Focusing on Positivity for Mental Wellbeing
- Positive psychology is a different approach to mental wellbeing that focuses on a person’s strengths rather than illness & standard treatment.
- This approach can be really helpful for people living with illnesses like cancer.
- Part of positive psychology involves finding what’s important to a patient, or keeps them engaged, and harnessing those good feelings.
- ‘Positive emotions have unique benefits above and beyond managing negative emotions,’ Psychiatrist Dr. Samantha Boardman explains.
“It is a fundamentally sort of different way of thinking about patients, thinking about their experience,” Dr. Samantha Boardman, a New York-based psychiatrist and author, told SurvivorNet. “It’s not just focusing on what’s the matter. It’s also asking them, what matters to you?”Read More
“Positive emotions have unique benefits above and beyond managing negative emotions,” Dr. Boardman said. “Sometimes you can treat a patient and get rid of some of their symptoms, and it’s not necessarily then that you find a flourishing patient — you might even get an empty patient. So, really tapping into those resources — where do they find positive emotions? What provides a sense of engagement for them? How can you promote positive relationships?”
Questions to Ask Your Doctor
- Are there interventions beyond medication for my depressed or anxious feelings?
- How can I go about finding and nourishing these positive emotions?
- What can I do if I’m struggling to maintain a sense of positivity?
- What lifestyle factors can I adjust to feel better mentally?