It was lovely to hear you at the Bipolar Conference. You were very engaging and emphatic.
I am a journalist working with a Singapore based health website, PatientsEngage. It is a social enterprise aimed to provide support to patients, caregivers and other stakeholders in the management of chronic conditions. We endeavour to highlight methods and medications that help triumph over illnesses and health complications.
The questions for the interview are listed below. The focus is on –
‘Positive Psychology and its Effectiveness in Bipolar Disorder.’
- At a recent conference on Bipolar Disorder, you spoke about how positive psychology can help adults with depression or bipolar. What exactly is positive psychology?
Ans – Positive psychology is a scientific approach to studying human thoughts, feelings, and behaviour with a focus on strengths instead of weakness, building the good in life instead of repairing the bad, and taking the lives of average people up to “great” instead of focusing solely on moving those who are struggling up to “normal” (Peterson, 2008).
The term “positive psychology” is a broad one, encompassing a variety of techniques that encourage people to identify and further develop their own positive emotions, experiences, and character traits.
- What are the techniques used in positive psychology?
Ans – Psychologist Carol Kauffman, Director of the Coaching and Positive Psychology Initiative at Harvard’s McLean Hospital, discussed four techniques for integrating the principles of positive psychology.
- Reverse the focus from negative to positive
- Develop a language of strength
- Balance the positive and negative
- Build strategies that foster hope
- How do psychologists treat bipolar disorder?
(This is a generic question I feel, not focussed on Positive Psychology)
- What are the common positive traits in the bipolar spectrum?
(My topic/talk was on Positive Psychology for Mental Health, not specifically for Bipolar Disorder).
- In your talk, you mentioned that you were once suffered from depression and have now overcome it successfully? Could you tell us what did you do to manage your depression?
Ans – I was suffering from Depression since very young age, till around I was 40 years’ old. The day I started Yoga and Meditation, I learned many ways to manage my lows, stress and negative thoughts.
Slowly, I started following Yoga, Meditation, Walk, Run, Workouts, Balanced Diet religiously.
I started focusing on what I am good at. Also, I focused on strengthening my emotional/mental/spiritual and social health, made good friends, continued enhancing my knowledge and skills… I still do all these.
- As a professional life coach you focus on human empowerment by re-engineering the mindset? What do you mean by this?
Ans – Till the age of around 2 years, we are normally very close to the source(the Universe), hence we do not understand fear, sadness, anger or any such dis-empowering traits. Slowly, as we began to understand languages, relationships, responses, reactions…. We slowly move away from the source and become part of this world. And we start wearing masks family, school, teachers, friends, society offer us.
The day we are hit badly by life and realize things are not the way it would have been… we try figuring out the ways to get back to our natural self.
And to live a meaningful/purposeful life, we must re-engineer our mindsets to start exploring our own self.
- Why do you think positive psychology is needed in today’s society?
Ans – There is no other way but to remain positive in all circumstances. I generally talk about 5 types of health, for a fulfilling life. They are;
- Physical Health
- Mental Health
- Emotional Health
- Spiritual Health
- Social Health
And to achieve all these, we must remain motivated, grateful, peaceful… we have to think positive, feel positive, act positive and live positive.
- Could you tell us 5 positive psychology exercises that can help train our brain to be more positive?
- Count your Blessings
- Practice Kindness
- Learn to live in the present moment
- Practice Meditation
- Have and follow your daily/weekly/monthly/yearly goal