“If clouds are blocking the sun, there will always be a silver lining that reminds me to keep on trying.”
― Matthew Quick, the Silver Linings Playbook
The phrase silver lining has become the go-to cliché for any hopeful or comforting prospect in the midst of difficulty. When something bad happens, it can seem like the end of the world. Every setback is a disaster, every mistake catastrophic, and it’s tempting to focus on difficulties and make them bigger than they really are. It is easy to imagine the worst and to despair because things seem impossible in our minds.
With November being the month of the inspirational Thrive for students, staff and faculty at UBC, here are eight ways to get in the spirit to find your silver lining and to roll with life’s punches.
- Meditate: An abundance of recent research reveals that people who meditate daily display more positive emotions that those who do not. In one particular study by Fredrickson et al., it was found that people who meditated daily display increased mindfulness, purpose in life, social support, and decreased illness symptoms.
- Be You: How boring would it be if we were all the same? Trying to live up to or exceed someone else’s personal best is a losing game. Focus on being the best you that you can be.
- Take an Online Course: Click hereto sign up for a range of self-paced, private, and personalized learning e-courses, from UBC’s EFAP provider Homewood Health, designed to improve personal health and well-being. Choose topics such as Responsible Optimism, Resilience, Taking Control of Stress, and more.
- Remember the Great Times: A study published in the Journal of Research in Personality, examined a group of 90 undergraduate students who were split into two groups. The first group wrote about an intensely positive experience each day for three consecutive days. The second group wrote about a control topic. Three months later, the students who wrote about positive experiences had better mood levels, fewer visits to the health center, and experienced fewer illnesses.
- Exercise consistently: At least 30 minutes of exercise several times a week, to strengthen muscles and to burn calories. Improve your physical strength, and you may feel a sense of empowerment that can dramatically enhance your self-esteem.
- Mood and Food: Pay attention to your food choices and nourish your body. Buy healthier foods and prepare well-balanced meals to help give you energy and feel like your best self – not sluggish and lethargic. Click here for some inspiration.
- Explore a passion: Whether it’s a side job, hobby, or a volunteer activity, pursuing your passion in even a small way can lead to a sense of purpose and significantly improve your overall happiness and quality of life.
- Seek professional help if you need it: Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to face routine chores. If these feelings last for a while, talk to your doctor.
Silver Linings Playbook – Robson Square Thrive Movie Screening
Celebrate Thrive 2014 with a FREE movie screening at Robson Square on November 7th at 6pm, with FREE POPCORN from Lazy Gourmet. Thrive is a week-long series of events focused on building positive mental health for UBC students, faculty, and staff. Thrive is also a mindset. We all have mental health, and we can each strengthen our mental health by learning about it, thinking about it, talking about it, and discovering new skills and resources to help us Thrive all year long. Click here for more information or to register.
About Silver Linings Playbook: Life doesn’t always go according to plan. Pat Solitano has lost everything – his house, his job, and his wife. He now finds himself living back with his mother and father after spending eight months in a state institution on a plea bargain. Pat is determined to rebuild his life, remain positive and reunite with his wife, despite the challenging circumstances of their separation. All Pat’s parents want is for him to get back on his feet. When Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own, things get complicated. Tiffany offers to help Pat reconnect with his wife, but only if he’ll do something very important for her in return. As their deal plays out, an unexpected bond begins to form between them.