Presentation on theme: "By Mark D Shishim, M.A. Health Educator UCSB Student Health Service"— Presentation transcript:
1 By Mark D Shishim, M.A. Health Educator UCSB Student Health Service What isPositive Psychology?By Mark D Shishim, M.A.Health EducatorUCSB Student Health Service
2 Setup and Warnings Background = I am not an expert! Current Status = it’s Saturday!Style = interrupt me!Educational philosophy = thank you!Favorite parts of my job = simple changes with big effects
3 Why I’m here: Curious type Interest in mind-body / attitude-health connectionExpand your definition of “happiness”Separate my work from self-help genreChallenge you to consider the effects of your attitude on your health and ability to learnConfuse you a bit
4 I will cover: Basics of Positive Psychology Reasons to focus on Positive Psychology for your healthReasons to focus on Positive Psychology for your student’s learningProven “happy-ventions” and some NEW research resultsThe UCSB Wellness Program
5 Health Continuum: Flourishing Health Sick Proactive Active Reactive Everyday ActivitiesSickProactiveActiveReactive
6 What we do to get there: -5 5+ -5 5+ -5 5+ PHYSICAL Knowledge: BE BALANCED:(FITNESS with fun)REHABMEDICATIONS-55+SOCIALBehavior:BE PROACTIVE: (KEYES’ 5):INTEGRATIONCONTRIBUTIONCOHERENCEACTUALIZATIONACCEPTANCETREATMENTSMEDICATIONS-55+MENTALTHERAPYMEDICATIONSAttitude: BE POSITIVE:GRATITUDE, SAVOR, HOPEPURSUE FLOWUSE STRENGTHS WITH OTHERS-55+
7 Starting Point:+5“For every 100 psychology papers, only 1 contains a positive trait”Wade, 2005POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGYMOST OF PSYCHOLOGY-5
8 Three objectives of American psychology after WWII: 1. cure mental illness2. make relatively untroubled people happier3. study genius and high talentAll but the first fell off after the war because of funding.
9 The Goal:The purpose of Positive Psychology is to understand and promote the human strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive.
10 Positive Psychology: Is a psychology for: more people and what occurs more often
11 Their stand:Yes, studying problems is necessary, but it leaves the field incomplete when not paired with studying success.
12 My stand:Yes, studying my problems is necessary, but it leaves me feeling crappy when not paired with studying what makes me feel good. Grrrrrr…..
13 “Ice Age” brain:“Because our brain evolved during a time of ice, flood, and famine we have a catastrophic brain…looking for what’s wrong. The problem is, that worked in the Pleistocene era. It favored you, but it doesn’t work in the modern world.”-Martin Seligman, 2005
14 Positive Emotion: 4/5 basic emotions and their messages are negative: Fear: danger is near, runAnger: deter aggressorDisgust: avoid contaminationSadness: warning, save energyJOY: “something’s good, don’t change anything”-Dan Nettle
15 Brain-scan evidence shows : Humans dwell overwhelmingly more on negativeWhen life goes smoothly, less brain activityWe are hard-wired to care more about the negative for survivalBeyond survival takes effort
16 Why should we care?Happier people benefit in many ways from positive state of mind:Larger social rewards (more marriage, less divorce, more friends, stronger social support, richer interactions)Superior work outcomes (greater creativity, increased productivity, higher quality of work, higher income)More activity, energy and flowGreater self-control, self-regulatory and coping abilitiesBolstered immune systemLonger life
17 Positive and Negative processes: Negative thoughts: give us ability to narrow our responsesPositive thoughts: give us ability to expand our responses
18 Broaden and Build theory Positive emotions help us LEARN MORE:Broadening our awareness by expanding attention and thinking (opening us up)Building our resources for the future by fueling experiential activity (mixing it up)Ex. Viewing media clips and making list of things wanting to do after. Positive clips lead to longer lists. -Fredrickson, 2005
20 What makes us happy? According to surveys: Marriage Pets Socializing – especially studentsYouthOld agePeterson, et. al
21 Happiness Determinants: Model of Happiness:Argument:Motivation or attitudinal factors offer best route to higher and sustainable levels of happinessSet PointIntentionalActivityCircumstances
22 Routes to Happiness:The Pleasant Life: positive emotions about the past, present, and futureThe Engaged Life: using positive strengths and talents in pursuit of enjoymentsThe Meaningful Life: using positive strengths in pursuit of belonging to and serving positive institutions
23 The Pleasant LifeHedonic: pursuit of increasing positive emotions / pleasuresMost widely accepted definition of happiness, based on perception
24 The Pleasant Life Ways to increase JOY: Past: gratitude and forgivenessPresent: savoring and mindfulnessFuture: hope and optimism
25 Activity: Name one thing you are: Grateful for? Like to savor? Hopeful about?
26 Happy-vention #1Write a gratitude letter and really deliver it
27 What doesn’t make us happy: MoneyMinimum amount needed to make people happy is small: basic needs metGiving it away, even small amounts, makes people happierCapitalism plays to short term pleasuresLottery winners return to normal levels within a yearKids
28 Limits to the Pleasant Life Pleasures are temporary, fleetingPositive emotions have clear limits:Emotions fluctuate, within a genetically-determined rangeWe can only meet so many needs before building tolerance
29 The Engaged LifePursuit of enjoyments: things that completely absorb usNo shortcuts like there are to pleasuresRequire us to draw on character strengthsNot necessarily accompanied by positive emotionsaka: FLOW
30 Pleasures vs. Enjoyment: FLOW feeling of contentment,needs have been met likehunger, sex, and bodily comfort…restoring homeostasis.VS.Enjoyment:breaking through limits of homeostasis,going beyond meeting needs, achieving something unexpected.A sense of novelty, accomplishment, forward movement, complexity and psychological growth.We know we have changed after because enjoyable experiences “stretch us beyond what we were”
31 Mihály Csíkszentmihályi 7 Components of FLOWThe Psychology of Optimal Experience andEnjoymentMihály Csíkszentmihályi
32 Elements of FLOW Time Concentration Focus Concern Control Challenge & SkillClear Goals & Immediate Feedback
33 Elements of FLOW 1 – 5 describe it 6 & 7 describe how to enhance it Not all elements are needed
34 1. Time is altered:Have you ever worked on something for what seemed like minutes but was really hours?
35 2. ConcentrationPeople in flow describe themselves as concentrating so hard when they do an activity that they do not notice distractionsDescribed by many as a feeling of being both in and out of controlIN because there is no where else you’d rather be andOUT because you’re not exactly sure where it’s going.
36 3. FocusA merging of action and awareness results in feelings of effortlessness and absorption
37 4. Concern for self disappears FLOW is NOTloss of consciousnessloss of self…It is the loss of consciousness of the self…the worry and pathological critic.
38 5. Sense of ControlTask allows you to experience a sense of control, even in times of challengeClimbers said they felt more in control climbing the Matterhorn than crossing the street in NYC…why do you think this is?
39 6. Challenge & Skill 1. Challenge: 2. Skill: too much or too little is dishearteningCompetition has to bring out personal meaning beyond beating another for it to be enjoyable.2. Skill:the activity is neither too easy nor too difficult
41 7. Clear Goals & Immediate Feedback intrinsically rewardingattainableFeedback:Successes and failures during the activity are apparentbehavior can be adjusted as needed.
42 Choosing FLOW Activities: Base choice on individual fit (strength based) and meaningThe right choice will motivate you to engage regularly in the activity
43 Personal ApplicationThink of an activity that you engage in right now when you experience flowHow do the elements of flow apply:Time?Concentration?Focus?Concern for yourself?Control?Challenge & Skill?Clear Goals & Immediate Feedback ?
44 What does FLOW do for us?Puts us in touch with ourselves: helps us find our interests and boundariesHeightens our of awareness of the environmentHelps us stop wasting our psychic energyReduces our anxiety = #1 IMPEDIMENT TO LEARNING!
45 Maintaining FLOW:MIX IT UP: Mindfully vary & change how you practice the activity (mix up focus and timing in between) to avoid adaptationSAVOR: your choice by making an attitudinal effort of appreciation (count your blessings)
46 The Meaningful LifeRequires using our strengths to belong to or serve something larger than ourselves
47 Sense of Purpose / Meaning How to:Finding purpose, value, and personal worth in one’s activitiesBeing able to fully appreciate emotional and sensory experiencesStriving to maintain a positive attitude in face of suffering or lossMeaning requires getting involved in and contributing to communityHow
48 “Goal-attainment fit” “Matching” the right activity is important mediating factor to wellnessJust because you work out doesn’t mean you like itAdding a mental and social component to fitness = proactive step towards flourishing!
50 Use them! (happy-vention #2) Identifying your strengths is great…But using them in new ways is proven to make you happier! (up to 6 months later!)What are some new ways you can use your strengths?Check out:for more ideas
51 Health benefits associated with using strengths: OPTIMISM Better health habits,better immune functioning,fewer illnesses,less severe illnesses,fewer symptoms of poor healthfaster recovery from illness and injury,better adjustment to serious illness,decreased psychological illness and distress,tendency to live longer
52 Health benefits associated with using strengths: HOPE Low hope people are more likely to suffer from depressionIBS and FibromyalgiaHigh hope people believe they can adaptHigh hope people experience improved physical and psychological well-being
53 Health benefits associated with using strengths: Forgiveness Benefits of forgiveness:Better blood pressureHealthy muscle tensionBetter immune functionImproved cardiovascular functionImproved muscular functionImproved nervous system functionLess psychological painReduced stressIncreases in self confidence, compassion, quality of life, and hope
54 Happy-vention #3Journal 3 good things and their causes each night for a week = 6 months happier!
56 UCSB’s Wellness Services are provided by different departments all over campus
57 The UCSB Wellness Program brings all together through: WEBSITE:
58 The UCSB Wellness Program brings all together through: WELLNESS CENTERS:Mondays the SRB (with Free Massage)Tuesdays the Library (with Free Massage)Wednesdays the UCEN (with Free Massage)
59 The UCSB Wellness Program brings all together through: FIELD TRIPS and NIGHTS!
60 The UCSB Wellness Program brings all together through: Chance to win FREE STUFF just for going to events!
61 The UCSB Wellness Program brings all together through: WELLNESS INTERNS - two academic classes!
62 The future of prevention: University approaches focused on wellness provide:Opportunities to use strengths (programs)Motivation to find flow (prizes)Resources that are proactive (centers)Easy access (consolidation)
63 Contact: Sabina White Sabina.White@sa.ucsb.edu & Mark Shishim Or come talk to us atStudent Health
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