In honor of last month’s mental health awareness month, we wanted to do a post on the importance of how you feel as well as how positivity can improve how you feel and live.
Mental health is a level of psychological well being or an absence of a mental illness. It is the psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment. Many people tend to neglect their mental health since it may sound very trivial and unimportant. In positive psychology or holism, mental health may include an individual’s ability to enjoy life and create a balance between life activities and efforts to properly adapt to stress and adversity. To put simply, it is the capacity “to work and to love.” Mental illnesses are more common than cancer, diabetes or heart disease. Approximately 30% of all Americans meet the criteria for having a mental illness. As a result, the cost of mental illness is extremely high to treat and diagnose. Evidence from the World Health Organization suggests that nearly half of the world’s population is affected by mental illness with an impact on their self-esteem, relationships and ability to function in everyday life. Mental health is an extremely important part of our daily life and the repercussions of neglecting it can be expensive and dangerous. However, many focus just on the curing part of mental health rather than the maintaining and improvement of one’s mental health, which is just as important!
Positive psychology uses scientific understanding and effective intervention to aid in the achievement of a satisfactory life, rather than focusing on treating a specific mental illness. Its main focus is on personal growth rather than on pathology, which is common amongst all other branches of psychology. Positive psychology has become increasingly more prominent in mental health now due to its concepts on positivity and the ability to live a more fulfilling and creative life. It investigates how human development can falter and brings the possibility that focusing only on a disorder could result in a limited understanding of a person’s condition.
Positive psychologists are concerned with four topics: positive experiences, enduring psychological traits, positive relationships and positive institutions. They believe that human beings are often drawn by the future than they are driven by the past. Theorists such as L.M. Keyes and Shane Lopez believe complete mental health is a combination of high emotional well being, high psychological well being and high social well being along with low mental illness. Through the success of years of research, many guiding theories have been born such as Martin Seligman’s P.E.R.M.A. One of the more intriguing and important topics covered in positive psychology is emotion. It is said that there are between seven and fifteen basic emotions. The emotions can be combined in many ways to create more subtle variations of emotional experience. This suggests that any attempt to wholly eliminate negative emotions from our life would have the unintended consequence of losing the variety and subtlety of our most profound emotional experiences. Therefore, the notion that eliminating negative emotions completely in an attempt for full positive thinking has the opposite effect than what was intended. Efforts to increase positive emotions will not automatically result in decreased negative emotions, nor will decreased negative emotions necessarily result in increased positive emotions. The goal is to change negative styles of thinking as a way to change how they feel. The thinking processes that impact our emotional states vary considerably from person to person. The ability to pull attention away from the chronic inner chatter of our thoughts can be quite advantageous to well being. A change in our orientation to time can dramatically impact how we think about the nature of happiness. Other possible goals include workplaces that aim for satisfaction and high productivity, producing a family or going to school to aid your development.
We wanted to delve deeper into Martin Seligman’s well being theory. It is as follows:
PERMA not only plays a role in our own personal lives but also can be used for public major news stories. With this model, journalists can instead focus on the positives of a story and ask questions about how conflicts or even tragedies have brought people together or how someone has experienced post traumatic growth. Stories then shift the perspective from a victimizing one to an uplifting one.
Positive Psychology Exercises
With helping you maintain a positive psychology, we have included some exercises below. These exercises can help you be more mindful of your mental health with positive psychology:
We are always happy to help you learn more and please feel free to reach out to us at any time if there are other topics that you would like for us to write about! Care+Wear is focused on allowing you to get back to living your life and we’re thrilled to help however we can! Maintaining a positive psychology is quite important and we’re pleased to do whatever we can to help!
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