The Zone - Volume 62
How does Positive Psychology relate to ones’ self-care? Positive Psychology is a school of psychology that is the scientific study of what makes life most worth living, focusing on both individual and societal well-being. According to Dr. Martin Seligman, the founder of Positive Psychology, the three pillars of Positive Psychology are positive experiences, positive individual traits and positive institutions. He goes on to state that, “understanding positive emotions entails the study of contentment with the past, happiness in the present and hope for the future.”
So how do we integrate Positive Psychology into our practices of self-care? Reviewing the literature we can find a treasure of interventions for individual, organizational and societal impact. For example, for individual care the emphasis is on experiencing positive feelings. Starting our day with a litany of what we are grateful for in our life. Emphasizing the gifts that we were born with, and that have been bestowed upon us by others. Building on a sense of gratitude allows us to see and experience the positive feelings of others and allows us to engage with others to form meaningful relationships. This practice can also have a positive societal impact, which is greatly needed at this time. The pandemic pushed us to disengage from others for safety and now offers us the opportunity to reengage on a more conscious level. Assessing what we need from others, while at the same time understanding what we offer others, allows us to form quality relationships that sustain.
Another self-care practice of Positive Psychology, that we have referenced in the past, is the assessment and identification of our strengths and building upon them. There are several ways to identify our strengths. From personal listing of strengths, to asking trusted confidants, colleagues, and friends about when we are at our best, what do they see as our strengths and to online assessment tools such as Strengths Finders. Once we have identified strengths, think about how we can use them for furthering our self-care. An example can be, if investigating is a personal strength, use this ability to find new food receipes that you might want to explore and try to build a healthier diet that meets your taste requirements. At the same time, engage with others by sharing your newfound favorite dish.
Based on the research and application of Positive Psychology of Dr. Seligman and others, this concept offers hope for continuous self-care in the future.
No one is an island, no one stands alone.
Personal choices are key to our personal self-care.
Each of us has individual unique strengths to build upon.
Keep a gratitude journal.
Reflect on the past 15 months and what has allowed you to survive and perhaps grow.
Re-construct your “tribe” with care.
Things to Limit
Keeping your blinders on.
Thinking that something or someone will make you happy.
Quote of the Week
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
~ Viktor Frankl
The principles and practices of Positive Psychology offer us pathways to further understanding of self and others. This depth of understanding enriches our present life while it strengthens and prepares us for future opportunities and crisis. It moves us from a preoccupation of repairing what is wrong to a focus of what is best and building on it.
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The paraDocs are Dr. Francis L. Battisti, PhD, Psychotherapist, Distinguished Psychology Professor and former Executive V.P and Chief Academic Officer and Dr. Helen E. Battisti PhD, RDN, CDN, Chief Nutrition Officer, at SpNOD, Health Promotion Specialist, Research and Clinical Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and former Assistant Professor.
We have developed "The ZONE", because that is exactly where you want to be during this pandemic. A place of focused attention to doing exactly what needs to be done to get you to where you need to be. The purpose of The Zone is to provide a nationally distributed weekly mental-health and nutrition tip-sheet during times of change.
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