Hi All!

Robert Whiteside here.

Let’s talk psychological wellness for a moment. For those of us who work in certain fields including, but not necessarily limited to, Law Enforcement, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security, work can be very hard. Dealing day after day with challenging individuals can take a toll.

Taking care of ourselves, proactively, and not simply when something breaks, is really vital. How do you care for yourself?

In some circles, some people (particularly men) might not resonate with the term “self-care.” We know, deep down, though, that we had better be caring for ourselves. If we don’t care for ourselves – physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and otherwise – we cannot adequately care for others. When we don’t care for ourselves, bad things happen.

I recently read this article (link is below) about 4 things that will increase your optimism. It brings up good points, all of which (if actually acted upon) can help us stay more optimistic. The degree to which we remain more optimistic will spill over positively into everything we do in life, including sustaining a balanced sense of self-care.

A lot of what is in this article ties directly in with the most current research in Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Simply put, we need to take charge of our internal state. Doing this, especially in the aforementioned occupations, helps us to avoid hyper-vigilance, that deadly emotional state so often connected with divorce, addictions, excessive use of force, and other difficult times.

Here is the link to the article, with the 4 points, and some additional comments.


The 4 things are:

1. Acknowledge that you are the architect of your perceptions: The Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius, speaks strongly about this, saying, in multiple ways, that opinion is everything. How we mentally frame things is so very important to how we see things. Anais Nin famously said: “We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are.” Same truth wrapped in different words.

2. Be aware of your explanatory style: This ties directly in with #1. We determine, by being more optimistic or pessimistic, how we effectively, or not, solve problems, achieve goals, stay positive, etc.

3. Disconnect happiness from achievement: Mentioned here is the “Destination Disease,” the belief that happiness is contingent on certain things being present. The DD is the mindset of: “If this and that occur, then I’ll be happy. If they don’t, I won’t.” The DD is a very direct path to chronic unhappiness, as it relies solely on certain things happening in life in order for one to be happy. Far more effective it is to view happiness as a synthetic experience. We must create it internally, and not simply hope for so-called happy events to occur to us. Life is simply built that way.

4. Develop the habit of self-affirmation: Self-talk is powerful! We use it as an integral part of our Showtime tactic in the Verbal Defense & Influence (VDI) program. Marcus Aurelius (a perennial source of wisdom) teaches on this point frequently, highlighting, over and over, that we literally become what we think about most frequently.

Please read the article over at the Lead Change Group. Put its points into action, and be a more effective, and happier, Ethical Protector.