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Running on empty. Thursday August 8, 2013

A while ago a friend of mine said to me, "I used to think that if only I could get rid of all my anxiety, anger, hopelessness and sadness I would be happy. I thought if I could minimise my misery - good feelings would come flooding in. How wrong I was. If sometimes I could manage it, I did not feel happy - just empty."

The fact is that in addition to the skill of minimising misery, he also needs to learn a completely different skill - that of positive psychology. This includes having more positive emotions, more engagement, more meaning, more accomplishment and better human relations. The science of positive psychology (lead by Professor Martin Seligman) is relatively recent but already backed up by robust evidence.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our Blogspot:

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Apple trees Thu, Aug 8th 2013 @ 8:43am

Yes this rings a bell. The problem is knowing when your tank is empty for me. It all seems fine. I can do it. Then suddenly one day or afternoon or morning I 'switch' . Suddenly the tank is absolutely dry. Then I know I will have several days of misery and anger. Then I will claw my way out again and then I will be absolutely fine. Actually I am really bored with myself about it. REALLY BORED. Something did help. I am on anti hypertensive medication and when I split the dosage and took it morning and night it made a huge difference. Is astonished me that it made such a difference. Right now I am affected and dreading the huge effort it takes for recovery. I know it will only be my effort of will and just now I cannot do it. It is a serious effort to work through it. But when I do it I feel reLly well again. It does seem that this is a chemical that affects me.

Sophie Livingston Thu, Aug 8th 2013 @ 9:14am

I'm currently reading Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman and it is by far the best tool I've found for helping me see things in a different light. I strongly recommend it for anyone who is serious about changing their outlook on life.

Robert Morgan Thu, Aug 8th 2013 @ 11:42am

I totally agree with todays blogg and if you log in to Seligman's web site at his university - you can contribute to his research (amongst other things). His tips on gratitude etc are now ubiquitous in the world of 'self-help' wisdom.

PWD Thu, Aug 8th 2013 @ 8:51pm

I am currently coming to the end of a course of CBT, one of the things I have been told to do is write down 3 positive things I have done each day. Apparently I have got into a bad cycle of negative thinking and actually writing it and reading it will change my negative thinking to a more positive way of thinking. I doubt it will work but will try anything, there I go again it WILL work.


Dee Roye Sat, Aug 10th 2013 @ 7:24pm

I have just been introduced to Paul Gilbert and his book The Compassionate Mind, which for me has been a breakthrough - cognitive behavioural therapy helped me enormously to understand my confused and distorted thinking, but Paul Gilbert asks you to have compassion for yourself for that confused thinking. I really recommend this as a positive and new approach to mental illness.

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