positive 1
Got through all my exercise classes tonight
Positive 2
A little cleaner air, no a lot cleaner and you could see the sky
Positive 3
Found some stuff tonight in the road. Someone had their car broken into and whoever did it just tossed the leftover in the street. so happy there was enough id on it for me to find the owner. She was happy too
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Positive #1: Irresponsibility.  Occassionally giving myself permission to be irresponsible means I get to PLAY.  It means I get to do only what I want to do.  Today I exercised my right to irresponsibility by CHOOSING not to go to my peer supervision group.  This allowed me some down time, some play time and a chance to be (dare I say it?) RESPONSIBLE in other areas (mowed the lawn).  Right now I’m going to be irresponsible by

Positive #2: The sprinkler system is broken.  I appreciate this situation because it gives me an opportunity to exercise my problem-solving skills.  Because of this, I tidied up the area in and around the sprinkler box – so it looks nicer.  It gave me the opportunity to go up and down the stairs a few times, thus getting a little exercise.  I will get the chance to use my Angie’s List subscription to find someone to fix it.  Finally, I will have the chance to put bread on someone’s table by employing them to take care of it.  I also really appreciate that there are professionals I can contact that can easily do what I either will or cannot do.

Positive #3: Back-up drives.  I really appreciate the back-up drives I purchased to keep everything, well, backed-up.  It’s great having two of them in two different places, so I know that even if there was a fire, one of them would survive.  This gives me peace of mind.  It’s also an ideal place to store all my music after ripping virtually our entire music collection.  If needed, they are also easily transportable and easy to plug into someone else’s computer.

 

Frank Clayton, The Happy Therapist

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Article published in KSL by Frank Clayton, LPC

SANPETE COUNTY — As families gathered in the auditorium of North Sanpete High School in Mt. Pleasant, Utah, they began to discuss the recent rash of suicides in Sanpete County in December of 2011. The small gathering of people were able to recall six suicides in just the last three weeks. The consensus was swift and unanimous: “It has to stop.”

In record time, the small band of citizens planned a candlelight vigil to raise awareness of the growing problem in Sanpete County. Sisters volunteered to organize the vigil, a brother created a Facebook page, a therapist started a grief group and an army of one delivered flyers from one end of the county to the other. The press was contacted.

The mission: Break the silence. The message: Talk about suicide. Ask the question, “Are you suicidal?” Get help.

Utah needs a lot of it. Recently, the Center for Disease Control revealed that Utah ranks No. 1 in terms of the number of residents contemplating suicide. The Utah Department of Health Violence and Injury Prevention Program reported that Utah has the eighth highest rate of suicidefor adults in the nation, and suicide is the second leading cause of death for Utahns ages 15- 19.Therural areas have a significantly higher suicide rates: namely Sevier, Piute, Wayne, Tooele, Carbon, Emery, Weber and Morgan Counties as well as the Glendale, Ben Lomond and Tricounty areas.

The numbers are staggering, but the grief etched into the faces of those people at North Sanpete High School was overwhelming.

Two weeks later, I stood before the Main Library in Mt. Pleasant, adding my candle to the light of nearly 100 residents of Sanpete County. As with all tragedies, they want to know why — why are their loved ones dying? It’s a fair question with an unfair answer: We do not know.

What we do know is that suicide is preventable.

We know what to watch fordepression, drug or alcohol use, moodiness, irritability, giving away prized possessions, anger, isolation, recklessness and language indicating hopelessness, feeling trapped, and considering suicide as an option. We know that a person who takes their life has usually had a crisis within two weeks and is likely struggling with one or more problems with things like physical health, employment, finances, with the law or at school. We also know that there is often easy access to firearms and pills.

We know that help is a phone call away: 1-800- SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433), 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) and the Trevor Project hotline for LGBTQ teens at 866-488- 7386.

We also know that when one person takes their life, it can lead others to follow suit. A young woman at the candlelight vigil shared that she attempted suicide two weeks after her cousin died by suicide. She said, “I thought if he could do it, so could I.”

As counselor Monte Hauck said, “People simply don’t know how to handle things, so they try to take care of a problem the only way they could.”

It is true. When one is thinking of taking their own life, they might see it as the only option — the only way to make the pain stop. This is a result of what positive psychologists call a downward spiral. The further down the hole one goes, the fewer options they perceive — even though, objectively, there are many, many, many alternatives to suicide.

Science has revealed a shockingly simple antidote to the downward spiral: counting your blessings. When one is in the clutches of the downward spiral, pessimism is rampant. By identifying a few positives, one can start to realize that life is not so bad and there is hope. The journey of the upward spiral begins.

Research has proven the pull of an upward spiral to be just as powerful as a downward spiral. Using the “three good things” intervention, the father of positive psychology Martin Seligman helped 94 percent of his depressed participants rise from the level of severely depressed to either moderately or mildly depressed in only 15 days. Considering that this was the only intervention used in the study and that it takes only a few minutes a day, the results are nothing short of miraculous.

This exercise is a staple of Happiness 101, a class using methods proven by empirical research to restore hope, lift depression and offer alternatives to suicide. The free class —which is now awebinar, also offered free of charge to help reduce suicide in Utah — uses simple yet scientifically-proven methods and techniques to help those in the grips of depression see that there is light at the end of the tunnel. For instance, when one makes a pessimistic statement, using the technique of disputation quickly and easily loosens the grip of pessimism. If one thinks, “I’m doomed,” and that thought goes unchecked, then one will have the emotional experience of hopelessness. However, if one simply asks oneself, “Is that really true?” the dark clouds of pessimism are easily broken, allowing hope to shine through.

There is hope. Suicide is preventable. If you are thinking of suicide, please call 1-800-SUICIDE.

To view the article complete with related stories and comments, go to KSL.

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Report from IPPA Conference, Day 3

Wow! What an absolutely amazing day! In case you’re just “tuning in”, today is day 3 of the 2nd Congress of the International Positive Psychology Association.
Here are the highlights:

  • Barbara Fredrickson (author of my #2 pick on Happiness, Positivity) talked about Love
  • Meeting Todd Kashdan and (what may be his last) talk at IPPA
  • Possible collaboration with positive psychologist and local, Lynn Johnson
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy with a Positive Spin
  • Positive Computing
  • Meeting Jane McGonigal and using her on-line game to enhance Happiness 101
  • How much you think you can do something effects whether (and how hard) you try *
  • The use of strengths in therapy – the intermediate lesson *
  • Gala and the National Constitution Center *

* I will report on these tomorrow.

It was much cooler today. A blessing for my walk to my third download of information in the realm of positive psychology, a.k.a. Happiness! As I walked through City Hall in (literally) the heart of Philadelphia, I hummed a little tune. I was distracted by the richness and variety of the people as I walked. Per haps distracted enough by the suits, the homeless, the street venders, the skaters and the provocative dress, the song’s lyrics did not bubble to the surface until in the shadow of the Downtown Marriott. I murmured, “All you need is love. Bump-ba bump-ba bump. All you need is love. Bump-ba bump-ba bump. All you need is love, love – love is all you need.” As I realized I was humming a Beatles standard, I also realized that the topic of Barbara Fredrickson’s talk was “Love: A new lens on the science of thriving” Continue reading Report from IPPA Conference, Day 3

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He had a bad, bad accident last night. He’s got five broken ribs and in a lot of pain, but he’s alive. He is SO important to me. He’s the last of 15 kids. I swear I can hear the timber of my father’s voice when he speaks. Today I am so glad my uncle is still with us.

 

Frank Clayton, the Happy Therapist

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