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A Guide to Cultivating Positive Emotions

"The mission of positive psychology is to understand and foster the factors that allow individuals, communities, and societies to flourish "(Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000). Positive emotions act as indicators of flourishing or optimal well-being.

Cultivating a positive mindset can indeed make a significant difference, and here I share a few practices that I have used in my own journey of inner work and also have observed yielding positive results with my clients.

Tip #1 - Starting the day on a positive note by practising Gratitude

Reflect on the simple joys that surround us. Whether it's the sun's gentle embrace or the comforting sip of morning coffee, acknowledging these moments sets a positive tone for the day ahead.

Tip #2 - Recognising & celebrating our strengths

"According to a study by Gallup, individuals who focus on their strengths are more likely to be engaged in their work and have higher levels of well-being." - Ref

Identifying and naming our strengths and consciously using them is associated with higher levels of happiness and fulfilment.Few steps that can help us to use this strategy:

  1. Make a list of your strengths. Include things that you enjoy doing, things that you get complimented for, things that you like about yourself.

  2. Think about a time when you used one of your strengths.

  3. Consider new ways to use your strengths when things are tough.

Tip #3 - Shifting our perspective on setbacks

View them not as roadblocks but as stepping stones to growth. Challenges are inherent in life; embrace them as opportunities for learning and improvement. Infuse creativity into our daily routine, be it a quick sketch, a doodle, or a few brushstrokes. This practice sparks joy and cultivates a positive mindset.

"Once you start making the effort to 'wake yourself up' - that is be more mindful in your activities, you suddenly start appreciating life a little more." – Robert Biswas- Deiner

Tip #4 - Celebrating our small wins

Celebrating small wins, acknowledging and rejoicing in our achievements, no matter how modest is a powerful strategy for maintaining motivation and building confidence, Recognising and applauding minor achievements creates a positive feedback loop, encouraging continued effort.

  • So take time reflect and acknowledge you daily win.

  • Journal about it or share it with your friends

  • Treat yourself to a small reward as a way of acknowledging your accomplishment.

  • Practice positive self-talk by acknowledging your efforts.

Tip #5 - Embracing the power of Affirmations

Let our inner dialogue be a source of encouragement. Choose phrases that resonate with our essence, and repeat them regularly. Our mind believes what we tell it, so why not feed it with positivity? Evaluate our social circle and environment – ensure they foster encouragement and support. Surround yourself with individuals who uplift and challenge us, creating a positive atmosphere that becomes the breeding ground for creativity.

As Art Therapists, we uniquely integrate these practices into our creative processes, enhancing both our well-being and the impact of our therapeutic work. If you're ready to embark on a personalised journey of self-discovery and positivity, I invite you to book a 1:1 art therapy session. Let's unlock the transformative power of art and cultivate a positive mindset together!


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