As a follow-up to my earlier posts on the psychology of well-being, I am writing today to discuss the relationship between racism and well-being. We live in a systematically and explicitly racist society that perpetuates White supremacy. The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor (among many others) cannot be fully explained and […]
Well-Being Interventions for Psychology Students
The events of the past few weeks, and the ways in which they have changed our daily lives, have been a source of great stress for many of us. This stress can have a range of effects on our well-being and mental health; many people respond to stress with increased anxiety, sadness, or irritability. You might notice this physically, as well – feeling more tense, or noticing changes in your sleeping or eating patterns.
The field of psychology has a lot to offer us at this time. In particular, over the past twenty years, the field of positive psychology has generated great insights into strategies and behaviors that we can use to cultivate well-being and manage stress – even in the face of challenging circumstances.
I will be writing to share information about positive psychology exercises that are supported by strong research evidence as activities that can promote various elements of well-being. Along with information about the exercises, I’ll share information about the research behind them.
I hope you find these resources useful as we navigate the challenges of these very unusual circumstances. I encourage you all to prioritize your well-being – both physical and emotional – and wish you and your loved ones the best of health.
Positive Psychology Exercises for the Summer – & Beyond!
In this final email, I am sharing a resource that I hope will help you continue to use psychology in your own life over the summer – and to learn more about the science of well-being in the process. The app Happify brings together psychologists and technology experts and draws on the principles behind gaming […]
Coping With COVID – and More!
Instead of suggesting individual exercises, my posts this week will share sets of resources that you can use to identify new exercises and learn more about well-being. Today, I’m excited to share a message and set of resources from Suzann Pileggi Pawelski, M.A.P.P., a freelance writer whose work focuses on the science of well-being and positive relationships.
Check Out “The Great Space”
Today, I’m excited to share a positive exercise from a group of current Davidson students: Chloe deBeus, Christos Koumpotis and Rachel McLean are finishing their semester in the Davidson in Silicon Valley program. They created today’s exercise, “The Great Space,” as a capstone project for their work with Adjacent Academies in San Francisco.
Take a Picture with Dr. Marie Forgeard
Today’s expert, Dr. Marie Forgeard, shares her perspective on the intersection between creativity and well-being. Her positive exercise – taking a creative picture – provides an opportunity to practice creative thinking, and to reflect on your own creative process.
Values Card Sort with Dr. Ann Marie Roepke
As Davidson students head into the final week of classes and begin their final exams, this week I am excited to share a set of exercises from experts in positive psychology.
Today’s exercise, the Values Card Sort, is shared by Dr. Ann Marie Roepke. Its theme is pursuing your core values – even, or especially, when feeling anxious or down.
Faith-Based & Secular Gratitude Practices
Today’s exercises are taken from a study demonstrating the efficacy of a faith-based gratitude intervention specifically developed to promote well-being among Muslim university students. As the authors describe, they “adapted the gratitude intervention strategies to harmonise them with the Islamic perspective – the understanding of human nature and happiness.”
Happy Family Kitchen
I was excited to learn about today’s study, which evaluates a positive psychology intervention built around cooking and eating together. The intervention promotes five themes: joy, gratitude, flow, savoring, and listening. I have shared the activities from this “Happy Family Kitchen” intervention. and encourage you to adapt these ideas for your household!
Today’s exercise integrates the first well-being activity I shared with you, Three Good Things, with Naikan meditation – a Japanese reflective practice build around three key questions:
- What have I received?
- What have I given?
- What troubles and difficulties have I caused?
Strengthen Your Social Connections
Many of the interventions that I have shared with you over the past few weeks have focused on activities that you can do as an individual to enhance your well-being. Today’s exercise adapts a social connectedness intervention that was initially developed for the workplace by encouraging you to find new ways to connect with others within our institution.