Mindset, Emotion Regulation and Living Your Best Life
Another instalment in the Emotion Regulation = Academic Success Series.
Ok, I am going to be a bit of a butt kicker today. Probably because I have spent my entire week repetitively kicking my own but; trying to keep the motivation alive and moving. Sometimes we just need to clear out the mental clutter and create a mindset that works for us. Really, who doesn’t feel awesome when they are effective and taking control of their lives? We have to seize the moment that passion meets motivation and get going. Today, I would like to talk a little more about a strategy that can give your mindset a little nudge in the right direction.
Here are the ground rules, for today, to get you in the best state of mind:
I know! Totally not what counsellors generally say, but today we are honing in on our ideal mindset for getting stuff done. Have you ever noticed when you choose to describe a situation in only positive terms that it makes you feel better about the event or, even sometimes, the person that you are talking about? Let’s do it, let’s learn how to create a beneficial mindset today 🙂
Let’s start with a Video Snack to set the stage.
This one’s for you Kelsey C! …because you said you love the TedTalks 🙂
The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong | Amy Morin
Amy’s article, “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do,” introduced the world to the bad habits that can keep us from being mentally strong. Her article was reprinted and shared millions of times as it became a viral sensation. Within a few days, her list was republished on Forbes.com, where it became one of their most read articles of all time with 10 million views. Check out her TEDx Talk…simply fantastic!
Nerdy, Nerdy PsychNerdy Time!
Sometimes it is hard to get out of thinking traps and focus on the things that make us mentally stronger. Yes, building a new habit is hard, but really, are you not tired of feeling crappy about yourself and your life at times? I know that I have to work hard to get out of those traps sometimes, so I challenge you to find a new approach, develop a new mindset and create a life that even you are envious of 🙂
Here is a place to start…
Researchers, Burton & King (2004), ran an experiment that was looking at enhancing positive mood and health. Check out their journal article, The health benefits of writing about positive experiences: the role of broadened cognition, for more information. The theory that informed this experiment’s design was The Broaden and Build Theory of Positive emotions (for the really PsychNerdy ones, see below for a link).
What they did:
- They took 90 post-secondary students and split them into 2 groups: experimental (intervention) and control (no intervention)
- For 3 days, both groups were asked to come to the lab and write for 20 minutes. They took a survey about their mood before and after writing.
- The control group was asked to write, in detail, about their plans for the day, their shoes and a description of their bedroom.
- The experimental group was asked to write about Intensely Positive Experiences (IPEs). See the directions below.
What they found:
Three months later…
- Writing about IPEs was associated with enhanced positive mood.
- Writing about IPEs was also associated with significantly fewer health center visits for illness, compared to those in the control group.
- Writing about your day, your shoes or your bedroom has no significant effect on enhancing your health and positive outlook (you probably guessed that!).
Do you want to write about your shoes or would you like to change your Mindset?
I thought you might say that 🙂
Writing About Intensely Positive Experiences
Here are the directions from the researchers, Burton & King (2009), to get you started:
“Think of the most wonderful experience or experiences in your life, happiest moments, ecstatic moments, moments of rapture, perhaps from being in love, or from listening to music, or suddenly ‘‘being hit’’ by a book or painting or from some great creative moment. Choose one such experience or moment. Try to imagine yourself at that moment, including all the feelings and emotions associated with the experience. Now write about the experience in as much detail as possible trying to include the feelings, thoughts, and emotions that were present at the time. Please try your best to re-experience the emotions involved”.
Check this out:
Broaden-and-Build Theory of Positive Emotions by Barbara L. Fredrickson or even check out Wikipedia for a better idea of this theory. Pretty cool stuff!
I am thrilled and grateful for all the wonderful comments that I have been receiving from readers. Thank you so much for your feedback and support!
Dr. Heather Drummond, C.Psych.
Psychologist * Passionate Advocate for Flourishing * Human Muddling Through
Book: 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin: Click Here
Just what I needed today – thanks ☺
I found it really refreshing to watch the TedTalks video – to hear from someone who has experienced multiple hurdles in life and has been able to overcome those and speak of her success. 🙂