A resolution of a different kind

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