Frogs turning into princes – positive psychology
© Jorgan Harris. jorganharris.co.za
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. We ask questions regarding the resources and attributes he/she has available 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 categorise people and place them in a box (stipulated in the diagnostic manual, currently the DSM 5). These boxes changed and adjusted constantly 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 utilise 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 applies 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 rather question the intention of people.
3. A positive model
In positive psychology, we want to move away from the pathology model. 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 is much easier to focus on what we do not have instead of what we really 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 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYcWT1GLUgE
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 or hum exotic tunes.
Meditation is awareness of every moment. Wherever you are, whatever your do, use your five senses and be consciously aware of your surroundings, doings and your feelings. It’s about savouring your food, wine, garden, your surround-dings 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 doing nothing. Just breathe, relax and become aware of whatever you are experiencing with your five senses. This is what mindful meditation is all 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, education, or 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. As a child, you could perhaps have been a victim, but today you are older and so much wiser as a result of the resources from your life experiences and knowledge you have acquired as an adult
You are also not a victim of the events in your life. There are things that happened but now you have the choice to feel like a victim or a survivor.
It’s your choice to keep on thinking negatively, to keep on reinforcing the pattern of your negative thoughts OR you can choose to follow a self-fulfilling prophecy reinforcing positive 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.