Blog Post #3

This semester has been particularly grueling for me, which is probably the greatest reason I am so thankful for this class. After taking a year off, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. The concepts in this class helped me transition back into a full workload routine, and also helped me with some of the guilt and pressure I felt for taking time off. Specifically, in relation to success: most people try to achieve success to become happy, but in reality success is more likely to happen when we are happy. This transition into positive psychology and mindfulness were probably the biggest concepts that I’ll be walking away from this class with because they have helped me so much in my daily life, but the lesson on forgiveness was also really helpful to me. This includes both the reading by Wade, Hoyt, Kidwell and Worthington that showed the outcomes of forgiveness, and also the amazing lecture from Everett Worthington. As we get older relationships get more complicated, and I am grateful for the understanding of how important forgiveness will be in many of my relationships for the rest of my life, but also how forgiveness as a choice truly affects me. I think that I give the act of forgiveness a lot more thought, both in my personal life, but at the current moment, mostly at work. It has made a great impact on my daily stress level to really just think about my frustrations at work, and then wash my hands of them and let them go—both a product of forgiveness and positive psychology interventions. I have really surprised myself with how well I have been able to keep up with them, as well as the use of the website calm.com. I’ve shared this website with several of my friends, and will continue to share this website in the future, with the only advice being to really give it a chance. A lot of these concepts take commitment, but are well worth the time and effort. The time that I have taken to work things like calm.com into my daily routine have saved me a lot of time worrying and stressing, and also have helped me stay more focused and not distract myself so easily.

We know that mindfulness is most likely the next big health initiative, and I feel very thankful to learn about it now and be able to explain it to others. The social media posts throughout the semester were a great way of introducing this to other people, I had a lot of people reach out to me wondering what the heck I was talking about, and everyone responded very positively to the concept. I have already recommended this course to several of peers in other classes, and am very sure that I will have positive things to share with people in regards to this course for a long time to come.

As corny as this may be, the image that I feel describes what I’ve learned this semester is the same image that is used in the blackboard header, the road sign that says happiness. I have seen this image more recently, probably just because I am aware of it now, but it immediately makes me think of this course and its products. But most importantly, it reminds me that happiness is not a destination, it is a constant mindset and a way of life.

Image Source:
http://www.benkrefta.com/transformation/wp-content/uploads/sites/8/2013/03/happiness-road-sign-2-600×240.jpg

Blog Post #2

We have covered so much more information that I’m not even sure where to start!
The research from week five on close relationships really resonated with me, and when discussed in class I realized that it did just as profoundly for others as well. The reading by Salvatore, Collins and Simpson was particularly interesting because it did a great job of explaining the different aspects of behavior in relationships, which seemed most relevant for me (not just nature/nurture or attachment/modeling). And after discussing the assignment in class it also really helped me take an objective look at my relationships. I valued this assignment because I put a lot of work into the relationships I have, both romantic and otherwise. It highlighted several things that I feel I do well and can continue to improve upon, such as communicating well.

This perfectly transitioned into week six’s assignment, when we had to ask several people what they like, value, or appreciate about us. I had already begun to think introspectively about my relationships, so it was interesting to hear responses that I may have anticipated, but I was also so touched and surprised by the responses. After asking the form question, the responses I received were so thorough and thoughtful, I couldn’t help but think that everyone should just have this sort of positive affirmation every once in a while from others!

I really appreciated the 7 days of calm exercise as well because I hadn’t been keeping up with it as I’d originally hoped. This is something that I have actually continued to do in the weeks after this assignment, and will continue to do for the foreseeable future. Taking the time to be mindful has not been an easy habit of for me to get into but I am still working on it, and the tools that this class has given me have definitely been a huge aid. I really noticed while completing my “eat” journal just how important it was for me to be continuing with these exercises, and also that it has been very beneficial for me to try to continue to use positive psychology methods when I become stressed. Over the course of the week completing this journal, I realized how important it was for me to take a moment, think about how I was feeling and think about ways in which I could break up my stress/negative feelings. So this actually became a positive psychology intervention for me!

Week 10 was a little different for me because it overlaps with another class that I am taking which really delves into substance abuse prevention. The Conrod reading was very beneficial in breaking down what I’ve learned even further, especially with the graphics used such as the one I’ve included below. I liked that we discussed how different personality traits affect substance use, because substance use disorders are just so commonly co-morbid with things like anxiety and depression etcetera.

Overall, the information that I have learned has definitely built upon the first four weeks. I have also been pleasantly surprised by how much of the information that I didn’t anticipate to learn about is actually related and comparable. The past 5 weeks have been a great opportunity for me to continue to figure out what works for me as daily positive interventions and mindfulness practices, and I am confident that through the rest of the course I will only continue to solidify and build on them!

Image source:
Conrod, P.J., & Nikolaou, K. (2016). Annual Research Review: On the developmental neuropsychology of substance use disorders. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 57(3), 371-394. doi:10.1111/jcpp.12516
(citing the graphic on page 382, figure 2)

 

 

Blog Post #1

From day one, I felt as though this class would be a very positive experience for me. In just a few short weeks, we have already discussed several techniques that have improved my mindset on a daily basis. Beginning the course with the Keyes model was an excellent step into understanding in what ways I would implement certain techniques in my life. This was the first time that I had seen this model, and discussing its different levels in class (like the possibility of having low mental health without being mentally ill) was particularly beneficial to my understanding of how mental health isn’t so black-and-white.

I also really appreciated the information about how success can relate to happiness when we discussed that most people try to achieve success to become happy, but that in reality we are more likely to be successful when we are happy.

I found this photo when I was poking around the internet for my first social media post, and how it directly related to material we had discussed in class.

I have appreciated that each week, the material builds on itself, and I continue to have a greater understanding of what I’m learning. Happiness has not always been something that I would describe for myself as “easy.” This past week we have just begun to discuss why even as a part of my chemical makeup. The science portion is pertinent in understanding how happiness may work for me, but I have really benefited from being delving more into positive psychology.

Both the three good things and the automatic thought process exercises have had a pretty positive impact on my effort to remain positive. The three good things exercise was not exactly simple for me to complete. I found myself making a conscious effort to find something positive in what I may have otherwise thought was a pretty dull day. For one day, one of my good things was “not wearing yoga pants to class.” I got up that morning, I made coffee, I got dressed and had a good day. I tried to not just coast into another day, and so I thought to myself that even something so small could be positive. Along with making an effort to find these positive things, the automatic thought process exercise helped me in trying to understand why my thoughts may spiral into the negative, and to make more of an effort in halting those processes.

Overall, in the first four weeks of class I have seen both overlap in the topics but also an expansion on them, and how they all relate to happiness as a dynamic. I am really thoroughly enjoying that I can take something away from each class, and am excited to continue to learn.

 

Image source: https://www.askideas.com/media/18/Happiness-is-the-highest-level-of-success-3.jpg