Positive Pyschology 

Next up at NAP is Sukh Pabial on positive pyschology. 

He starts with a question to the audience:

‘When did you last feel vibrant?’

His challenge: Why don’t we allow these feelings to happen often and purposefully?  Instead, the mostly are just happenstance. Why couldn’t we deliberately live a better life? 

We have to get a myth out of the way first. Positive psychology isn’t positive thinking. It is part of it but not all of it. Positive thinking stops being useful when you can’t positively think your way out of something.  Worse still, is when someone has a serious mental health condition – you can’t just tell them to think positive. Positive thinking has limitations. 

Moving people from feeling bad to feeling normal isn’t enough. Why aren’t we helping people to thrive and to be vibrant? This is the basis of positive psychology. 

Now – everyone in the audience is asked to do the practise of Three Good Things.  Reflect for a few moments on those positive things that have happened. Write them down, tweet them. Get into the habit; there are benefits to bring the positive aspects of our daily lives forward into conscious thought. 

Now onto relationships. A healthy relationship has a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative interactions. How much do you appreciate your partner?  How these interactions, the language we use and the way we respond is also a habit. 

Positive psychology isn’t about living in la la land. It isn’t about pretending or faking it or appreciating someone if you don’t really mean it. Sometimes life is rubbish. It passes or you find a way to deal with it. 

Finally, Sukh introduces us to the concept of the third place. Somewhere you can go and do something that makes you happy, without judgement.  No justification. A place in which you can find flow. Did anyone ever tell you that you can have a third place – or even that you should have one?  A place, an activity, something that is just for you and only you.  A place from which you can draw strength.  

What I loved about this session?  Sukh standing up with no slides. The tweetbeam on the wall behind him, showing the tweets from this session and the others taking place at the same time.  Lots of talking in the room, but not a single post it note or sheet of flip chart paper.  Session blogged about and shared before it even began. Questions from and dialogue with the delegates throughout. A model for how to run a conference session. 

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