2020-a new year is a new phase for everyone- when we can re-begin our conscious effort towards leading a positive life. It is also a good time to reflect on what it is that we want to accomplish and improve over the next 12 months. The resolutions we make commonly tend to be about going to gym or losing weight. In other words, these resolutions are typically focused around our physical health.
This year, can we make resolutions regarding our positive mental health as well? Here are one or two suggestions.
Opening up to the experience of gratitude: gratitude is the quality of feeling thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Maintaining a journal by recording several things for which you are thankful for is a common practice suggested. This can even include pictures of things that you are grateful for. Taking a few moments every other day to look through it, writing a thank you note, writing something positive about your day are little things that could enhance positivity. But please remember, if this is undertaken like an intellectual exercise, it may not be as useful. What would count is not the number of things in your gratitude list or how much time you spend with it; but the experience of heartfelt emotions/the positive feelings during this exercise. So, invoke a memory /thought that brings you in touch with the feelings of gratitude. There is a lot of research that links gratitude to wellbeing!
Visualizing your best possible self: Create a mental picture /visual imagery every day morning that helps you to see yourself actually being the kind of person you want to be in your day-to-day life ( e.g. calm, productive, compassionate or some other positive mind state /behaviour that is relevant for you currently). You can enhance your visualization by closing your eyes and vividly imagining how you are experiencing the positive emotions/manifesting the positive qualities or dealing with your daily challenges calmly. Some of you may find it useful to draw/paint or in other ways create a visual picture to focus on for a few minutes. Visualizing the best you on a regular basis can be one step that helps you to manifest those qualities/ experience those positive emotions in your life.
Ms. Archana R.
Clinical Psychologist, NIMHANS