This is where many of us go wrong according to Martin Seligman, professor of psychology at University of Pennsylvania. In our pursuit of happiness, he says, we should stop focusing so much on negative emotions and spending time to eliminate those. Instead it’s more important to actively cultivate wellbeing. I like it.
Seligman suggests four exercises that can help us to readjust our focus when it comes to happiness.
1) Identify your Strengths: When were you at your best? Write it down and think about the strengths you showed in that situation.
2) Find the Good: Each night write down three things that went well that day.
3) Make a Gratitude Visit: Have you thanked people who showed kindness towards you in the past? Think of someone you haven’t thanked, write a letter. If you’re feeling brave, meet that person and tell them.
4) Respond Constructively: That’s a good one. Instead of saying ‘that’s great’ next time somebody shares good news with you, show more enthusiasm. Celebrate others accomplishments. There’s nothing better than sharing a celebration with somebody and some red wine.
I’m a radical optimist – shifting focus towards the positive rather than dwelling on the bad just makes sense. Being an optimist might mean slightly different things to everybody.
POSTED BY KEVIN ROBERTS