In this psychology article, published in The Drive Magazine, I share simple ways to cultivate mental health daily.
Instead of thinking of mental health as a burden you must shoulder, imagine it as an opportunity to experience peace and joy.
In the same way that we make time for our physical needs, we must devote equal attention to our psychological needs.
Where do we begin?
P E R M A Model of Well-Being
PERMA is a framework for happiness and well-being developed by UPenn professor Dr. Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology.
The model contains five key indicators of human flourishing: Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, Achievement.
Feeling good is an essential part of well-being.
That said, it’s easy to get lost in a spiral of negativity — What’s wrong? Who’s to blame? Why did this happen to me? Leaving little time in the day for appreciation, wonder, and fun.
Which is why it’s essential to schedule good vibe moments into each day.
Here are some ideas:
- Begin the day with inspiring quotes on your bathroom mirror.
- Create a spa atmosphere for morning coffee with music and candles.
- Listen to upbeat music and podcasts on your way to work.
- Start conversations with your dreams, not your stressors.
- Put a 20-minute daily time limit on blaming and complaining.
- Go to bed visualizing three new things you’re grateful for that day.
Joy needs room to breathe.
And so do you.
Remember when you were a kid playing with friends, and before you knew it the street lights came on? If it wasn’t for your mom yelling your name, you would be outside playing all night long. In that moment, you were in a state of flow.
You were completely engaged in what you were doing, independent of everything around you.
Your mom could have called your name for hours, and you wouldn’t have heard a word.
One hundred percent of your attentional capacity was taken up by the activity right in front of you.
Most likely you still experience a state of flow and engagement, but not as often as you like.
Activities that create a flow state include:
Engagement and flow are important for mental health. When you’re completely absorbed by a task, your mind has no capacity left over for distressing thoughts and emotions.
Social support is an important buffer for life’s challenges.
That said, not all associations are created equal. Some relationships, unfortunately, lead to a deterioration in mental health.
Which is why CHOICE is an especially powerful tool when it comes to relationships, well-being, and happiness.
Consider the following when you spend time with people:
- Do you feel uplifted or drained?
- Do you feel listened to or ignored?
- Do you feel encouraged or criticized?
Stay close to people who feel like sunshine.
Meaning comes from serving something bigger than ourselves.
Whether it be family, charity, occupation, or community, meaning unites us in a common vision and gives us the will to get through adversity.
Students Are My North Star
That said, meaning can appear elusive to some, so why not consider one purpose each day.
Begin with a typical workday. Choose one purpose, and do something to give meaning to that purpose.
I’ve listed a few options, as well as an example for each:
- Pick one person — thank a custodian for their hard work.
- Pick one place — post uplifting notes and quotes on a section of the wall.
- Pick one time — declare 3 pm gratitude hour.
Achievement is the final component of the PERMA model, and, in many ways, its foundation. Goals give us a sense of achievement and satisfaction, helping us to know if we are headed in the right direction.
The key is to balance our drive and determination with the right level of difficulty. If we set a goal that’s too easy, we get bored. If it’s too hard, we experience learned helplessness.
Set daily goals that are achievable and tied into your highest dreams.
Cultivating mental health daily prepares us for the big things in our life. Every little bit counts, everything adds up. Small things on repeat change the world.
Video 1 of Blog Post ⇒ Click Here Video 2 of Blog Post ⇒ Click Here
Another vital post. I would just like to add, that cultivating a habit of positivity before the darkness sets in really helps.
Thank you for this VJ. Living with a chronic illness fosters the most incredible kind of resilience. A moment by moment layering of light – “before the darkness sets in.”
Poetry is your light VJ. A light that shines on all of us thanks to you.
Another interesting post Andrea! I shall come back to it later and read/watch the rest. Thanks for sharing!
I am working on a series of talks in both the community and on college and university campuses related to mental health prevention and resilience.
And I find the more I write about each topic & interact with my fellow bloggers, the more prepared I am for my speeches.
Thank you again for your interest. It motivates me big time.
Have a wonderful week!
That’s good to hear. Must be great to have such a rewarding job. Where do you find all that time and energy tho? Glad to hear you get motivated by us bloggers. It works both ways I guess.
I wonder tho if the ones that don’t warm to the idea of Perma will suffer from permafrost 😁 Sorry couldn’t resist 😂
Have a good week yourself!
Love it! Thank you!
permaFROST 😉 😉
You have me laughing out loud now. Exactly the good vibes I needed to (em)power through tonight’s prep work.
Good stuff. I’m a Groucho Marx wannabe and love his sense of humor. My brother in law always sighs when I make these kinds of jokes. Which make me laugh in return. A good sense of humor is also good for stable and happy state of mind, I think. Good luck prepping! Ciao
Another great post.
One I will have to reread and study , because there so much to understand in it.
I love your starting quote. I love your tips all of them.
I like the idea 20 mins a day no complaining, blaming.
Those activities are draining, create a negative karma, and in terms of the law of attraction we attractive negative because we sending that vibe out.
Great post as always
Thank you Bella!
Your insights & feedback mean so much.
And just so you know:
Reading your blog always adds to my mental health.
Another post I needed. Thank you, Dr. D. for making a difference in our lives!
My pleasure Crystal. ✨💛
The good vibes go both ways!
Thank you for an insightful post!
Continue to share your knowledge.
My pleasure Bernice! Thank you for taking the time to watch & read. I always love seeing you on my page. Have a wonderful night! Andrea
You as well!!
I really need this. Thanks.
Wonderful knowing it arrived right on time Florence. May the good vibes follow you all week long.
Thank you Dr and you too.💕
Those traits are similar to those put forth by Al Siebert in Survivor Personality
Who survives? Who thrives? As a psychologist who spent more than forty years studying the phenomenon of survival, Al Siebert gained valuable insight into the qualities and habits that help human beings overcome difficult situations-from everyday conflicts to major life stresses.
He studied concentration camp survivors, Bataan death march, the rugby team who crashed in the Andes, etc to see what traits the survivors possessed
Purpose, community, a curious mind, ability to stay present and endure
Thank you Marty! I am familiar with many experts in the field of surviving versus thriving, but yet to hear about this one. You are a fund of knowledge, and thanks to you I will be studying up on Al Siebert this week!
About the Author
Al Siebert (1934 – 2009) was the internationally recognized author of the bestselling The Resiliency Advantage and The Survivor Personality. The Resiliency Advantage won the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2006 Best Self Help Book Award. His bestselling book The Survivor Personality won the USA Book News “Best Books Award Winner” and has been published in ten languages. Articles quoting Siebert’s work have appeared in Family Circle, Men’s Fitness, the Wall Street Journal, and many trade publications. He had been interviewed on Today, CNN, and The Oprah Winfrey Show.Dr. Siebert was the founder and director of The Resiliency Center.
Thanks so much Marty!
This information helps tremendously.
I do not know how you get so much done
I’ve been blessed with a lot of energy!
It runs in the family. ☀️💛
I love the enthusiasm of your comment! Thank you so much.
These are great (and do-able) ideas!
Can you feel my smile :)))) Thanks Dr. G!
I caaaan 🥰
That’s a double P in my case, first for Prayer, and then for Positivity. The foundation on which my days are built is communication with the Master Builder. Thanks for the wise advice, Andrea!
Yes Mitch! The double P for prayer + positivity. I love that. What an incredible foundation for our lives. Thank you for adding in these 2 gems. And how cool is it that we share a Master Builder. (Protected = P number 3) Have a great night!
I love the egg timer tip Andrea. “You are rocking it today. “
Thank you so much Brigid for watching my video!
From Canada to Ireland, I hope you can hear my giggle as I read your feedback. The egg timer works brilliantly! Especially during the times when we confuse “enabling” with empathy + empowerment.
TOGETHER WE ARE ROCKING IT TODAY!
#4 Start conversations with your dreams!
I love that.
Great post Dr Andrea ❤🦋
Thanks Lane! Let me know how mental health tip #4 goes with your friends. Dream & life vision discussions are my favourite! ☀️🌼✨
I wanted to add a second video on cultivating mental health daily, in addition to the one posted at the top of this post. Let me know what you think!
And also please share your latest YouTube video here too. The more I can showcase the work of my blogging community, the better! 💙 🌍
Love this! It’s like boot camp for the mind. I think we really have to put al lot of time into mental training because most of us were not raised to think about our mental health–at least I wasn’t. Like anything worthwhile it takes a lot of practice but so well worth it for a happy balanced life. How I handle dealing with difficult people–especially family, is that I realize I can’t change them, so I really don’t listen to them anymore and go along in my own happy little mind just doing what I want to do.
You got it Michele! I love how you think. Great examples too of “Bootcamp for the Mind”.
Something I expanded upon in both my psychology column and workshop called OPTIMISM BOOTCAMP. Links below –
1. Psych Drive Column:
2. Psych YouTube Channel:
Very interesting and encouraging post. Loved the positive attitude.
Thank you so much Kamal!
Positive psychology has served me tremendously in life. First as a psychologist – it helped protect me from compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma. And more recently as a professor and speaker – it energizes me tremendously.
Great to hear that and even my daughter is a counseling psychologist and teaches in a school. Yes I completely agree with you, it does help everyone in life. Positive attitude 👌👌 👌 is the best
I love knowing that! We are connected in the most amazing of ways. xo
Yes absolutely true.😊😊😊😊
Loved this! I read it the original time in the Drive and have come back to it again now💜
Thank You Nathalie! It’s such a pleasure to meet you on WordPress and in person at this event (and many more). Your writing, community work, and graduate thesis adds to these concepts tremendously. Grateful for you. xo