This week was especially hard for me. I am not usually a person who has to try to be happy or positive…until this week. Usually I wake up very happy but almost every single day this week I was feeling so down and upset when I woke up all I wanted to do was pull the sheets over my head. Nothing bad happened and I wasn’t experiencing any pain so when given the exercise to think of one “negative” experience that happened to me this week I was stumped.
Luckily, I remembered that Dr. Reina had suggested to me to watch This Is Water by David Foster Wallace. I decided to cancel dinner plans one night and just take an hour to relax and thought it was a perfect time to watch the video.
If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a must see! It completely changed my outlook of the week and helped me stay positive in a sometimes negative world that I had chosen to see the worse side of. Oddly enough, I am somewhat glad I felt and experienced this because I have learned how to help myself feel better in these situations
I discovered that I didn’t really have a negative experience to talk about. I was just looking at the situations that were happening to me in a negative way. I am usually very optimistic and lucky to think this way automatically. When my usual way of thought was challenged I had to cope and I am proud of myself for doing so.
Acts of Kindness
- wrote a card to a VCU food service employee that I had never met. (We later ran into eachvother and met- she gave me a HUGE hug)
- Helped a woman get to one of the Woman’s Shelters here in Richmond.
- Moved my car so a woman could park (long story but we talked and had a wonderful conversation afterwards)
These three “acts” made my week. They all happened today and turned my week around. I don’t know how it really effected the people who I interacted with but it really effected my mood. Even though deep down I know that I can make a difference – this week I felt like I could not. These 3 situations made me feel useful and happy about myself. This is perfect timing for our upcoming group project and couldn’t help me prepare more.
I love the broaden-and-build theory:
“The broaden-and-build theory posits that experiences of positive emotions broaden people’s momentary thought-action repertoires, which in turn serves to build their enduring personal resources, ranging from physical and intellectual resources to social and psychological resources.” – Barbara Frederickson
This theory is very representative of my life. I feel that I am usually very good at this and will continue to work on it.
R E F E R E N C E S
1. Wade, N. G., Hoyt, W. T., Kidwell, J. E. M., & Worthington, E. L., Jr. (2014). Efficacy of psychotherapeutic interventions to promote forgiveness: A meta-analysis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 82(1), 154-170.
2. Davis, D. E., Worthington, E. L., Jr., & Hook, J. N. (2010). Humility: Review of measurement strategies and conceptualization as personality judgment. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 5(4), 243-252. 3. Davis, D. E., Ho, M. Y., Griffin, B. J., Bell, C., Hook, J. N., Van Tongeren, D. R., Worthington, E. L., Jr.. DeBlaere, C., & Westbrook, C. (2015). Forgiving the self and physical and mental health correlates: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 62(2), 329-335.