Coun 545 - Day One

Coun 545 - Day One

HAPPINESS AND WELL-BEING LW49 STAKEHOLDER GATHERING OCTOBER 21, 2019 JOHN SOMMERS-FLANAGAN, PH.D. UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF COUNSELING SPONSORED BY BIG SKY YOUTH EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM (BYEP) [email protected] OR FOR INFO: https://johnsommersflanagan.com/

INTRODUCTIONS John SF University of Montana Blogging at johnsommersflanagan.com And you . . . ? LETS TALK HAPPINESS

BACKGROUND Suicide assessment Happiness is fragile The Instagram/Facebook effect Well-being ROADS TO WELL-BEING Emotional Cognitive or mental

Social or interpersonal Physical Spiritual and cultural Behavioral WHY IS IT SO HARD? Ironically, for many of us, our natural inclination is to nearly always do the opposite of what will create well-being

Life Dimension Suicide Well-being Emotional

Excruciating and unremitting Emotional expression; distress separate from self Cognitive/Mental Hopelessness; impaired problem-solving

Social/ Interpersonal Thwarted belonging and perceived burden Creative problemsolving; accurate, helpful thoughts

Social belonging and feeling useful Physical Agitation; pain; poor physical health; addiction Exercise, breathing,

physical self-soothing Spiritual/Cultural Meaninglessness; spiritual isolation Living with meaning

Behavioral Behaviors with suicidal intent Safety planning and positive actions THE EMOTIONAL

ROADS TO WELL-BEING The Pennebaker study are writing about trivia are writing about thoughts and deeper emotions Outcomes: Fewer medical visits; better immune functioning; happier THE OPPOSITE OF

EMOTIONAL WELLNESS In the emotional dimension, theres a tendency to choke off emotional expression . . . and avoid thinking about trauma . . . rather than actively exploring emotional pain and making meaning around it COGNITIVE ROADS

TO WELL-BEING Your thoughts influence your physical and emotional well-being Cherries Whats good about you? COGNITIVE STRATEGIES Mindfulness meditation CBT on views of self, others, future

Creative problem-solving Savoring SAVORING What is savoring? Deliberate effort to extend and expand positive experiences Track and review fun (one funny thing from today)

Track and review meaning (one meaning ful thing from today) Create, discuss, time travel THE OPPOSITE OF SAVORING We often dampen or spoil good experiences, while savoring or chewing on our mistakes Anybody ever get stuck chewing on the

negative or spoiling the positives? We lean toward distractions, rather than mindful acceptance of what is SOCIAL ROADS TO WELL-BEING Old theory from Alfred Adler Belongingness Socially useful These two social factors reduce suicidality (Joiner, 2005)

SOCIAL ROADS TO UNHAPPINESS An internal revenge philosophy Many internal factors (anxiety, inhibition, self-consciousness) stop us from stepping up and being useful

PHYSICAL ROADS TO WELLBEING The DATE Study (Depression in adolescence treated with exercise) But how do we get them to breathe and stretch (exercise!) Gentle, Loving, and Consenting Touch But we need to be careful here

SPIRITUAL/CULTURAL ROADS TO WELL-BEING Active pursuit of meaning But its so easy to watch television and play on Instagram Regular involvement in spiritual, religious, or social justice groups But staying home can feel good in the moment

ACTIVITY: GRATITUDE Write a postcard or letter or email or text or IM of gratitude to a person you value Even better: Tell the person directly Results?? Not about the response. Visualize . . . Who do you tell . . . in this room? STUNNING CONCLUSION

Well-being requires intention, effort, and reminders QUESTIONS???

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