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FLIP-It for the workplace.


Module 2 of the FLIP-It Thinking model will help you cope with Wonky Thoughts. It will increase workplace motivation, resilience and engagement. It will help find the positives in situations, embrace challenges, and deal with change and transformation.For more modules and topics go to our online learning page.


Introducing module two of FLIP-it thinking online Laughology bursts. This week we explore Language and Imagination (the L and I in FLIP - clever innit, it’s the acronym we're most proud of, and we do a lot of acronyms).

Introduction to FLIP-It Thinking - Language and Imagination.

Here we introduce you to the second part of our FLIP-it thinking model - Language. We explore how you can turn your negative language into something more positive – with the help of Barry, the Laughology cat.

Recognising Wonky Thoughts

So what exactly is a Wonky Thought? In this video, Kerry Leigh, explains just how to recognise them.


Reading time approx. 5 mins. Learn some top tips on how to take back control and refocus, helping you find some calm


Can you learn to think positively? The simple answer is yes. Being optimistic can benefit your overall wellbeing, changing our internal and external language to ourselves and those around us.

In the last few weeks our lives have changed in a way that none of us could have comprehended - relating it to some apocalyptic movie, rather than reality.

And whilst this is a forced change and some things are out of our control, the good news is that the way we think, as well as how we talk to ourselves and others, is within our control.

Yes, I can hear you! “I’m working from home, home schooling the kids 24/7 with the other half and you want me to think and talk in a positive manner?” I’m not saying it’s easy. What I am saying is it can be done with practice. I’m four weeks into isolation with my beloved partner, so I too have had those thoughts.

One word can change a mood. Just the other day, tensions were running high in the Brown household and during a tiff, Pete said, “Sarah, right now I’m fizzing!” Fizzing! I’d never heard anything like it and it definitely changed the mood. It still makes me laugh today and we now use it to diffuse any likely tiff/row in our household.

What to look and listen out for in yourself and others

What we say expresses what we’re thinking and feeling. At times of uncertainty, these are what we at Laughology describe as ‘Wonky Thoughts’.

  • Black and white thinking: Everyone understands this but me.
  • Focusing on the negative: Dismissing the good.
  • Fortune telling: That’s not going to work.
  • Mind reading: Leave this one to Superman.
  • Should, must, can’t: Guilt beatings. I should do a Joe Wicks video.
  • Labelling: I’m so stupid.
  • Taking things personally: He’s always grumpy with me!
  • Exaggerating: I’m going to be in the house forever…

Your brain tricks you into thinking these Wonky Thoughts are accurate and logical, but it’s actually just reinforcing them.

Flip them into positive thoughts and language

Writing thoughts down can help find a trigger and a pattern.

Reframe your negative thought into a new positive thought:

 I made a mistake at work     My boss is going to go mad, I’m so rubbish, I’ll probably get sacked  Mistakes happen, I’m going to learn from it and work with my boss to help fix it.


Pessimistic (3P’s)

Pervasive: Universal - one problem generalises to all areas of life, e.g. “I’m such a failure.”

Personal/Internal: It’s all about me and tends to blame self, e.g. “It’s all my fault!”

Permanent: Feels like the situation will last forever, e.g. “This is what always happens!”

Optimistic (SIT)

Specific: Doesn’t generalise - “I almost failed maths, but I’m great at sports!”

Impersonal/external: Tends to blame circumstance or includes others - “That was a particularly difficult call.”

Temporary: Nothing last forever - “Tomorrow is another day!”

So, while our brains may want to go into wonky thinking mode, the good news is, just like our muscles, the brain can be trained. By consciously being aware of the words and language we and others use, we can flip these into positives. Positive emotions, thinking and words build our capacity for creativity, empathy, productivity, co-operation, resilience and connectivity.

Sounds pretty positive to us! Why not give it a go?


Download our cheat sheet, full of practical, easy to do techniques you can use with others and for yourself. Use it on your phone or download it to your PC. Plus, check out the life hack below from our Lead Happiness Consultant, Dave Keeling on Wonky Thoughts and how you can control them.


Dave Keeling explains in this 90sec guide how our emotional state effects our decisions and how the ‘Circle of control’ can help to FLIP our Wonky Thoughts into positive action.

Download the FLIP-It sheet

Our cheat sheet will help you notice when someone is using negative language and what you could do to help them positively reframe their thoughts.

Coming up...

Next week module 3 will be the final part of our FLIP-it Thinking theme for building resilience, but don’t worry we have some more learning burst topics to share after that. We’ll also be exploring the P in FLIP, pattern breaking. Pattern breaking is all about how we can review behaviours and thinking that is unhelpful and how we can create new behaviours and thinking that are more helpful and help us feel better and in control.

Free virtual workplace learning & development classrooms. Register now.

big chat about mental health logo


Are organisations and companies just paying lip service?
Join some of the most interesting and respected voices in positive psychology for our Our Big Chat about…Thinking outside the tick box, inaugural webinar. Our two and half hour interactive event will look at the best mental health strategies for organisations, identifying what works and what doesn’t.

Dave McPartlin:

Dave is the Headteacher of Flakefleet Primary School.
Creating the right environment for people and communities to flourish

Sunita Hirani

Sunita is one of the BBC’s key equality, diversity and inclusivity experts.
Why inclusion is essential for mental wellbeing

Professor Sir Cary Cooper

Cary is one the world’s most influential voices in occupational health and wellbeing.
Enhancing Mental Wellbeing at Work. Evidence based strategies for creating a wellbeing culture at work.

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