In what is a difficult time across the island of Ireland, people can be struggling to look to the future with positivity. Ireland and Ulster Rugby Player and Tackle Your Feelings ambassador, John Cooney is sharing his story of how earlier in his career he was struggling mentally and had no certainty of what was going on. He explains that by taking control of the situation and setting goals and adopting practices “as if” he had already reached his goals, he was able to achieve his proudest moment of winning his first Irish Cap.
Tackle Your Feelings was launched by Rugby Players Ireland and Zurich Ireland in 2016 and is funded by the Z Zurich Foundation. Today Cooney was on hand to lend his support to the #ImTakingControl campaign which encourages people to ‘Take Control’ of their mental wellbeing using principles from both sport and positive psychology.
Cooney acknowledges that by taking control of his mental wellbeing he is able to manage situations better and urges people to take control by using the Tackle Your Feelings App and website.
“I appreciate that we are living through such uncertain times and I hope that by sharing my experiences I can encourage people to take control and look to the future with optimism. I place huge value on how I react to difficult circumstances and I find goal setting and creating structure helps me stay positive and focused. I know through my own life as a rugby player and young man that often how you react to circumstances can help you grow mentally,” he explained.
The TYF [Tackle Your Feelings] App and website encourages people to be proactive about their mental wellbeing. Users can choose the Tackle Your Feelings resources they feel they need at the time. The app and website also feature sections on relationships, confidence, happiness/sadness, sleep, self-care, resilience, anger, relaxation, optimism and self-awareness. It also has a mindfulness section where users can select from several mindfulness exercises.
Anthony Brennan, CEO, Zurich Ireland commented: “The lessons that John has learnt and shared through his video about dealing with adversity are more relevant now than ever and highlight the benefits of taking action to look after our mental wellbeing. We at Zurich are proud to support Tackle Your Feelings and hope that John’s message will inspire people to take control of their mental wellbeing and improve their enjoyment of life, even in the face of so much uncertainty.”
Tackle Your Feelings, Campaign Manager, RPI, Hannah McCormack, said: “While it is important to be proactive with our positive mental wellbeing all the time, it is even more appropriate to pay attention to our thoughts, emotions and feelings right now. While some countries are lifting restrictions more locally, we are still uncertain of how things are going to go. Unfortunately, this is not something that we have control over. What John Cooney and the Tackle Your Feelings campaign are showing us is that we can take control of our thoughts and intentions, set goals, and allow ourselves to grow throughout these uncertain times. We are delighted to have ambassadors like John get involved and share his story of coming through adversity, showing true resilience, and realising his goals. We hope this helps to encourage people to be proactive when it comes to their mental health and wellbeing.”