"If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail." --Abraham Maslow
I first heard the concept of 'emotional toolbox' some thirty or more years ago. A friend was introduced to it in one of her sociology classes, and the idea resonated with me.
Although I've had times when I've felt my resources were woefully inadequate, I've deliberately tried to add new tools that seemed promising. Some may be obvious. Some I've garnered from reading, or from teachers, or from doctors. Some of the best ones have come from those I love.
What are some of these tools?
--Good habits: I can't pretend to have all good habits and no bad ones, but the good ones I have are definitely tools I use daily.
--Optimism: I cultivate positive thinking. I spent years thinking negatively. What finally dawned on me is - it wasn't getting me anywhere.
--Awareness: Reminding myself to stop from time to time, come up for air, see where I am, contributes to my feeling of balance.
--Happiness: Truly, it is a choice, and one I gladly make. It's worth the effort it takes.
--Planning: No, I'm not always organized, and I don't always get it together. But I've learned that by striving to plan ahead, more often than not, I am prepared for what the day brings.
--Reflection: Mistakes can be excuses to wallow in guilt, or remorse, or regret. Or they can be used for self-improvement, as we study them and learn from them.
Those are some of the tools in my personal toolbox, my 'wellbeing toolbox.' There are practical ones (a working knowledge of good nutrition) and spiritual ones (a foundation of belief), and there are plenty I have yet to acquire or even find out about.
I still have bad days - don't we all? But when I use the tools that are helpful to me, I'm finding I can count more good days than bad.
What tools are in your toolbox?
"A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools." --Spanish proverb