We don't celebrate our everyday achievements enough, but counsellor Sarah Barr has motivation for us to start now to feel more grateful, motivated and in control.

So many of us can go through the day completely disqualifying any positives that may have happened. We don’t always recognise what we have accomplished and if we do, we might say something like “that was just luck” or “it’s no big deal”.

We don’t give ourselves permission to celebrate our wins, big or small.

Instead, we usually have absolutely no problem putting ourselves down and disregarding our achievements. We tend to focus on what we didn’t do, instead of focusing on EVERYTHING we did do.

Over time this can impact on our confidence, motivation and happiness.
By creating a habit of celebrating your small wins, it can help you to track your achievements and work towards achieving larger goals. As well as boosting your self-worth and motivation.

• The Psychology Bit:

Disqualifying the positive is a form of all-or-nothing thinking. This type of thinking pattern filters out all the positive and only focuses on the negative. This cognitive distortion creates automatic thoughts that reinforce negative feelings.

For example: A person eats a piece of chocolate, they then start to think they are a failure, because they broke their diet. They become so annoyed and upset with themselves, believing they have failed, they then eat the rest of the chocolate bar. This shows the all-or-nothing style of thinking, that this person may believe they are inadequate or not good enough if they fall short of perfection.

David D. Burns suggests that we think of the world in shades of grey. Instead of this person viewing themselves as a failure or not good enough, they appreciate and recognise their overall effort to diet and focus on what they have achieved.

• The Science Bit:

When we accomplish something, it activates the reward centre of our brains, allowing us to feel proud. The neurochemical, dopamine is released and this makes us feel so good that we want to experience it again. We will feel more motivated and energised to work towards our next goal and accomplishing it.

• How To Celebrate Your Wins:

I think journaling is a brilliant tool to use to help you reflect and record your daily wins. In the evening take a few minutes and write at least one win for that day. This can be anything from making that phone call you have been putting off, having a shower, re-connecting with an old friend or going for a walk.

Take the time to pause, reflect and appreciate your effort. Celebrating your wins will help you to feel grateful, motivated and in control.

As we are living with uncertainty at the moment and higher levels of stress, it is more important than ever to focus on the positives, no matter how small.

If you are struggling at the moment please reach out and talk to your doctor, a local counsellor or mental health service.

Take care

~ Sarah