In a recent Positive Psychology module, we were tasked with choosing an area of Positive Psychology most meaningful to us as individuals. As part of this exercise it was essential for each student to identify a project or an idea and by way of a reflective journal, explore and summarise a theory associated with this idea and within the space of 10 to 12 weeks, apply this theory to their individual lives. At this point I thought how daunting an exercise this would be but looked forward to getting started on this journey of self-discovery and actualization.
A reflective journal centred on my feelings and thoughts of the entire exercise, would according to the definition of reflection by Boud, Keogh and Walker (Boud, Keogh and Walker, 1985) detail and recall events and/or experiences , make connections with and explore these experiences and in the process come up with a new understanding of the subject of interest (andrusyszyn and Davie, 1997) (Alvesson and Skoldberg, 2000).
My focus was on happiness and activities that could enhance, sustain and promote it. In filling out the Person-Activity-Fit diagnostic questionnaire and sourcing ‘happiness-boosting’ exercises best suited to my personality as suggested by Sonja Lyubomirsky (Lyubomirsky, 2010) I scored 5 and above on three activities- Practicing Religion and Spirituality(6), Practicing acts of kindness(5.5) and Expressing Gratitude (5). I scored 4 on cultivating optimism and also in savouring life’s joys which were additional activities which fit and correlates with the first three. These activities were to form the basis upon which my journal entries were made. I also checked my progress by way of the Oxford happiness scale (Lyubomirsky, 2010).
In achieving happiness, Sonya Lyubomirsky et al (2004) illustrates that an individual can find happiness in different spheres of life and can boost and sustain it by consciously making an effort to carry out different happiness boosting activities…