When people are happy and take a positive outlook on life, they have a higher sense of satisfaction. Dr. Rick Martin came to ACC to discuss with members of the community how we can lead happier lives with only minor changes to our everyday routine.
Dr. Rick believes in what is called positive psychology, which is the study and promotion of positive qualities which lead to real satisfaction in life. One aspect of positive psychology involves the Past. It is important to think of the past with gratitude rather than clinging to memories of pain, sadness, and anger. One way we can accomplish this is through forgiving and forgetting. The five steps to forgiveness are easy to remember with the acronym, REACH.
R = Recall the hurt E = Empathize A = Altruistically surrender the right to retaliate C = Commit to forgiving H = Hold on to forgiveness.
Another thing that can often get us down is the loss of a loved one. It is important to recall the positive memories we had with that person rather than dwell on the fact that they are no longer with us. The seven stages of grief include bargaining, shock and disbelief, denial, anger, guilt, depression, and acceptance. By the time you reach the end of the stages, you have learned to accept and deal with the reality of the situation.
Once we have learned to become at peace with our past, it is time to move on to turn your Future toward something inspiring. Dr. Rick had us review a list of signature strengths and choose the ones that we felt we connected most with. These strengths are then used to guide our greatest passions and things that bring us the greatest joy.
In positive psychology we are focused on increasing and developing our strengths rather than focusing on our weaknesses and failures. The positive approach to life gives us a greater hope for a happy and fulfilling life.
By: Lauren White