Seven Positive Psychology Skills
As we built Vivibot, the content was built out in a casual, conversational format to support the needs of the community, and then we looked to the scientific community for a way to teach positive psychology skills, increase positive emotions, and decrease stress and anxiety. We worked closely with several different researchers with expertise in this field: Dr. Bradley Zebrack, whose work with cancer survivors informed how we think about the trajectory of their mental health outcomes; Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, a researcher whose Kindness in the Blood study examines the biological impact of doing kind things for other people; and Judith Moskowitz, Ph.D., who’s been instrumental in pulling together a health adversity intervention that combines seven specific positive psychology skills that we feature in the chatbot:
Noticing and Savoring Positive Events. It’s important to recognize and acknowledge positive events that happen each day. Even small events can have a positive impact on mood and the ability to handle stress.
Practicing Gratitude. Gratitude is another way to savor a positive event. Think about things that you’re genuinely grateful for and not things that you think you should be grateful for.
Positive Reappraisal. This skill focuses on acknowledging that we can control how we think and feel about a situation and can reorient our thinking to see the positive side of things.
Random Acts of Kindness. Doing kind things for others can improve your physical health. Even small acts of kindness, such as “paying it forward” can increase your positive emotion.
Mindfulness. Mindfulness is a particular way of paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, with a non-judgmental and accepting attitude. Mindfulness can make bad things seem less overwhelming and allows you to put more energy into dealing with things rather than worrying about them.
Attainable Goals. Setting and achieving goals make us feel good, but short-term, modest goals are the ones that are likely to help us experience positive emotion on a daily basis.
Personal Strengths. Everyone has a unique set of strengths, talents, skills and positive qualities. Recognizing your own strengths can help you better cope with stressful things in your life.