“ Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. ”
~ Philippians 3:14 ~
© Pieter Harris. www.pieterharris.co.za
Frogs turning into princes – positive psychology
In this practice we are staying away from the idea of pathology. We no longer question the weaknesses of man, nor do we analyse them. We focus on the positive aspects of man and ask questions his or her recourses and attributes to conquer a problem. We believe that every human being is unique and created perfectly, with all the recourses needed so succeed. Mental illness does not exist, only healthy people who see a problem as an opportunity to grow.
You can thus either view yourself as a frog or a potential prince, who doesn’t even need to be kissed by a princess. You only need to discover your inner prince.
2. A model of pathology
As early as 1952, attempts were made to diagnose and place people in categories of disorders. Since 1952, literally to this day there were attempts to categorize people and place them in a box, and the boxes changed constantly and adjusted to try and classify the complexity of the human nature.
These diagnoses are becoming progressively complex. Suddenly new boxes and new diagnoses appeared. Old ones became abundant. The time has come for us to move away from these disorders. The absence of depression is not the same as the presence of happiness, positive emotions and meaning in life.
Instead of labelling a person with, e.g. depression, being a monster, a murderer, etc. and attempting to treat it per se, we can acknowledge the positive and utilize it to our advantage.
The focus, therefore, should not be on what is wrong with man, but rather on what is right with people. It also happens when there are questions to be asked about what the positive intention behind behaviour was rather than to condemn the behaviour itself. It may ask us not to judge, but to ask for the intention of people.
3. A positive model
In positive psychology, we want to move away from the model of pathology. We do not focus on depression, anxiety or other mental disorders. We rather focus on the strengths and resources we received as well-created human beings.
To combat depression does not necessarily imply the absence thereof and will not automatically result in a feeling of happiness, positive emotions and a meaningful life.
We want to focus in the here-and-now, mindfully and with all our senses concentrate on what we do have.
4. Core components of positive psychology
It’s so easy to focus on what we do not have, rather than focusing on what we do have.
The Tibetans have a statement that reads: “the moment when we are content, we have enough”. We will not be content when we have enough. We will have enough when we are content “.
This is when you become mindfully aware of the little things around you. It is when you use your five senses to appreciate everything around you and what you do have. These are precious moments.
Gratitude is when you deviate from yourself, and focus on the moment and your surroundings.
Perhaps you can make a difference in someone’s life with an unexpected act of selflessness. Who knows?
Feel free to follow this link.
4.2 Mindful meditation:
You are not required to sit quietly every day and physically meditate. You don’t need to sit in a mandala-position and recite all kinds of rhymes.
Meditation is awareness of every moment. Wherever you are, whatever you do, be consciously aware with all five of your senses of your surroundings, your doings and your feelings. It’s about savouring your food, wine, garden, your surroundings on your way to work, everything and anything, mindfully and in the moment of the here and now.
Just allow yourself from time to time to become still and do nothing. Just breathe, relax, and become aware of whatever you are experiencing with your five senses. This is what mindful meditation is about.
4.3 Learned optimism:
You can learn to be more optimistic. You are not a victim. You are not a victim of your genes, or education, or of your life experiences.
Your problem is not in how you were growing up. You may have learned that you are a victim. But you’re not. You could have been a victim as a child, but now you’re so much older, wiser and more experienced with the resources that you have acquired in your own learning experiences as an adult.
You are also not a victim of the events in your life. There are things that happened, and you now have the choice to feel like a victim or a survivor.
You can choose to follow a self-fulfilling prophecy reinforcing those thoughts. It’s your choice to keep on thinking negatively, and to keep on reinforcing the pattern of your negative thoughts.
It is your choice whether you will be a person ruled by fear or one driven by life. Your choice to be a prince… or a frog.