logo

dr-james-hawkins

  • icon-cloud
  • icon-facebook
  • icon-feed
  • icon-feed
  • icon-feed

Deepening our enjoyment & appreciation of life

A sense of meaning, connection to our values and real engagement in what we do are crucial to nourish high wellbeing in our lives … and then high wellbeing feeds back to help us be more vital & effective in what we do.  But it’s important too to ‘smell the flowers’ on our journey.  Excessive focus on being happy is likely to be counter-productive but being too ‘puritanical’ tends to shoot ourselves in the foot as well.  The fascinating work of Barbara Fredrickson on the 'broaden & build’ function of positive/pleasurable emotions illustrates the way that deepening our enjoyment & appreciation of life doesn’t just balance energy & effectiveness, it actually boosts these qualities.  A high emotional

  • Reappraisal training can help hugely in coping with difficult experiences

    Reappraisal (changing the meaning we give to experiences) has been repeatedly shown to be one of the most effective ways we have to regulate our emotions.  It's one of the star components of effective emotion-regulation, coping-skill toolkits ... and it's important to realise that these toolkits can be very helpful (De Castella, 2017).  Reappraisal is important across a variety of difficult states ... depression (Cheng, 2017), anxiety (Goldin, 2017), anger, interpersonal conflict, minor hassles (Richardson, 2017), and major life difficulties.

    European Positive Psychology conference: 3rd day - prioritizing positivity, befriending, compassion genetics, & transcendence

    I wrote yesterday about the "European Positive Psychology conference: better 2nd day - culture, use of strengths, loving-kindness, education & passion".  This third day was also full to bursting with intriguing presentations.  Barbara Fredrickson gave the 9.00am keynote on "Why prioritize positivity?". Barbara is a bit of a star of the positive psychology world, so having her on first looked a good way of encouraging conference attendees to arrive on time.  Sayyed Fatemi spoke on "Positive psychology and psychology of possibility".

    European Positive Psychology conference: 1st day - a disappointing start & caution on over-selling mindfulness

    I'm in Angers, France at the 8th European Conference on Positive Psychology.  Yesterday I went to a couple of pre-conference workshops and then attended the Opening Ceremony and the first keynote lecture.  The conference venue is lovely, on the edge of Angers Botanic Gardens.  It feels too that the organising group here have put in a huge amount of work to try to make the conference a success ... so many thanks to them.  So why do I say that I found the first day disappointing ... and actually quite worrying?  

    A day spent "idle & blessed": revisiting an experiment - savouring & "positive state mindfulness"

    Last September I went back to Cambridge for a reunion ... the first time I'd ever been back to school or university for such a thing.  It was an experiment in "emotional archaeology" and I wrote a series of blog posts about it.  At one stage I experimented with a dialogue between the 22 year old and the current 62 year old versions of me.  In the post "Going back for a university reunion: self-esteem, hallucinogens, wonder & the transpersonal", I wrote "I changed subject too from philosophy to medicine (in 1970).

    Update on website traffic: my own favourite top 15 (11-15) - exercise, lifestyle, writing, goal setting & positive psychology

    Earlier this year I used Google Analytics to identify the most read pages on this website and I wrote the post "Update on website traffic: the ten most popular blog posts". I then wondered - "What are my own personal favourites?" and I quickly realised that the posts that I've written that have had the most impact on me and my practice as a therapist are nearly always made up of sequences of blog posts rather than just individual items. I said that glancing back over the last year or so, themes that stood out included mindfulness, therapist feedback, self-control, conflict, embodied cognition and positive psychology. Going further back still there are the posts about interpersonal groupwork, relationships, therapeutic writing, walking in nature, compassion, exercise, healthy lifestyle, attachment and goal setting.

    Syndicate content