In our endeavour to become more self-aware of our mental health and take care of ourselves, Positive Psychology can work hand in hand with the process of diagnosis and treatment to help make us more resilient and happy people. Positive Psychology is all about focussing on the positive things within our control and our strengths so that we can build a life of meaning and purpose. This is a wonderfully empowering idea. It asks, “What’s already great about you that you can improve on to make you a happier person?” We walk you through the PERMA model of Positive Psychology, an abbrieviation for 5 components we can take ownership of and pay attention to towards happiness.
Image by Joshua Earle, from Unsplash.
A is for Accomplishments. When we accomplish something we’ve worked hard for, we feel good! Having self-motivation to finish what we’ve set out to do contributes to happiness and wellbeing because we can look at ourselves with a sense of pride. That being said, while there are many goals we can set and accomplish, achieving intrinsic goals such as personal growth lead to larger gains in wellbeing than external goals such as money or fame.
Here are some ways to build accomplishments!
Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals
Thinking about goals may be daunting or overwhelming for some, but there exists a useful tool to help us overcome this hurdle. S.M.A.R.T. is a helpful acronym for setting goals effectively and stands for: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. An example of a S.M.A.R.T. goal looks like this: If we’re currently exercising once a week, we can set a S.M.A.R.T. goal of losing 1,2500 calories (specific) a week (time-bound) while using an app to track burnt calories (measurable) by slightly upping our exercise to twice a week (achievable and realistic).
Image by Gabrielle Henderson, from Unsplash.
Reflecting on past successes and documenting them in a journal
This is a splendid habit to start for those of us who are guilty of not giving ourselves enough credit for the good and noteworthy things that we do. Take some time out of the day or week to think about your achievements no matter how small, focussing on intrinsic ones. Jot them down.
For instance, did you manage to accomplish something you’ve been struggling to do, like speaking up for yourself or for others? Have you been successful at getting better quality sleep, perhaps for an extra hour everyday? Or, did you successfully start on a new routine?
Image by Patti Black, from Unsplash.
Celebrating our achievements in creative ways
Never skimp on giving yourself the literal and figurative pats on the back. There are countless ways to celebrate our achievements aside from creating an achievement journal. Do a fun activity! Donate! Hold a giveaway! Gather the people in your life to celebrate one another! Allow yourself to indulge during grocery shopping! The possibilities are endless, and it’ll definitely infuse some excitement and motivation towards your achievements.
As we make strides towards personal growth and awareness in our respective mental health journeys, let’s consider the components of Positive Psychology in our lives towards being more resilient and happier people!
Thank you to Alexandra, our contributor in the psychology field, for your expertise!
To find out more about Positive Psychology, read the other parts of our Positive Psychology series:
(Positive Psychology Series: Part 1/6) What is Positive Psychology? Can It Make Me Happy?
(Positive Psychology Series: Part 2/6) P for Positive Emotions
(Positive Psychology Series: Part 3/6) E for Engagement
(Positive Psychology Series: Part 4/6) R for Relationships
(Positive Psychology Series: Part 5/6) M for Meaning
Sherrie is the resident writer, programmer, marketing wizard and snack curator of Co.'s community team. Her favourite things about being at Co. include sharing calories with community members, meeting new friends in the Duxton neighbourhood (and sharing more calories) and getting lost in Littered with Books across the street.
Alexandra is a vibrant Mental Wellbeing Psychologist who graduated with BSc (Hons) in Psychology from Michigan State University and a Master’s in Counselling (Distinction) from Monash University. She has more than 10 years of experience, including extensive training in various positive psychology, mental resilience and counseling techniques. Alexandra’s diverse work is driven by her firm belief that humans have far more that can bring them together than should bring them apart.