This week marks the end of this project sharing positive psychology exercises and the science behind them. 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. Suzie’s work embodies what Davidson’s psychology senior capstone calls “giving psychology away” – translating high-quality research findings to be accessible and valuable to a wide audience. She has done so in a range of formats, including a blog for Psychology Today, her book Happy Together: Using the Science of Psychology to Build a Love that Lasts (co-written with her husband, James Pawelski, Ph.D.), and articles in publications like Scientific American Mind – check out this feature article, “The Happy Couple.” Her most recent blog post discusses the science behind “emotional contagion” – reminding us that the need to be mindful of what we spread to others isn’t limited to disease.
Suzie’s most recent project is an online series, Coping with Covid. In these episodes, Larry King (yes, that Larry King!) and Dr. James Pawelski interview experts in positive psychology to give you trustworthy advice about applying the science of well-being during these stressful times. You can check out the first five episodes now, which tackle topics like maintaining social connections while physically distancing, reducing anxiety and working effectively from home, and understanding the relationship between your well-being and your immune system. You can learn more about the series on their website or follow them on Facebook for updates.
I hope that you find these resources helpful as you head into the summer!
Today’s Expert: Suzann Pileggi Pawelski, M.A.P.P.
Episode 1: In the introduction to this series, Larry King and Dr. James Pawelski discuss escaping the 24-hour news cycle.
Episode 2: Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky discusses strategies for working at home, increasing your positive emotions, and reducing anxiety.
Episode 3: Dr. Jane Dutton answers questions about connecting with others while physically distancing.
Episode 4: Dr. John Ratey shares research on the way exercise changes the neurochemistry of the brain and can boost your immune functioning.
Upcoming episodes will include experts like Dr. Aaron Beck, the founder of cognitive therapy, sharing strategies for changing your thinking to manage anxiety and worry, and Dr. Judith Moskowitz, who will discuss ways to find resilience in the midst of crisis.
Check out this article co-authored by James Pawelski, one of the co-hosts of Coping With Covid, which discusses the ways in which storytelling might play an important role in positive interventions.
Tomasulo, D. J., & Pawelski, J. O. (2012). Happily ever after: The use of stories to promote positive interventions. Psychology, 3(12), 1189. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/psych.2012.312A176
Abstract: People turn to myriad ways to achieve happiness, such as physical pleasures, relationships, or the achievement of goals. Success in these endeavors varies, however, and may not be sustainable. Recent advances in scientific research may be able to help, with a number of studies suggesting that people have the power to increase happiness through intentional activities. Narrative is one of the most pervasive and promising elements of positive interventions, and stories play a significant role both in psychological research and in application. A proposal is made that stories should be used more frequently as a vehicle to demonstrate and encourage the use of positive interventions, and a suggestion is made on how to collect and disseminate them.