IMPROVE MENTAL HEALTH with Positive Psychology

The goal isn’t to get rid of negative thoughts and feelings. The goal is to change your response to them.

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.

Prevention-Header

Where do we begin?

P E R M A Theory of Well-Being

PERMA..

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.

Original Source:

This blog post first appeared in The Drive Magazine.

https://thedrivemagazine.com/posts/cultivating-mental-health-daily

mental health

Positive Emotion

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:

  1. Begin the day with inspiring quotes on your bathroom mirror.
  2. Create a spa atmosphere for morning coffee with music and candles.
  3. Listen to upbeat music and podcasts on your way to work.
  4. Start conversations with your dreams, not your stressors.
  5. Put a 20-minute daily time limit on blaming and complaining.
  6. Go to bed visualizing three new things you’re grateful for that day.

Joy needs room to breathe.

And so do you.

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Engagement

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.

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:

  1. Writing
  2. Dancing
  3. Music
  4. Art
  5. Sports

kickbox

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.

Relationships

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:

  1. Do you feel uplifted or drained?
  2. Do you feel listened to or ignored?
  3. Do you feel encouraged or criticized?

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Stay close to people who feel like sunshine.

Meaning

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

why motivation.jpg

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:

  1. Pick one person — thank a custodian for their hard work.
  2. Pick one place — post uplifting notes and quotes on a section of the wall.
  3. Pick one time — declare 3 pm gratitude hour.

 Achievement

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.

too hard

The solution?

Set daily goals that are achievable and tied into your highest dreams.

In Conclusion

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.

PERMA

Video 1 of Blog Post  Click Here
Video 2 of Blog Post  Click Here

 

47 thoughts on “IMPROVE MENTAL HEALTH with Positive Psychology

    1. 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.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. My pleasure!

      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!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Poetpas

        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!
        Pp

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Poetpas

            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

            Liked by 1 person

  1. 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

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 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

    Liked by 1 person

      1. 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.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: IMPROVE MENTAL HEALTH with Positive Psychology – Thriving Under Pressure | The Reluctant Poet

    1. Hee hee

      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!

      😉 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Lane,

      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! 💙 🌍

      Like

  4. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 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.

      Like

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