Daily Social Ping
Social connections are an integral part of building Mental Resilience.
It can be very beneficial to invest in social capital. Positive interactions with people during the day have been proven to return your cardiovascular systems to a resting level and over a long period of time this can insulate you from the negative effects of stress. It has also been proven that every connection lowers the stress hormone Cortisol.(1)
When we make a positive social connection, oxytocin is released in our blood. This pleasure inducing hormone has five core benefits(2):
- Reduces anxiety
- Improves focus
- Improves concentration
- Boosts our cardiovascular system
- Boosts our immune system
If we do not pursue social connections, our body is effected as well. This includes
- Increased blood pressure, by as much as 30 points(3)
- Increased incidents of major depression(4)
Exercise: Build a 'Social Ping' List. In his book 'Never Eat Alone' Keith Ferrazzi refers to the process of building and maintaining relationships as 'Pinging.' For this exercise, make a list of 30 FRIENDS that you have not spoken with consistently. Please avoid co-workers and family for this exercise. Call (Not text or email) someone every day.
(1) Heaphy, E., & Dutton, J.E. (2008) (HA)
(2) Happiness Advantage, p177
(3) Hawkley, L.C. (HA)
(4) Blackmore, E. R. Et Al
'Four P' Check
This is a simple exercise designed to train your mind to look for the positive things in life. The exercise is done right before you go to bed each night.
Each night, you will answer the following four questions in your journal:
Person - How did I lift someone up today?
Purpose - What did I do today to support my PURPOSE (or figure out my purpose)?
Problem - What problem did I handled well today?
Positive - What was the most positive thing that happened to me today?
Journaling The Positive
Readings: HA p100
Learning how to be optimistic takes work, especially if you have struggled with your mental health. This task is designed to help train your brain to be on the lookout for positive things in your life.
Spend 15 minutes before bed journaling all of the positive things that happened that day.
Give One Daily Complement
In the process of building a solid positive psychology foundation, intention is the key. One way to speed the process up is to look for the positive in other people. Taking it a step further, letting people know how feel helps both them and you!
Give one unsolicited, genuine compliment each day. Record the compliment in your journal.
Deliberate Act of Kindness
Readings: HA p52
There is a great deal of empircal research that points to the stress reducing benefits of altruism. It has also been found that it can have a positive effect on your mental health.
Once per day, deliberately do something kind for someone. Record the act in your journal.