It is easy for depression, anxiety, and mood states to take over during difficult, stressful times. But, why? Learning about positive psychology and mental health models can change one’s perspective on their own mental state and well-being. Difficult times are inevitable, but the ways in which you react to them can yield different outcomes.
Mental health has maintained a negative stigma, even though millions and millions of people are affected by it. Becoming educated on mental illnesses during class was extremely beneficial, because now I feel more equip to help those close to me suffering with depression or anxiety. I also learned not to engage in “emotional reasoning” when dealing with feelings of depression. Because one of my top strengths in the VIA report was judgement, I often find myself “emotional reasoning”. Now, I am more aware of how this strength can help and hurt me. Understanding that human behavior is composed of both environmental and genetic influences was also helpful when recognizing why people think and feel the way they do.
I was surprised by the number of automatic negative thoughts I had during our tracking exercise. I don’t consider myself to be a negative person, but whenever doubts or insecurities enter my mind, it is hard to let them go. These negative thoughts lingered and affected my interaction with myself and those around me. Initiating positive psychology into my life has enabled me to combat these negative thoughts with positive thinking. By following “PERMA”, I also ascribe meaning and accomplishment into my life differently. Instead of worrying about a particular grade in class, I try my best, and move on. This has helped me stay in the present moment and simply “be”. Here is a quote I found that I personally resonate with: “It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day-to-day basis”. I can relate this to Keyes’ model of complete mental health, which is a continuum of both the absence of mental illness and the presence of flourishing.
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