I hope you are enjoying your day. As I mentioned at the DPA meeting yesterday morning, we are in the homestretch, and this time of year is always a bit crazy. I encourage you to set aside some down time to be with your family each day if possible – even if this means a 20-minute family dinner. These moments of calm amid a storm of sports games, performances, papers, and projects can provide a much-needed respite for your children.
I came across a very interesting article in the Wall Street Journal the other day about the healing power of good spin. The article details a couple of different studies that investigated the effect on mental health of reframing one’s personal narrative in a positive way. The author goes on to say that it’s more complex than simply having a positive attitude. The two studies asked people to write down their personal narratives, and then they followed the progress of the people over several years. Those who had framed their personal narratives in a positive context had better mental health than those who had not. The three main components that the positive narratives had in common are listed below.
- Agency: this has to do with feeling able to influence one’s own destiny, if you will, rather than feeling pushed around by the fates or by others
- Communion: as suggested, this has to do with feeling connected to others
- Redemption: this involves taking a potentially negative experience and finding the positive within it
These positive personal narratives also lacked what the researchers call contamination, which involves talking about good things becoming bad.
One interesting component of the... » read more