Productive Positive Psychology Exercises for Self-contentment

Positive Psychology Exercises
Psychology is an ever changing medical science. Learn about one of its new branches.
Mental health is the true concern of psychology. But how can one's health be judged? If a person does not have any mental illnesses, but is still not happy, should he/she see a psychologist? And what technique should be used for treatment? The answer is positive psychology, a recent psychological approach, with an emphasis on happiness and self contentment. While traditional psychology focuses on mental illness and unhappiness, positive psychology focuses on how common people can become happier and more content.
Where and Why is Positive Psychology Used?
In education, positive psychology has proved that children respond better to praise rather than criticism. According to a study conducted by Dr. Elizabeth Hurlock, praise encourages children to do better, rather than scolding or criticism. This positive approach helps in eliminating negativity. It urges people to focus on what they are good at, so they achieve more goals and are content. It can help in improving education and teaching techniques. Research conducted by Cambridge university shows that positive therapy methods improve self-esteem in teenage boys.

Positivism can be used in clinical psychology, by encouraging focus on both positive and negative functioning, when understanding distress. In the workplace, it helps in understanding employee satisfaction and optimism. China has recently embraced the positive psychology science, as a way to preserve a sense of community among their young as they seemingly become obsessed with money and material gains, as they grow older.
Positive Psychology Exercises
Keep a Treasure Chest
Old Memories
Store happy memories in a box or album. When something has made you happy, be it a check in the mail or eating something sweet after lunch, write it down or draw or take a picture, anything to remind you of it. Then put it in your chest. When you are sad or need inspiration, open the box and relive those experiences. If you have groups performing this activity (like a kindergarten class or a corporate team), have one treasure chest for each group.
Be Unique and Show It
Revel in your individuality. Organize space, and make time to pursue your hobbies. The more freedom of choice and expression of identity you have, the happier you are. Put up your team's poster in your cubicle at work. Wear a badge or bandanna, to make yourself stand out from the rest.
How Social Are You
Gardening with friends
Do a pleasurable activity like gardening or writing, and do it alone to completion. Then try doing a pleasurable activity with friends, like dancing. Notice the effect on your mood. Some people are loners, some are social animals. Neither approach is right or wrong.
Control Your Emotions
Woman looking at nature
Nothing lasts forever, bad or good. Learn to accept bad things when they come, and let go. Don't brood over something, the bad effect just lasts longer. Conversely, don't get upset when your happiness is lost. Do not preconceive thoughts and emotions about people and events.
Helping Others Helps You
Charity Work
Philanthropic and charity activities help increase your self-esteem. Jot down your thoughts and feelings before and after the activity. You can volunteer at the local shelter or old age home. Participate in a charity marathon (it's a great way to stay fit and do something good). Even throwing a garage sale and donating the profits can change the way you look at yourself.
Write a Gratitude Letter
Woman giving Gift
Thanking someone is a positive feeling for the recipient and you. Express yourself truthfully and why you are grateful in clear terms. Deliver it personally, watch how the recipient accepts it and witness his/hers reaction. If letter-writing is not your style, give the person a small but impromptu gift, something that will make them happy and bring a smile to their face. Giving someone a flower or a bar of chocolate or picking up a loved one from work or even complimenting someone are all simple yet giving gestures.
Love and Listen More
Love
Maintain your relationships with your loved ones. Communicate more and listen to your partner. Whether good or bad news, be attentive and constructive. Demonstrate your love more often (be more physically affectionate). Don't assume things are understood or a given, it's nice to hear sentiment once in a while. Forgive and forget issues and conflicts, it will make you feel good inside.
Count Your Blessings
Woman with hands on her heart
It is easy to criticize, to counts your failings and how life has failed you. But what about all the good things in your life? Things you have done and things done to you. Put your hand over your heart and think about past and present deeds of kindness. Make a "What I am proud of" or "What good has been done to me" list.
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Do Something New
Music Class
Join a class or learn a new form of exercise (for e.g, if you normally jog alone, try swimming instead). Learn something new, be it a skill, a hobby or an experience. The activities should capture your curiosity and interest (such as if you always wanted to play the guitar, try learning it). If in a group, socialize with other members as much as possible. If you are alone, reflect on how this experience makes you happy.
Make Your Own Stat Card
Ever notice how sport statistics cards like baseball cards, have key attributes of a player and his achievements during his career. Time to make your own stats card! Write down all the skills and strengths that you possess. Also list what you do the best. You can even ask your family and friends, what they admire or love about you the most. Merge the items in the list, until you are left with 10 core strengths.
For some of the above activities, it's necessary to keep a journal or a diary and record your activities for at least two weeks. At the end of the day, rate the goodness of the day on a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being a great day, 1 being the worst and 5 is average. At the end of two weeks, see which days had rating of 6 and above, and which activities you had performed. This helps you understand what activities make you happy and you can incorporate them more into your lifestyle.
Positive psychology is not without its critics. Some regard it as a fad, and the jury is still out on whether it will mature into a legitimate science discipline. It has a one-size-fits-all attitude, and individual cases must be respected. Patients suffering from deep rooted insecurity issues or depression, need continuous therapy, and this type of psychology can just underline the difference between what they feel and how they should feel. This branch of psychology should not be confused with self-help or positive thinking. It is a science where, actual research is carried out by actual scientists, which is not the case with self-help. With more and more psychologists conducting research and experiments, positive psychology intends to complement, not replace traditional psychology.
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