Sunday, November 26, 2017

What are your personal reset buttons?

James Herriot Country - 2 of my reset buttons - being in nature and relaxing TV
By Kreuzschnabel - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

"Positivity puts the brakes on negativity. It works  like a reset button”Barbara Fredrickson, author of Positivity

When a computer is not responding properly, you often need to press the reset button. When we are stressed, angry, down, sad or upset, it can be really helpful to engage in our personal reset button activities. Here is a personal story which shows how useful reset buttons can be.

Was it just my family, or do others sometimes find Xmas stressful? I remember when I was growing up  that Christmas time was not always far from being cutesy come-together paradise portrayed in John Lewis adverts

I recall one Christmas -maybe around 1983 - being particularly rocky. It all kicked off around the pouring of the sherry. By the time we got to Xmas pudding it was more Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now  than Merry Xmas Everbody.  It could easily have escalated into ruining the whole day - let's face it, the whole year - but fortunately we retreated to our own spaces and then reemerged to watch  the must-see family TV of the year, James Herriot's "All Creatures Great and Small" 

Someone, becomng immersed in an hour of warm and fuzzy  TV transformed the whole atmosphere.  We forgot our differences and reconnected.  We had found our family reset button.

What are yours? A group in a London workshop on Positive Psychology and Happiness yesterday came up with this list.

•Playing or watching Sport
Stroking a pet
Having a cup of tea
•Talking to or texting a friend
•A sitcom or funny  TV programme
Writing the problem down
Create some distance from what is stressing you out - such as going to a different room
•Doing  a jigsaw puzzle
Chocolate (in moderation!)
•Playing a Game
•Uplifting or energising Music
Cleaning & decluttering

Would any of these work for you?

Reset buttons can helpfully be grouped into five categories.

  • Doing something physical
  • Making a connection with those I care for
  • Doing something to make my body feel calmer
  • Doing an activity that I can get involved in that takes my mind of things
  • Thinking about things differently

Is there something that might work for  you in each category?  If it helps, have a look at the longer list of reset button activities in my book, Achieve Your Potential with Positive Psychology. 

What works for you may not work for someone else. For example, what effect does watching 15 minutes of John Lewis Christmas adverts have on you?

Possibly a bit too much?  In yesterday's workshop, it turned out there were  a number of fans of 1970s New Wave group The Jam, so playing this little clip proved to be uplifting  and energising.

I suspect These reset buttons can be useful not just in moments of stress, but to raise your mood and raise your personal energy level, which is why I chose to play this clip towards the end of a long day.

What are your personal reset buttons? Please share your ideas in the comments section below.