Getting from “OK” to “Better than OK”: Strategies for a more positive experience of your world
Maybe you don’t feel so great but are able to put on a “happy face” and get your jobs done. You perhaps are “OK” but you have a lot of unpleasant feelings (e.g., fear, worry, anger, embarrassment, sadness, depression, etc.). How can your change that experience to be better – at least better than OK. Really, it depends on what works best for you today. Sometimes people need to do (e.g. engage in an activity that has been proven to increase happiness) and other times people need to be (e.g. live in the moment with compassion and acceptance). Below are some different specific tasks and also some big picture ideas to support you.
If you are a person looking for something to do, some techniques from Positive Psychology may be helpful. There are many “happiness exercises” which are designed to increase your happiness and thus energy. Here are a few:
There are many more of these exercises on the Internet and there is even an app that has been created by the US Department of Veteran Affairs to help with coping with COVID-19 stress.
If you are a person into being, Buddhist Psychology provides other approaches to move towards improving your mood. Based off the work of Daya (2000), seven core Buddhist principles that you can apply to your life to move towards a more positive experience of the world are:
One does not need to commit to one path or the other. It is okay to switch between doing and being. As you notice more of the positives in your life and feel content with where you are, you may find you have more energy and a more positive experience of your world.
Daya, R. (2000). Buddhist psychology, a theory of change processes: Implications for counsellors. International Journal for the
Advancement of Counselling, 22(4), 257-271. doi:http://dx.doi.org.proxy.library.nyu.edu/10.1023/A:1005648127301
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Christy Hobza, Psy.D.