In times that consist of many struggles such as quarantine, not being able to see family, relationship problems, and social injustice protests, life might seem overwhelming and negative for some. While there are so many things that you could be doing, I can not stress the need to maintain a healthy emotional state. I have recently been through some tough times, and the fact that my family cannot fly into this country intensifies that difficulty. They always seem to play the role of relaxing me and motivating me to be my best possible self due to the unconditional love that makes me happy.
I have always been a pretty optimistic person. Still, no one can be positive at all times, and negative times are essential for community and individual growth on a global scale. I continuously am speaking to my friends and members of my extended family, and they have allowed me to bounce back numerous times. The connections I have with my family and the knowledge of their tough experiences repeatedly push me to fight for what I want. They are proud of my drives and accomplishments, and their supports solely want to make me more proud.
As I am taking two positive attitude psychology courses, I found one thing that I value very much, and thank Martin E. P. Seligman for this information. He explains how marriage therapy is generally known as getting married people from a negative state in their relationship to a position one. In contrast, positive attitude psychology focuses on improving an already positive relationship and was very informative. The first thing they ask is how they respond to the good news. It describes four different types of communication with any relationship you have with a person once you hear that good news. I will focus on the type of communication called “Active and Constructive” dialogue because I believe it is the most important.
In short, this type of communication focuses on engaging in the conversation, being enthusiastic, and wanting them to relive their specific accomplishment or good news. For example, if someone told you that they recently got a puppy, you could ask, “Explain to me every single leading moment up to having your dog?” You will be surprised to see the smile light upon their face as they remember an extremely joyful moment of their lives that they value forever. By simply being more engaged in conversations, you will notice that happiness is contagious, and you will have fantastic discussions with anyone in your life. Other question examples may be, “Whose life do you think this event changed most?” “How does having the puppy make you feel?” “How can this impact other people in your life?”
Instead of paying for therapy, changing your engagement in which you talk to people can have revolutionary effects on you that I have witnessed over the last few weeks. There are also activities like the “What Went Well Activity” that I described in the mindset category of the website. There are numerous techniques to self-care for your own mental and emotional health, which should not be substituted for real help if you need it, but can only have positive consequences. One suggestion could be making a poster of the main things that make you happy and look at them whenever you are feeling down or solely want to feel more satisfied in life. Reminding yourself of the positives in life is vital to retaining wellbeing, which I cannot stress enough.
As someone who has been through a lot (not saying the most, but I would say its higher than average), I can tell you how crucial it is to maintain good mental health. When I was a kid, my parents worked until 7-8 at night and had babysitters every day on weekdays. I learned to keep things to myself. At some point, I would lash out and blame it on going through puberty, and I am so sorry my parents had to witness it. By keeping a healthy emotional state, I hope to reduce the prominent hatred in the world as there are initiatives to improve the state of oppressed people. A study has shown that when people have more positive emotions, they are more likely to not distinguish across races, showing how a world of happiness will assist the final leap for social progress. But on a more simple level, if everyone was kind to each other and we had this “Utopian State” where every PERSON can experience happiness no matter their cultural backgrounds, true equality is reached.
I would encourage everyone to be more aware of the growing positive attitude psychology and find activities and exercises that can promote wellbeing for you. To achieve communal growth, you first need Individual growth, so make sure you remain positive about the good things in life to outweigh the darkness in the world.