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Healthy Minds Healthy College

Are you living life to the full?

October 17, 2014

living life to the full

For many people, negative thoughts come and go. For others, they are more persistent and can seriously impact quality of life.

For anyone grappling with many negative thoughts on a daily basis, there is a course that can help. It’s called Living Life to the Full.

Designed for anyone who recognizes their thoughts are sometimes unhelpful, Living Life to the Full teaches participants useful skills for understanding and correcting their negative thinking.

For example, have you ever bombed a test even though you knew your stuff? Have you ever let nerves get the best of you during a presentation? In these cases and more, it may actually be our own thinking that causes us to do poorly — not the fact that we haven’t studied or adequately prepared.

Tessa Blaikie, youth mental health promotions worker at the Canadian Mental Health Association Winnipeg, teaches Living Life to the Full and believes there are many college students who can benefit from the course material.

“Students who notice their negative thinking is getting in the way of what they want out of life are a good fit for the course,” says Tessa. “This includes students who live with anxiety or depression since negative thought patterns tie into those mental health issues.”

The eight week course focuses on five areas of cognitive behavioural therapy to teach participants how to handle their thoughts when they are experiencing emotions such as frustration or defeat.

With a personal understanding of how the course works, Tessa says she is well-equipped to help others through the material. She even used the course material when finishing the conclusion and bibliography sections of her masters thesis. Rather than tackling these tasks all at once, she broke the large-scale project down into 30 steps, which helped to minimize her feelings of stress and anxiety about finishing those parts.

“All of a sudden, I could sit down and accomplish something in 15 minutes. This really helped in terms of time management and for my motivation,” says Tessa. “This speaks to how the program is not only great for helping us recognize our negative thought patterns, but changing our behaviour. I would recommend it to any student who believes their negative thinking may be holding them back.”

The next Living Life to the Full course starts this fall. To register for the course, visit the Canadian Mental Health Association Winnipeg.