For the purpose of this blog, it is necessary to clarify a few common myths that are associated with Positive Psychology to help remove the notion that this field of science resembles that of a bouncy cheerleading group and couldn’t possibly be of any value to those truly in need, as this is severely not the case!
The truth of the matter is Positive Psychology is NOT all about positive thinking; Positive Psychology is NOT about being happy all of the time; Positive Psychology is NOT about removing all negative emotions.
While it would be unrealistic to discuss all facets of Positive Psychology and how this amazing field of study can be utilised, in just one blog, I have decided to discuss one of the most important aspects of Positive Psychology in regards to how it can help alleviate unnecessary stress levels which impact upon an individual’s health in many negative and debilitating ways.
Mental Health and Meditation:
Meditation is merely the act of creating stillness and relaxation of the body and careful, focused attention within ones’ mind, moment by moment. In today’s hustle and bustle lifestyle it is not uncommon to be on autopilot for most of the day. The act of slowing down and taking time to stop and do nothing, does wonders for both the mind and the body, along with its’ automatic ability to decrease high stress levels and re-energise itself by doing so.
Unfortunately, it is hard for most people to understand the importance of stopping, relaxing and focusing your mind and attention on nothing in particular; just the “here and now”; by being completely present in the moment, because we are not programmed to value something many regard as “pointless”. The benefits of this this however cannot be fully explained in this one blog, but some valid and distinguishing points should be highlighted to encourage the facilitation of this, including: – Meditation (also known as mindfulness meditation) has shown to decrease stress, anxiety and depression.
Forty years of research within community, adult, student and clinical health areas have produced substantial evidence that indicates meditation reduces negative mental health symptoms such as stress and anxiety (Baer, 2003; Brown, Ryan & Creswell, 2007). In addition to reducing theses negative effects, there is also evidence to support that it increases psychological health and wellbeing, such as gaining higher control over negative emotional enhancing stimuli (Brown, Ryan & Creswell, 2007; Creswell, Way, Eisenberger & Lieberman, 2007).
By practising the act of mindfulness meditation, you are actually creating new neural pathways within your brain that encourage and increase memory retention, increases your ability to learn new tasks, creates more understanding of others and enhances your decision making skills. You can also become more creative and enhance the closeness of your relationships (Kornfield, 2008; Siegel, 2007). All of this – just by stopping, thinking and focusing! There is so much more to Positive Psychology than many realise.
About the author: Jamie views Positive Psychology as her lifes’ calling – to help change the world. She is the 47th person in the world to finish the only government accredited Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing in existence. She has designed a free 21-day Happiness Program to introduce people to retraining their brain for greater happiness. www.thehappinessninja.com.au
‘We Are The Positive Psychology People’