We all have pet hates – everyone does; it’s quite normal.
For example: when someone takes the last packet of flea product off the dispensary shelf and doesn’t list it for re-ordering; or, dirty dishes are left in the staff room sink after lunch; or, someone doesn’t refill the kettle for the next person (who only has a 2 minute break during afternoon consults)…
It is not good when those pet hates start to fester and produce negative emotions. It’s hard to be positive all the time…or at least I think it is. And, it is alright to have negative thoughts but having them hour after hour or day after day can really have an impact on how you’re feeling and your mental health. Sometimes it can be too easy to slip into negativity without recognising it.
If you want to reduce negative behaviours then encourage the positive ones – in yourself first and then in the rest of the team.
If you start to feel overwhelmed with negative thoughts, look around you and appreciate the simple things, even if it’s only for a few minutes; maybe it’s a dog playing with a ball in the park or it’s the wind and rain whistling in the trees. Smile and saying hello to someone as you walk down the street – try it! It’s amazing how people, who are strangers, then smile back. Help someone else – that may be helping someone onto the bus or giving up your seat on the busy underground for someone who is laden with bags.
Direct your attentions away from the negative thoughts and flip them on their head.
There is a caveat to this which we need to be aware of…occasionally, our negative thoughts can help focus us or make us determined to make a change, so do check-in the reason for the negative thought – if it justified then make a note what needs to change and how and then move on – don’t dwell on it.
Chair, FECAVA Mental Helath & Wellbeing Working Group