taken months to recover from.

With therapy, I managed to pull myself out and develop strategies to prevent myself from getting to the brink of burnout again. And I never hesitate anymore to ask for help when I need it.

I also decided to share openly with my colleagues and friends what had happened. This was very hard! Mental health issues are still unfortunately seen as a weakness and I was already feeling so weak and a failure that I couldn’t manage the work I’d done for over 15 years!

Even though I’d never wish to go through this experience again, I’ve learned some very valuable lessons that have helped me both personally and professionally….

My 5 big lessons

  1. First, it does not need to get to the point of burnout in order to realise that something is wrong and needs to change. I know the warning signs and will take action when I need it. I will never hesitate to go back to therapy if needed, and I’m now always working with amazing coaches for different purposes and with their support can quite easily get unstuck and find new perspectives.
  2. The insights I’ve gained from coaching have helped me to see with absolute clarity that the work I was doing and the environment I was in were completely misaligned with my personality, strengths, values and interests. (In fact, my strengths were often criticised!). I was not living authentically! And now that I’ve reconnected with who I truly am, I make decisions so that I can live authentically every day.
  3. I learned through this process that living a life that is aligned with my values (one of which is authenticity) is not negotiable, it was critical for me to be open and honest about what I’d been going through. And I so absolutely didn’t want others to suffer like I did. If my story had just given one person awareness of the warning signs then it was absolutely worth me being vulnerable by sharing it. And I was so relieved and grateful to receive so much empathy and care (and hugs); but also very unnerved and very sad to hear about how many people had also suffered through something similar.
  4. Before I was able to find clarity with my therapist, it was very difficult to have a clearer perspective, more of a helicopter view, to see what was most important to me – my health and my family – not a job that made me fundamentally unhappy. I was so caught up in doing the ‘right’ thing, by being a good employee, pushing myself too hard, using the master degree that I had just completed and moving up the ladder in my long-standing career, that it completely clouded my view of what really matters.
  5. Another huge learning from my situation is that not all work situations and jobs are (always) suited for everyone (yes, even after 15 years in a career and recently completing a master degree in that field!)! Our passions, interests and life circumstances can change, and sometimes our work needs to change as a consequence. My husband shared an analogy with me at the time that a rabbit would thrive in a running race, but when in the water will never beat a fish! I was that rabbit in the water – I had no chance of thriving in my work environment.

So… I made the best (and only) decision possible. I left my well-paid career behind and retrained as a coach to help others who are also feeling unfulfilled and want more from their work.

So, this is my Why…

… My Why is to connect my clients back to who they truly are and support them to find jobs / careers and work environments that are aligned with their personality, strengths, values and interests… so that they can thrive at work.

I am a qualified & certified coach* and I use coaching and psychometric assessments to help my clients reconnect back with their authentic, true selves.

I now implement my natural strengths, personality, passion and interests every day in my work. I’m now the fish IN water! Exactly where I should be!

I’m committed to continuous learning to always be improving how I can support my clients. I’m working towards my MSc Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology (which I’m enjoying so much) to hone my coaching skills and help my clients integrate the latest evidence-based wellbeing practices to help them manage their feelings and stress.

Looking back on my experience, I can now see it with gratitude. I learned so so so much and have made many very positive changes as a result, including finding work that fundamentally helps others… which is totally aligned with my values, I absolutely love, and in which I can truly thrive.

How about you?

Have you experienced something similar?
Can you relate to the lessons I learned?
Is your work in alignment with your personal values?
What’s your Why?

*it is important to state that I’m not a therapist and I don’t work with serious mental health issues

 

How can taking time off make me more productive?

That does sound counter-intuitive and a low priority when we have a lot on our plate.

But by planning regular breaks from work and consciously switching off when we get home, research has shown that this leads to not only reducing stress, but also increasing our performance and productivity.

So there is scientific proof that a complete break is good for us… and our employers!

Brendon Burchard (THE productivity master!) has a great, and easy, technique to incorporate breaks and increase our productivity. He suggests working in 50 minute uninterrupted blocks of time (meaning closing your email tabs, social media alerts, putting away your phone, etc.) then taking a 10 minute break to clear your mind and prepare it for your next 50 minute block of productivity. This break could be grabbing a cuppa, a walk around the building or doing some stretching. He also suggests to do a short meditation in this break, in which you repeat ‘release, release, release,…’ over and over for up to 2 minutes to really close off your previous task before diving into the next one.

Do you think these suggestions could be useful for you?

Do you already plan breaks into your agenda? How about a walk at lunchtime? Even 20 minutes of fresh air and a change of scenery can help.

And do you really switch off when you get home? Unless you have critical work to do, keep your computer and phone off and out of sight.

Give it a go for a couple of weeks and watch how your productivity increases!

I’m off for my cuppa now… 😉