This is a word we hear a lot in connection with MH matters. Very early in my therapy my therapist mentioned it. At the time it was the last thing on my mind and I almost ignored it.
There is an easy definition ‘The activity of being positive’. But this doesn’t get you very far.
People who have poor MH probably identify more easily with ‘negativity’ which is of course is exactly the opposite. In fact the main symptoms of poor MH such as depression and anxiety are very much associated with negative moods.
I can recall probably about 18 months ago when I tried to explain to my therapist that I felt there was a “war” going on in my Mind. I found it difficult to describe at the time but in retrospect and with a bit more knowledge I can now imagine it was a conflict between my positive and negative feelings. At the time the ‘armies’ seemed fairly evenly matched. Thankfully over time ‘positivity’ has gradually become the more predominant force.
On the basis of my personal experience and the research I have read I am convinced the concept of positivity is worthy of further consideration.
I think some people are, by their nature, more optimistic than others. But that doesn’t mean everybody can’t learn to be a bit more positive. Here are a few simple ideas that may help:
- Follow Moodscope. It has so many positive things to offer. A classic example; on 24 August Mary W wrote a Post saying she was worried. The number of helpful responses from other Moodscopers was positively overwhelming.
- Start each day in a positive way. My two starters are Moodscope and Early morning walk.
- Feed the ducks with recycled bread. Their response and the positive feelings you get in return are a joy.
- Show gratitude. I am sure we all have some things in our lives for which we can be grateful. I am a great believer in recalling three positive events at the end of each day.
- Give help. This is a positive action that rewards both provider and recipient.
A recent research study showed that pain and fatigue can be eased by Positive Talking Therapy. Dr Monty Lyman a medical doctor at the University of Oxford recently said “Pain is not just in your head but pain is indeed made in the brain. So if you tackle elements of it in you head then surely it can be helpful.” He is a big fan of ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Theory). I think Oli is also a fan so would he like to write a Post?
Trying to adopt a more positive attitude does not mean ignoring the reality of challenges and problems that present themselves throughout our lives. Ignoring how we feel (our emotions) can lead to what has been termed ‘Toxic Positivity’. My therapist thought it was amusing when I said “I am positive that I am suffering from negative feelings!”
Do you feel you need a bit more positivity?
A Moodscope members.