Martin E. P. Seligman has studied positive psychology for years and wrote this wonderful book about how one can learn the habits and thinking of optimistic people. In his book, he explains 3 main differences between happy people and unhappy people. When negative events come into our lives we have a choice about how to view and respond to them. Problems come when we see the negative event as: being long term, affecting all of our life, and seeing ourselves as at fault or the cause of the event. This thinking is rarely ever true and leads to discouragement. A healthier way to see negative events is as follows: It is temporary, it is effecting only parts of our life, and it was not purposefully cause by ourselves but it is just a part of the human experience sometimes. Thinking about these negative events and challenges this way leads to empowerment – the opposite of discouragement. Try to use this in your life. Teach your children this when they have struggles. This is a very practical intervention to use and it will help.
By: Darren J. Gillespie, LCSW