My journey to happiness through positive psychology

MENTAL HEALTH

  • Mental health is not only not having a psychological or physical pathology, but the presence of positive states of human capacities. It also means having enough levels of emotional psychological and social wellbeing.
  • In my opinion, to be mentally healthy you should take advantage of your strengths and skills to make a satisfactory use which will help you in your life.
  • Mental health is not the opposite of mental illness. They are separated entities because the absence of mental illness doesn't implies the presence of mental health. For example, you might not have any psychological pathology or disorder but maybe you can't experience and feel positive emotions and a completely wellbeing state.
  • Flourishing is the complete state of mental health, and you only can achieve it when your positive sensations and feelings are flowing. If you are flourishing, you must have high levels of wellbeing.

We should cope and deal with social stigma and prejudices about mental illness and mental health in order to help lots of people who are not strong enough to explain how they feel.

WHO AM I? WHAT I LIKE?

  • Travel and discover
  • Photography
  • Culture: cinema, read books
  • Family and friends
  • Animals
  • Relaxing and disconnecting
  • Mountain
  • Beach
  • Wellbeing
  • Learn and grow up
  • Skiing
  • Music
  • And especially ENJOY!!!

WELLBEING

  • Wellbeing refers in a scientific way to happiness.
  • We adopt this new term because the term "happiness" has been exploited and overused, so is difficult to imagine it in a scientific form. "Happiness" is an abstract term, so is for this reason that we use "wellbeing" instead.
  • The function of wellbeing is acting as a self-regulator mechanism of our behavior.

HEDONISM (Subjective wellbeing) --> Immediate satisfaction of our desires. Maximize GOOD experiences and minimize BAD one's.

EUDAIMONIA (Psychological wellbeing) --> Activities that are consistent to our personal values, which evoke an engagement that make people feel authentic.

Happiness is supposed to be one of our personal and most important objectives in life. If we have it, our secondary objectives will be easier to achieve.

HEDONIC ADAPTATION

This happens when we have temporal gains or losses in happiness but then, when we have get used to them, we return into a set point. In my case, it occurred 4 years ago, when my dog Sucre died. First of all I felt so empty and distressed, but later, after some months, I got used to be without it and I started to feel better.

POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY

Positive psychology emphasizes on optimism and the positive human functioning to build and encourage strengths and to promote wellbeing.

MY HIGHER STRENGTHS

Love, humor, equity, self-control, social intelligence, creativity, perseverance

MY TEAMWORK --> 3,7

MY EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

ATTENTION --> 26
CLARITY --> 37
REGULATION --> 29
MY HAPPINESS --> 6

MY SATISFACTION --> 21

MY OPTIMISM --> 21

MINDFULNESS

Mindfulness is to achieve the full attention immediately when you propose or you need it. I usually use this technique when I feel stressed and anxious by exams, oral presentations, job interviews or headache and it helps me a lot to get concentration and inner peace.

HAPPINESS

STRENGHTS

For me, happiness includes some important and logical habits. One of them is to improve and keep the 24 strengths, which are: curiosity, knowledge love, trial, creativity, social intelligence, perspective, courage, perseverance, integrity, goodness, love, teamwork, equity, leadership, self-control, caution, humility, beauty appreciation, gratitude, hope, spirituality, humor, vitality and forgiveness.

In my case, on the one hand, the highest strengths are: love, humor, equity, creativity, social intelligence, perseverance, integrity, goodness, self-control and spirituality.

On the other hand, my lowest strengths are: hope, vitality, humility, trial and perspective.

In my first strengths' activity, I chose to put in practice social intelligence in my daily routine. It has helped me to better understand different perspectives and opinions that people have and to get in their skin, empathize with them.

In the second one, I chose my best one: love. Everyday I wrote how I used and practiced this strength during one week. At the end of it, I felt better with myself and more optimistic, positive and released.

GRATITUDE

Another important habit is gratitude. In its task, I had to write three actions that made me feel grateful during another week. Each day I noticed more that is not money or success which causes happiness, but yes small things like a big smile, a good song on the radio, a long hug, a reconciliation with a familiar or a friend, an unexpected visit or even a sunny weather.

We have to express gratitude to become better with ourselves and others without shame, and this doesn't mean only saying "thank you": it really means to become more healthy, empathic and less materialistic, lonely or depressed.

SAVORING

This activity, which is connected with gratitude, consisted in taking three photographs of people or things that make us feel happier during a week. Some of my photographs were these:

Sushi for dinner, one of my favorite dishes! Delicious!!!
The best perfume for having a refreshing and sweet smell every day!
Amazing photo of the sunset of Alguaire, my town.
The flowers of my house's terrace have already removed their head, the spring is arriving.

FLOW: The optimal experience

When you experience flow, you establish a balance between perceived action capacities and perceived action opportunities. Another condition to experiment it is an immediate feedback about the process. The subjective challenges and skills of a person influence the quality of his or her experience.

PERMA
  • P positive emotions
  • E engagement
  • R positive relationships
  • M meaning
  • A accomplishment

When you complete the activity that makes you flow, your experience with it is an intrinsically rewarding.

Some examples of what means a completely state of flow for me are: traveling and discovering new cultures, learning new languages, skiing, going to the mountain or to the beach and relaxing, meeting with friends, taking some photographs and tasting new and different meals.

EMOTIONS: The affective component

There are lots of different words to express emotions. There are positive and negative emotions, and PosPsych studies the positive ones.

What we THINK affects how we act and feel. How we FEEL affects what we think and to. What we DO affects how we think and feel.
EMOTIONS --> feelings, attention, cognition, facial expressions and cardiovascular and hormonal changes.

HAPPINESS --> POSITIVE EMOTIONS

  1. Satisfaction with myself
  2. Good health
  3. Performing good deeds for society
  4. Success at work or university
  5. Longer life
  6. Good friendships
  7. Holiday
  8. Learning new curiosities
  9. Receiving a reward for helping others
  10. Carrying out the activity that we love (for example playing the piano)

HOW AM I?

  • PHYSICALLY: I feel active, healthy, with charged batteries.
  • EMOTIONALLY: I feel happy with myself and others, proud, satisfied, thankful. I'm in a complete state of wellbeing.
  • MENTALLY: I feel relaxed, without an accumulation of thoughts. I have a healthy mind and ready to learn new materials.

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE --> the ability to recognize your emotions, understand what's causing them and reflect on them

  1. Emotional perception
  2. Emotional facilitation
  3. Emotional clarity
  4. Emotional regulation

MY BEST SELF

WITHIN 4 YEARS: My life has changed a lot. I've achieved lots of my initial objectives. Now I'm a more stable, organized, independent, responsible and curious person. My surroundings inspire a lot of happiness and tranquility. I am very proud and satisfied with the person who I've become.

I am in my optimal point: the flow. I can count on lots of good friendships: some new, others older ones. I also have a good relation with my partner and with my family.

Now I know what to decide and I have no fear of making mistakes. I have matured. I recognize that I can take advantage of everything, including mistakes.

I feel complete both emotionally and physically and psychologically, with a huge motivation and a mad desire to learn and try new experiences and challenges.

My strengths will still be the love, the humor and the social and emotional intelligence, although I will have improved the hope, the gratitude and the courage. Despite this, I won't improve the perseverance, the humility and my trial capacity.

I will travel in a lot of journeys, concerts and new sites, but I will also be very busy finishing the master of Clinical Psychology. However, I will always find time for everything and, in my free time, I will like to read books or going to the cinema to increase my initial culture.

OPTIMISM

To move from pessimism to optimism are necessary three phases.

  1. PESSIMIST PHASE: the problem
  2. DISPUTE: alternatives, other evidencies that justify my thought. Apart from that, what other reasons may exist for that to happen?
  3. OPTIMIST PHASE: optimistic thought

We have to change other actions or our way to see different perspectives in order to reach optimism. It's necessary to search the reasons of the problem and look for a variety of possible solutions.

PAI: My individual action plan

TO START:

  1. Study the theory for my driving license
  2. Look for work for summer
  3. Search information about lots and different countries

TO LEAVE:

  1. Stay at home doing nothing to achieve my goals
  2. Look for excuses for not going to the driving school
  3. Waste time in Social Networks

KEEP ON DOING:

  1. Continue in the English academy and in the University
  2. Continue working on Sundays at the Lleida-Alguaire airport
  3. Try to go at least once a year traveling either away or close to home
MY DREAM COME TRUE: TRAVELING, LEARNING

MY GOALS:

  1. Getting my driving license
  2. Working to save money
  3. Learning new languages

REFLECTION ROOM

WHAT HAVE I LEARNED?

  • What are and how they work positive emotions
  • What is positive psychology (PosPsych)
  • How to improve our optimism and gratitude and apply them in practical cases
  • The difference of mental health and mental illness
  • Change our perspective of things
  • What are our strengths and apply them in practical cases
  • How to improve our happiness and emotional intelligence
  • What is a completely situation of wellbeing and how to get there.

WHAT HAS BEEN MOST USEFUL FOR ME?

Discovering my skills and my strengths to know how to put them into practice in a correct way. Also discovering my punctuations of emotional intelligence, teamwork, happiness, satisfaction and optimism to work on and improve them.

HOW WILL I APPLY ALL THIS KNOWLEDGE?

In my personal life: to grew up and become a better person, to see life in a good way and to learn new things and achieve new objectives.

Also to help others: to know how to treat people, empathize with them and teach them this new learning of seeing life.

ONE PURPOSE THAT WILL BE FULFILLED AT THE END OF THIS YEAR

WORKING IN SUMMER AND GETTING MY DRIVING LICENSE

Credits:

Created with images by jill111 - "woman happiness sunrise" • AdinaVoicu - "brother sister red hair" • zhivko - "girl wheel sunset" • abussell - "happy people boy smile" • hazelw90 - "hot air balloon balloon sky"

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