The ideas of flourishing and languishing were new to me. Initially I thought flourishing was just growth and beauty, but never once did I think of how it could relate to me. This idea was supported by the week one reading, “Promoting and Protecting Mental Health as Flourishing.” In the Keyes reading, I learned that flourishing is the promotion and maintenance of mental health. The more we talked about it in class, I realized that although languishing is the exact opposite of flourishing, you could be mentally healthy but also languishing. What stood out the most to me in this reading was that African Americans had higher rates of mental health than white Americans.
I feel that the assignment that has helped me the most to relate to the class content was the VIA strength survey. My strength was fairness. It was one that I was surprised to see, but after thinking about it, it made sense. It was just a skill that came naturally to me. But I was also surprised to see forgiveness at the bottom of my list because that’s a skill that I had worked on in the past. The other skills that were at the bottom of my list are the ones that I realized that if I improve them, it would help me to flourish.
I believe that everything that we’ve learned can tie into the idea of how we can help ourselves to flourish. I believe that they are different because they each consider a different approach toward mental health. In closing, although we cannot do much to change how genetics affect our behaviors, with a combination of the positive psychology methods and the cultivating strengths method, we can better cope with the ways mental illness, depression, anxiety, and mood states affect us so that we can flourish.