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If you do not adapt, if you do not learn, you will wither, you will die.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Positive Psychology Practices

Positive psychology, founded by dr. Martin Seligman, is the scientific study of what makes people flourish. It is the study of the strengths and virtues that enable you to thrive. Positive Psychology helps you focus on what is working, on what can be done or controlled, on what is here now, and it helps you thrive by motivating you to focus on possibilities, opportunities and gratitude.
Positive psychology is not an over-reliance or exaggeration of things towards the positive. Below you find 7 practices from positive psychology. Choose. Practice. Thrive.

1. Write a “self-compassion” letter, in which you treat yourself with compassion while confronting your mistakes and shortcomings. Refrain from harsh criticism, judgments, and condemnations and write this letter to yourself as if it was from a supportive yet candid friend.

2. List your five main strengths and answer the following questions:
- How much do I use this strength?
- Is it wise to use it more or maybe less?
- Could my use of this strength be an example of “Too much of a good thing turns into a bad thing.” So which strength would I be better off toning down? For example: decisiveness can become pushiness if you over-do it.
- At the other end of the spectrum, a strength underused is one gone to waste so: Which strength am I under-using?

3. Adjust the narrative that you hold about a challenging situation that involves other people and ask yourself:
1.    What am I exaggerating?
2.    What may I be over-personalizing?
3.    Am I checking what I perceive to be facts?
4.    What other explanation or narrative could be true?
5.    Do I have enough data to freak out? (BrenĂ© Brown)
6.    How can I focus more on what is working, on what can be changed?

4. Emotions and mindsets are contagious, so be mindful who you surround yourself with: can-do, caring, interested people who can add new perspectives and who are candid with you are good people to be around.

5. Strengthen resilience and decrease stress by writing in your daily gratitude journal: Every afternoon/evening your write down 3 specific things you are grateful for that day. Do not repeat examples the next day. You want to train your mind to hunt for the good, not to get in a ‘lazy’ repetition mode.

6. Seek approval only from the people who really matter at times that it really matters. People-pleasing is draining your energy, hampering candor and depth, and most of all: it is impossible to please everyone.

7. Increase your awareness and mindfulness by focusing on being in the moment, here and now, whether you are in a meeting, in your car, walking with a coworker to the parking lot or any other situation. Gently push distracting thoughts aside and tell them you’ll deal with them at a certain time during the day, just not now.  

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