Accumulating Positive Emotions
Sometimes in life things can get really hectic! Perhaps work takes over, or family commitments overwhelm you, or perhaps you simply get caught up in the day-to-day tasks of living. Very recently I was reminded of the importance of accumulating positive emotions, even in the short-term, and the amazingly good impacts this can have on your mental health. Over time I had noticed that lots of the things that give me pleasure had simply slipped off my radar – to me it seems work will expand to take up as much time as I’ll allow. So lately I have been focussing on some of the activities from the pleasant events list and prioritising this in my day. I have been pro-actively organising to spend more time with friends during the week. I have enjoyed the sense of mastery and competence that comes from learning a new skill. I have been stopping during my morning walk to one-mindfully participate in a cup of coffee in a local café. I have been allowing myself to watch TV shows that capture my attention, and last night I even picked up my (rather dusty) guitar and strummed a few tunes! The trick, of course, is to schedule pleasant events, to ensure that there is something to look forward to every day. I wonder if this afternoon I’ll see you browsing the shops in West End? Perhaps tomorrow night you too will be enjoying time with friends? And maybe on the weekend I’ll bump into you at the movies or at GOMA? It’s hard to imagine just how effective pleasant events scheduling is at lifting your mood until you actually do it.