Author: Crystal Morris, M.Ed., LPC

Complete wellness begins with positive steps towards well-being. According to Seligman (2002), The two major themes of improving the human condition is to reduce the negative things in life and enhance the positive. However, mainstream psychology focuses largely on the first strategy; Positive Psychology emphasizes the second.

"Positive Psychology is the scientific study of positive human functioning that enables individuals and communities to thrive" (International Positive Psychology Association, 2007). Seligman’s PERMA model of well-being (Seligman, 2002a, 2012, 2018) suggests five pillars of well-being that are optimal in feeling good which consists of positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishments. Researchers have shown that the five pillars of PERMA are linked to lower depression and higher fulfillment in life (Asebedo & Seay, 2014). In addition, positive psychology highlights three areas of well-being:

Positive Emotions - joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, love Positive Individual traits - compassion, optimism, and resilience Positive Institutions - families, social, relationships, communities Furthermore, counselors can take a positive psychology approach to their well-being by incorporating positive psychology interventions (PPIs). PPIs exercises encourages resilience, growth, happiness, and overall well-being (Rashid & Seligman, 2018). By integrating PPIs, counselors and caregivers can manage their self-care needs. Some examples of PPI’s are savoring experiences, gratitude journaling, mindfulness meditation, and strength awareness. Counselors and caregivers in a state of constant stress can benefit from PPIs and apply it to their regular self-care routine. By the same token, if counselors are not adequately taking care of their basic needs such as sleep, eating, and exercising to reduce stress, it could interfere with their ability to thrive in life. When counselors take the necessary steps towards positive well-being, this involves self-awareness and action to address total mental health wellness. To create total balance, the mind, body, and spirit must be stable. Additionally, self-care looks different for everyone. Self-care practices should involve things we do to maintain good health, enjoy, and improve our well-being. These self- care areas are physical, emotional, social, spiritual, personal, and professional.

Below are some suggestions and steps to create a regular self-care regimen. Being kind to yourself Exercise regularly Start a new hobby or learn a new skill Have fun or be creative Help others Relax and meditate Eating healthy Get adequate sleep Connect with others Be aware of excess alcohol and drug effects See the bigger picture Acceptance As counseling professionals, we can follow some basic tips to self-care, such as setting measurable goals, establishing healthy boundaries to protect self-care, and making self-care a habit (Therapist Aid, 2020). When counselors tune in to their own self-care needs and wellness, they are capable of giving their best to clients and others. Myers et al. (2016) suggest that counselor wellness in the field of counselor education is linked to three factors; shared values, connections, and mentoring. The discussion of wellness in counselors is necessary for the counseling profession. Who will take care of the counselor when they need support? When counselors take an active part in their wellness, then can they capitalize on being their best self.

Helpful Resources for Counselors

References Asebedo, S. D., & Seay, M. C. (2014).Positive psychological attributes and retirement satisfaction.Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning, 25(2), 161. Home. International Positive Psychology Association (2020, April 20). Retrieved from Myers, J. E., Trepal, H., Ivers, N., & Wester, K. L. (2016). Wellness of counselor educators: Do we practice what we preach? Journal of Counselor Leadership and Advocacy, 3(1), 22-30. Rashid, T., & Seligman, M. P. (2018). Positive psychotherapy: Clinician manual. Oxford University Press. Therapy Worksheets. (n.d.). Retrieved from -worksheets Seligman, M. E. (2002) Positive psychology, positive prevention, and positive therapy. Handbook of positive psychology, 2(2002), 3-12. Seligman, M. E. (2012). Flourish: A visionary new understanding of happiness and well- being. Simon and Schuster. Seligman, M. (2018). PERMA and the building blocks of well-being. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 13(4), 333-335.

There are risks that affect your mental health when your screen time isn’t managed properly. In this article I will share tips to help manage your time and protect your mental health. Depending on social media for news and current events, three things occur:

1. Misinformed- Some people use social media as their official news resource as opposed to local news for current events and information. We depend on our friend’s newsfeed on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates. Social media reporters and social media experts for all things news and current events is what some prefer because they have to stay connected to the digital world on a constant basis. Pew research center reported 62% of people get their news from social media sites. Is this always the right information? (Risk) No, because people tend to enhance social media news further than what was actually reported or researched.

2. Social media algorithms- an entire separate issue. Social media sites show in the newsfeed the culture of the person’s clicks and may only show topics relevant to the person’s likes, shares, comments and interests, posting the same topics repeatedly. If the person doesn’t bother clicking the link to read the article for themselves, they depend on the caption or the article’s title to influence their feelings about the article, leaving them more absent from the facts. (Risk) The result, people not receiving the actual facts and/or the official report and not forming their own, but the persons opinion of the issue.

3. Mental health risks- include the heightening of emotions triggering anger, anxiety, depression and sadness due to what’s trending on social media. (Risk) Individuals are now carrying their own and all of their social media friend’s emotions.

How can I learn to concentrate better and find a balance between normal life and digital distraction?

Social media can make the loudest noise. Replace digital time with other soothing activities other than social media by shutting the noise off. It all boils down to emotional management. For a person with weaker emotional abilities here are a few tips to help balance and stay focused on what’s important.

1. Morning routine- devotion, exercise, eating breakfast, writing daily goals

2. Schedule digital time. This includes social media time and phone time in general. Make phone time 30 minutes or an hour at certain times throughout the day, perhaps once or twice per day.

3. Quiet time- meditation, nap, reading, classical or instrumental music

4. Do something you enjoy doing- family time, hobby, side hustle, volunteering.

5. Gratitude journal- write down three things you’re grateful for before going to bed.

Abeni Celeste Scott, M.S.

Positive Living

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April showers bring May flowers. We hope that your May is filled with an Abundance of Love. Focus on your home this month, clearing it from clutter to give you the consciousness your Soul desires. Make your home welcoming and fill it with positive energy, make it your sanctuary overflowing with Love.  Love from Crystal & Celeste 


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