Time To Talk Day is tomorrow (February 4th), and the topic for it is ‘the power of small’. We’ve all, unfortunately, seen the power of small first hand, with the coronavirus, one of the smallest lifeforms, crippling the world. Small things can do immense damage or hugely positive things. This article seeks to look at the positives of the power of small.
Time to Talk day is the brainchild of Time to Change in England, which is closing on March 31st, 2021, and it’ll be sad to see them go. But there’s some good news: Time to Change Wales is unaffected by this. So the resources they provide will still be available, so go check them out.
Time to Change leads the charge of getting people to talk about mental health in the workplace and the community. I became a Time to Change Mental Health Champion because of what they do. Time to Talk Day isn’t their only campaign. I’ve also written an article about their #AskTwice campaign. If you’re interested in reading that article, you can find it here.
The power of small is another one of their campaigns designed to get conversations about mental health going, highlighting the power of a simple conversation. In short, doing something like simply asking twice how someone is doing, such a small conversational act, can make a big difference.
Another way to embrace the power of small conversations is to break big conversations into smaller chunks. Big conversations on topics like mental health can often be daunting and will probably put you off. But if you break these down into small manageable conversations about mental health, then not only will you be more motivated to talk about it, but with each small conversation, you’ll help to tackle mental health stigma and myths.
A small yet important difference is your choice of words when having a conversation. We’re told in counselling to never use the word ‘why’ when asking questions because it sounds like you’re challenging them and can make people act defensively, which is detrimental to supporting someone with mental health concerns. This one small word can have a big impact and is another example of the power of small.
Furthermore, another small change is to ask open-ended questions rather than closed questions, which will help start and keep a conversation going. By opened ended questions, I mean questions that typically can’t be answered with a yes or no type of response, which is what a closed question is. For example, asking someone “how are you?” is an open-ended question, whereas “are you good?” would be a close-ended question. Open-ended questions allow the person to provide more information in their reply, which is what you want if you want to have a conversation about them and their mental health.
A more fun way to start a small conversation about mental health could be to do a short quiz or an icebreaker. If you want a ready-to-use quiz to try out at work, then click here to check out my two ready-made quizzes you can download or go to my Resources pages to download it by clicking here.
How Else Can The Power Of Small Help You?
Setting yourself small, manageable goals will help you make changes, boost your confidence and self-esteem, and allow you to make positive changes in your life with minimal effort. Each small goal is a step forward and can be a step forward towards a larger aspiration you have for yourself. SMART Goals might help you create your small goals and embrace the power of small. To read my article on it, click here, to download my free SMART Goals workbook. Click here or visit my Resources page to download it.
Embrace kindness and the power of small by doing random small acts of kindness for yourself, for people you know, and for strangers. Engaging in acts of kindness like this not only has a positive impact on you but also on the person you’re doing the kind act. If you’d like to read more about doing acts of kindness, then check out my article by clicking here.
Another great example of the power of small is breathing exercises. Some breathing exercises you can do in less than a minute, but will help settle anxiety and feelings of stress. An example of such a breathing exercise is the 4-7-8 breathing exercise, where you have to do the following in 5 easy steps:
- First, you need to breathe out as much as possible and empty your lungs of air.
- Next, breathe in deeply and quietly through your nose for 4 seconds.
- Then hold your breath for 7 seconds.
- Now exhale forcefully through the mouth for 8 seconds, pushing the lips like you’re doing a kind of duck face while making the “whoosh” sound.
- Lastly, repeat these steps up to 4 times.
Another quick and simple coping method for anxiety and to capture the spirit of the power of small, is 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique. This technique is straightforward to do and requires little effort to do it, but if you’re having an anxiety attack or feeling like you’re disassociating, then this could help. All you need to do is look around you and name:
- 5 things you can see.
- 4 things you can feel.
- 3 things you can hear.
- 2 things you can smell.
- 1 thing you can taste. This might be tricky if you don’t have anything you can eat or drink to hand.
A second grounding technique you could use could be to hold on to something small in your hand and then focus on its features. Think about its texture, its colours, its size, its shape, its weight, etc. This will allow you to focus on something in the present.
A quick and simple way to help turn a mood around is to watch a short video, like an animal doing something cute or silly. Even a short 30-second clip can have the power to make you smile when you otherwise feel bad.
As always, leave your feedback in the comments section below. Also, feel free to share your experiences with the power of small in the comments section below as well. If you want to stay up-to-date with my blog, then sign up for my newsletter below. Alternatively, get push notifications for new articles by clicking the red bell icon in the bottom right corner.
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Unwanted Life readers.