World Mental Health Day – 10th October

A challenge for all those interested in flourishing us to get involved with at least one event on World Mental Health Day. Let’s recognise the work of Corey Keyes who states that “flourishing is complete mental health“. The precise theme for World Mental Health Day in 2015 is Mental Health Education – for me this is about how we can make sure those around us understand what makes them mentally healthy.

What could we focus on to help people understand that they can flourish? For me there are a number of challenges, getting people to understand that flourishing like happiness is a choice. We can chose to live in one of three states, that of flourishing, pre-contemplation or languishing. So flourishing is complete mental health, whilst languishing can be perceived almost as depression and despair. There are times in life whereby we pre-contemplate – in this time we work through our emotional and logical thinking about a situation, whilst deciding on creative solutions to life’s issues.

It is further a reality that we may flourish in one area of life, whilst not in others. So we might flourish in the work situation, be in pre-contemplation during relationships and languish in spiritual domains of life. If we adopt strengths theory to this, then the temptation would be to focus on one domain of life, however, people operate in different domains for a reason, so we would be wiser to take the lessons from the area of flourishing and see how they can be adapted to broaden and build flourishing in the different domains of life. So why are you flourishing in one area of life? Could it be that someone is encouraging you? Or that you are able to offer to others some positive affirmation? Or that you simply feel emotionally comfortable in that situation? Or that you are appropriately challenged in the position?

From positive psychology research we know that there is a real role for choosing happiness (or whatever emotion you want), for receiving and offering positive affirmations, for feeling grateful and offering random acts of kindness, but further there is a need to offer kindness to self and others. One of these areas of kindness is to be able to envision yourself as the best possible self, then to set goals and work towards this new individual who will be flourishing. In seeing the best possible self we will begin to be able to set positive self fulfilling ideas and the likelihood of flourishing is greatly increased.

How can we be involved in World Mental Health Day?  Perhaps this is something simple like passing the message on that if you want to flourish, there are some simple decisions and exercises that you can adopt – we know that they work because we practice what we say.

 

‘We Are The Positive Psychology People’

 

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