All about the mind Flourish Inside Out

Flourish Inside Out in 2017

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen a little photo go up about two weeks ago saying ‘great things ahead in 2017.’ Regulars to this space might know 2016 hasn’t been a good year for me mentally and neither was 2015. While 2016 had looked promising with a new job, we all know that didn’t work out. And yes, the move towards the end of the year has been great but I have been reflecting a lot on my year and my life in general.

I don’t want 2017 to be a repeat of these two years.

So I decided to take matters into my own hands and work on my wellbeing. In 2016, I’ve been reading about positive psychology.While working within a school, I read up a lot on positive psychology as we were aiming to use positive education approaches. After all, what better way to help prevent mental health problems than tackle an entire school community?

What is Positive Psychology

Unlike my initial assumption some years ago, turns out it’s not just about being happy, happy, happy. Rather, it is a strengths-based approach to help individuals and communities . Historically, and even today, psychology focusses on all that’s going wrong in our lives and how to work through it. It’s about our problems and as a psychologist, I know for a fact we are not trained in strengths-based approaches. Don’t get me wrong. I am still an advocate for diagnosing mental illnesses and approaches like CBT, ACT, DBT or even medication. But maybe, we could prevent a whole lot of those mental illnesses in the first place if we took a strengths-based approach to wellbeing.

Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology, has come up with a model to help individuals and communities flourish. It’s the PERMA model. Basically, for our wellbeing, we need Positive emotions, Engagement, positive Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishments in our lives. While he doesn’t mention physical health, I reckon vitality and health is just as important for our wellbeing. There is more research about these areas and how they are linked not just to better wellbeing and mental health, but also factors like resilience and grit.


So what does all this have to do with my plans for 2017?

The more I’ve been reading up on positive psychology, the more I figured I could use this approach to enhance my own wellbeing in 2017. You see, I am not inherently a positive person which is probably what made me susceptible to anxiety and depression in the first place. But research shows the more we cultivate our positive emotions, we can actually broaden our thought-action repertoire and thereby build our intellectual, physical and social resources. Research also shows by practising certain patterns of behaviours, we can retrain our brains to think more optimistically and therefore, feel happier.

So with this in mind, I decided on my journey to

Flourish Inside Out in 2017

  • Each month, I will focus on one positive emotion and the thoughts or actions associated with it.
  • I will post pictures on Instagram daily focussing on the emotion of the month. This can be something I see, experience or think about. You can join in by adding your own photos, drawings, or creative pieces.
  • Each month will commence with a post on the blog about that emotion.
  • At the end of each month, there will be a link-up on this blog where you can add a compilation of your photos, drawings, creative pieces or posts on that emotion for the month.
  • If you join in on Instagram, please use the following hashtags so I can follow your journey: #flourishin2017 #flourishinsideout #flourish365days
  • If you write a blog post, please promote using #flourishinsideout and #flourishin2017
  • If nothing else, do follow my flourishing journey!

Here’s a quick look at the emotions for the year:

Also, all this doesn’t mean we can’t feel the uncomfortable emotions of anxiety, sadness, anger etc. but that will take a whole post in itself. I will talk about that too shortly in addition to negativity bias and the positivity effect.

In the mean time, have a think about this and do join me on this journey to flourish inside out. And do follow me on Instagram or my Facebook page where the journey will kick off on 1st January 2017.

***Linking with Alicia for Open Slather, Denyse for Life this Week, Kylie for IBOT, Mackenzie for MG, and Corinne for Monday Musings***

Until next time,


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  • Denyse
    19 December 2016 at 8:29 pm

    What an encouraging and hopeful post Sanch! I saw Martin Seligman speak at the Opera House almost 3 years ago and he blew my mind..because he naturally comes from a pessimistic outlook as do I and when I learned of PERMA and the signature strengths I knew there was a lot in that for me. Then LIFE got in the way and the same old same old issues dogged me (and to a certain extent) still do. However, the work I am doing with the Self Compassion course with Kristin Neff and Brene Brown, along with becoming absorbed in the work of Dr Christopher Germer (Kristin’s colleague) I am S L O W L Y learning more about being kind to me as I would to another. Martin’s work on Signature strengths is referenced in the others’ work and I re-took the quiz and again my top one is “beauty and nature” and it explains why it is so helpful for me when I am feeling not great, to get out into nature and to notice..and to do my art and take pics. I think this is so helpful for me . I wish you well indeed! Denyse #lifethisweek
    Denyse recently posted…This Time Next Week. #LTW15. 366/338.My Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      19 December 2016 at 8:37 pm

      That would have been so awesome getting to see Seligman! I think learning that he too is a pessimist helped me take on his theories a lot more…if he can do it, so can I 🙂 I have Neff’s book on self-compassion and it’s something I’m hoping to read next year. I did my VIA character strengths and I know I’ve saved my answers somewhere…have to go back and look at it. I know courage was definitely in the top 5.

      Thanks Denyse…I’m hoping this is the change I need.

  • Nabanita Dhar
    19 December 2016 at 8:31 pm

    That’s a great approach, Sanch and I will definitely share this journey with you. This positive way of looking at things is so important and in my own way I have been trying, really trying. Ofcourse, I need to reset the counter every few days but it has been exciting to make the effort. So, come 2017, you’ll surely find me with you at some bends 🙂 All the best.
    Nabanita Dhar recently posted…#MommyTalks | The Mommy LunchboxMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      19 December 2016 at 8:42 pm

      It’d be great to have you on board Naba! I always look at the glass half empty and I’m really hoping to retrain my brain to start thinking optimistically. And yes, we will have trying times and down or worrying times but it’s about letting those stay in the moment while the future-focus is optimistic and positive.

  • Corinne Rodrigues
    19 December 2016 at 9:38 pm

    Love the idea, Sanch. This year I’m focusing on thinking positively about ‘work’ – the reason it’s in inverts is that I’ve been having far too much fun and not focusing on it as a business.
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted…7 Simple Ways to Design Your DayMy Profile

  • Obsessivemom
    19 December 2016 at 9:46 pm

    That’s a wonderful idea Sanch. I like the thought of taking charge of your own mental and emotional well-being. I really need something like this but I’m not quite sure how to go about it. Will watch out for your posts.
    Obsessivemom recently posted…Birthdays gifts and badly kept secretsMy Profile

  • Deepa
    19 December 2016 at 9:57 pm

    Loved the plan you have made there. It is important to start new year with new and positive thoughts. Hope we all can enter new year with positive thoughts and also stay positive throughout the year.
    Deepa recently posted…Are you a sporty mommy?My Profile

  • Amrita Basu (Misra)
    19 December 2016 at 11:56 pm

    I absolutely adore this idea .This Permanent model sounds awesome. I tried pinning an image from this post actually the PERMA pic buy couldn’t. I am going to join in.Already following on Insta .Positivity and good health go hand in hand.
    And as you correctly said physical health is important for everything else to work.
    Great post

  • Sheethalsusan
    20 December 2016 at 5:21 am

    This year has been and so far was an hell of an year. Personal and professional front it was just challenges only and the times I had lost myself was too much..I’m in this. It was my also my rigid decision to find more happiness and positiveness in 2017.

  • Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    20 December 2016 at 7:08 am

    Great post. Full of hope and positivity. And lovely sunshine colours.
    Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit recently posted…Day 2623 – the healing power of aloe veraMy Profile

  • Deborah
    20 December 2016 at 7:37 am

    That sounds great Sanch and what a wonderful ‘project’. I talked to a psychologist I was seeing recently about the whole ‘3 things I’m grateful for each day’ movement and she said that ‘forced’ (if you like) positivity does make a difference, so I want to try to do that more next year!
    Deborah recently posted…This time last week: holidays with friendsMy Profile

  • Vanessa
    20 December 2016 at 10:47 am

    I think strengths based would be a great idea for more support services. I am only speaking from some limited experiences – but for example when I was trying to get advice from my uni psychologist about coping with being sick and studying she sounded so overwhelmed by my life it did nothing to help me!
    I think being engaged is critical. I love the feeling of being swept up in something like a new TV show. It’s such a nice feeling. (Also why I’m so bored at this time of year pretending to be busy at work.)

  • Jodi Gibson
    20 December 2016 at 10:50 am

    Love, love, love this outlook Sanch, and looking forward to following along and joining in next year. I’m so glad you’re taking this on, I have the feeling that 2017 will be a wonderful year of change for you. Here’s to 2017.

  • Kylie Purtell
    20 December 2016 at 2:53 pm

    This sounds like a fabulous idea, Sanch, I definitely want to join in. I have spent most of this year in a weird personal fog, struggling after tafe finished at the end of 2015, and I could really do with a new mindset. I am really looking forward to following your journey and reading about all of the things you learn, hopefully I’ll learn something too! Thank you for being part of IBOT in 2016 xx
    Kylie Purtell recently posted…The future of IBOT {A new era} | IBOTMy Profile

  • jess
    20 December 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Wonderful idea, good luck with it! I’ll be following with interest 🙂
    jess recently posted…5 myths about positive peopleMy Profile

  • Renee Wilson
    20 December 2016 at 7:08 pm

    Gosh, Sanch. This is absolutely fascinating and it sounds like a great way to kick 2017 off on the right foot too. I’ll be sure to follow along on Insta 🙂

  • Sue
    21 December 2016 at 2:15 pm

    What a great idea. 2016 was not a great year for me so I’m looking forward to more positivity in 2017. I’m onboard with your positive idea. Here’s to a very happy 2017.

  • Alicia O'Brien
    21 December 2016 at 7:55 pm

    You know I never saw the benefit of psychology until I had to help my son last year. If it wasn’t for the attention and help I gave him when he needed it (ultimately getting him to go to a psychologist), I hate to think where he would be now. I have fully learnt, not to turn your back, or be complacent when it comes to your kids welfare.
    I am in awe of the work you do, and the help that you give people in your profession. I am love with the PERMA way of thinking.
    I am hopeless, with everything on my full plate, at keeping up with things, I fully support you on the fab initiative and will try to join in when I can xx
    Alicia O’Brien recently posted…A quiet visitor in a quiet momentMy Profile

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