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Wellbeing Life Hacks

Life Hack in Action #5: Is it Helpful?

"Hi, I'm Meghan Dahl, a social worker and supervisor in psychiatry at the partial hospitalization program at My Michigan Health in Midland. Today, I'd like to share the Life Hack that has been incredibly helpful in promoting wellbeing. It's called "Is it helpful?" This Life Hack comes into play when we find ourselves caught up in persistent and challenging thoughts that seem difficult to move past. In my own life, I've applied this hack to manage driving anxiety, especially in snowy and icy conditions. I had a conversation with my brother one day, and I said, “You know, driving is the most dangerous thing, statistically, I'm going to do every given day. So my anxiety is justified, right?” My brother said to me, bless him, “Well, is it helpful to you, Megan, to be stewing on this?” And the answer is no. And that was really a great reframe for me to just let go of those things that I'm stuck on. The realization that my anxiety wasn't beneficial to my overall wellbeing allowed me to reframe and let go of those stuck thoughts. This Life Hack can be applied to various situations, whether it's ruminating on embarrassing moments or other discomforts. By asking, "Is it helpful?" we can detach from unproductive thoughts, therefore supporting our mental health and overall wellbeing. With practice, it's a simple yet powerful tool that helps break the cycle of getting hooked onto negative thoughts and allows them to flow past. Write on the sticky note “Is it Helpful”, put it by your desk or, on the mirror of your bathroom as a visual cue, to remind you, that you don't need to get stuck in the thought process. So, give it a try, question those thoughts, and remember, sometimes a small phrase can make a big difference in maintaining a positive mindset.

Additional Resources

If you would like access to a folder full of materials for each Wellbeing Life Hack (one email a week), register below.  Check out the Learning Loop folder to see what you will get!

Why sign up for the folders?

“I love all of the different formats/ways to use the information! It makes it so easy for us to include naturally in whichever way is most accessible to our own lives. I can’t wait to share a weekly life hack with my new teammates/colleagues!”

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