Willie Nelson once said, “Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.”
There’s no question that mental health recovery can be a scary journey – after all, it involves change, growth, and transformation – all of which most of us are nearly terrified of. However, our perception is what guides us through life, and having a positive perception of your recovery can give you the motivation that you need to succeed.
When it comes to mental health, a reputable treatment program can provide you with essential tools to help you better manage your symptoms. While you’re working hard in your program by attending individual and group therapy sessions and activities, you want to ensure you’re taking major strides on your own as well. Positive psychology is a great foundation to motivate, inspire, and uplift your spirits during this time of change.
As explained by a 2014 study published in the Eastern Asian Archives of Psychiatry, positive psychology is an umbrella term used to describe positive emotions and aspects of being such as creativity, optimism, resiliency, empathy, compassion, humor, life satisfaction, and more. How can you incorporate positive psychology into your recovery? The following are a few excellent exercises:
- 3 Things I’m Thankful For: For three weeks, each night before you go to sleep, write down 3 good things that happened that day and reflect on why those things happened
- Gratitude Exercise: Think of someone who has positively influenced you or changed your life for the better – often someone you may not have ever properly thanked. Write them a letter and, if you can, schedule a meeting with them to read the letter aloud to them.
- Signature Strengths: Take the signature strengths survey at https://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/testcenter; select one or a few of your strengths and make the decision to utilize those strengths in some way
- Anonymous Good Deeds – each day, make the decision to secretly do good in some way. This could be writing a secret thank you note, picking up trash if you see it somewhere, etc. Log your activity in a notebook.
Of course, you cannot simply implement these once and expect your recovery (and life) to be filled with more happiness. You must practice all these consistently, putting in a lot of effort and practicing them even on days you feel down. Pick one exercise and give it a try – see which ones resonate with you most.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, contact us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation.