How Can Positive Emotions Improve Life of a Person with Mild Mental Health Issues
Positive emotions are feelings and mental states that are generally considered to be pleasant and enjoyable. Positive emotions can come in different intensity and duration. They can be short-lived or long-lasting, and they can be experienced in different ways. Some people may experience positive emotions as a sense of warmth or lightness in their body, while others may experience them as a sense of energy or excitement.
In this article, we look at how positive emotions can improve the life of a person with mild mental health issues as well as tips on how you can maintain positive emotions on a daily basis.
Importance of Maintaining Positive Emotions
Positive emotions can have a significant impact on improving the life of a person with mild mental health issues. Research has shown that experiencing positive emotions can help to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, improve overall well-being, and increase resilience to stress.
One way positive emotions can improve mental health is by helping to shift a person's perspective from negative to positive. This can be done by focusing on the present moment, practicing gratitude, and engaging in activities that bring joy and pleasure. Engaging in activities like these can help to counteract negative thoughts and emotions, and can improve overall mood and mental well-being.
Positive emotions can also have a physiological impact on the body. For example, experiencing positive emotions can lead to the release of endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers and can improve mood. Additionally, positive emotions can also lead to an increase in immune function, which can help to protect against physical illness.
In addition to these benefits, positive emotions can also help to improve social connections and relationships. People who experience positive emotions are often more likely to be open to new experiences, to be more outgoing and sociable, and to be more supportive of others.
How To Maintain Positive Emotions on a Daily Basis
There are several ways to maintain positive emotions on a daily basis:
- Practice gratitude: Taking the time to reflect on the things you are thankful for, whether they are big or small, can help shift your focus to the positive aspects of your life and boost your overall mood.
- Engage in activities that bring you joy: Whether it's reading a book, listening to music, or going for a walk, make sure to engage in activities that bring you pleasure and happiness on a regular basis.
- Connect with others: Strong social connections and relationships are important for maintaining positive emotions. Make an effort to reach out to friends and loved ones regularly, whether it's through a phone call, text, or in-person meeting.
- Mindfulness and meditation: Mindfulness practices like meditation and yoga can help to reduce stress and anxiety, and can help to promote feelings of calm and well-being.
- Get enough sleep: Adequate sleep is important for maintaining positive emotions. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night and create a relaxing bedtime routine to help you sleep better.
- Physical exercise: Regular physical activity can help to improve mood and reduce stress. Even a short walk can help to boost your mood and improve your outlook.
Developed nations have recorded a significant increase in the number of people diagnosed with mental illness. Those affected have also been demonstrated to cut across all ages (Twenge et al., 2019). Approximately 5% of the teenagers in England reports of always feeling miserable while 12% reports that they hardly feel happy. England also records the highest number of teenagers and young adults with low levels of life satisfaction and who are less happy. This was in comparison with other developed nations (OECD, 2019). The constant feeling of dissatisfaction and being unhappy are among the key symptoms seen in persons with mental illnesses, especially those diagnosed with depression. It is therefore evident that by focusing on making those diagnosed with mental illness live a fulfilling and happy life can be key in mitigating this rising number of mentally ill persons (Vorholter, 2019).
Before the advent of positive psychology, therapists used to focus more on the disorder and its effects on the overall health of an individual (Magyar-Moe et al., 2015). This meant that, factors such as happiness, motivation, emotional resilience, and positive thinking were ignored. George Vaillant, the father of positive psychology, argued that most of the works on mental health were more focused on stress, fear, anxiety, anger, and depression, and with little or nothing on compassion and affection. Positive psychology emphasizes on promoting happiness and wellbeing and enhancing our internal capabilities. The aims of this form of therapy are to have a fruitful thinking and emotional stability as compared to treatment of symptoms alone in pharmacotherapy (Parks & Titova, 2016).
A combination of positive psychology and other forms of psychotherapy has been shown to yield better results as compared to use of psychotherapy alone (Steffen et al., 2015). Pharmacotherapy works by only relieving the presenting symptoms whereas combination therapy aims at achieving real recovery. Apart from achieving recovery, the effects of this form of therapy have been shown to last longer as compared to those associated with traditional psychotherapies. For example, a study conducted by Chaves et al. (2017), showed that individuals with major depressive disorder who underwent positive psychology showed signs of recovery faster than those who were treated with traditional psychotherapies.
Apart from aiding in recovery, positive psychology has also been shown to play a crucial role in the development of an individual. Luthans et al (2010), claims that happier individuals tend to be more successful in life. it is also a common belief in psychiatry and mental health that depression, anxiety, and other negative feelings have a devastating effect on one’s physical health thus impacting negatively on one’s financial and economic growth.
Positive emotional experiences
Besides promoting happiness and confidence, positive psychology has been shown to have a better prognosis than other traditional psychotherapies. According to Moran & Nemec, (2013), enhancing positive experiences and emotions guarantees a better prognosis than use of pharmacotherapy or other traditional forms of psychotherapy. Use of positive psychology has also been shown to have a positive impact on the academic performance of the participants. A study by Perkrun et al, (2017) shows that positive emotions had a positive impact on one’s academic performance and vice versa. This finding is in line with that of Rogaten and Moneta (2017) which showed positive affect to be ‘the strongest and sole psychological and direct predictor of students’ academic performance’.
Emotional and sensory experience listings on emotions.market offer buyers endless opportunities of experiencing positive emotions, achieving a good emotional state and avoiding emotional overwhelm and emotional breakdown. Positive psychology has been proven to be effective in the treatment of anxiety and major depressive disorders. It is also a common understanding that lack of positive emotions is a major contributor of the depressed mood. On the other hand, depression will not develop solely on the lack of these positive emotions thus supporting the role of neuroscience in the development of depression and other mental disorders. Therefore, despite the above listed advantages of positive psychology, this form of therapy should not be used in place of pharmacotherapy or other forms of psychotherapy.
Positive emotions are essential to our overall well-being and happiness. By taking steps to maintain positive emotions on a daily basis, we can lead happier and healthier lives. They can help to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, improve resilience to stress, and promote feelings of contentment and fulfillment.
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Chaves, C., Lopez-Gomez, I., Hervas, G., & Vazquez, C. (2017). A comparative study on the efficacy of a positive psychology intervention and a cognitive behavioral therapy for clinical depression. Cognitive therapy and research, 41(3), 417-433.
Magyar-Moe, J. L., Owens, R. L., & Scheel, M. J. (2015). Applications of positive psychology in counseling psychology: Current status and future directions. The Counseling Psychologist, 43(4), 494-507.
OECD. (2019). PISA 2018 Results (Volume III): What School Life Means for Students’ Lives, PISA.
Parks, A. C., & Titova, L. (2016). Positive psychological interventions: An overview. The Wiley handbook of positive clinical psychology, 305-320.
Pekrun, R., Lichtenfeld, S., Marsh, H., Murayama, K., & Goetz, T. (2017). Achievement emotions and academic performance: Longitudinal models of reciprocal effects. Child Development, 88(5), 1653–1670.
Rogaten, J and Moneta, G. B. (2017). Positive and negative structures and processes underlying academic performance: A chained mediation model. Journal of Happiness Studies, 18(4), 1095–1119.
Steffen, E., Vossler, A., & Stephen, J. (2015). From shared roots to fruitful collaboration: How counselling psychology can benefit from (re) connecting with positive psychology. Counselling Psychology Review, 30(3), 1-11.
Twenge, J., Cooper, A., Joiner, T., Duffy, M., & Binau, S. (2019). Age, period, and cohort trends in mood disorder indicators and suicide-related outcomes in a nationally representative dataset, 2005-2017. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 128(3), 185–199.
Vorhölter, J. (2019). Struggling to be a “happy self”? Psychotherapy and the medicalization of unhappiness in Uganda. Current Anthropology, 60(2), 194-223.