It’s completely normal to feel on edge at the beginning of a new semester. New classes, new professors, new people…all of this combines to be pretty overwhelming for many students (and staff and professors!). You may have heard the quote that “your mindset controls your reality”, but what does that actually look like in our day-to-day lives? A field called Positive Psychology suggests when we infuse our lives with a little more gratitude and a little less pessimism, our reality becomes a lot more positive. Our quality of life increases, our outlook becomes more optimistic, and we handle life’s twists and turns a lot easier.
There are many ways to utilize positive psychology. Here are some practical steps you can start taking today!
Start and end your day with naming 3 people/things/events that you are grateful for (Try not to repeat- think of something new every day that you’re happy to have in your life). Within 3 weeks, your brain will literally rewire itself to have a more optimistic outlook on life, even when obstacles arise.
Pay it forward. When we help others, we’re actually helping ourselves a lot more than we realize. Studies suggest that those who regularly volunteer, donate to charity, or simply engage in small acts of kindness have higher self-esteem and are more likely to feel fulfilled.
Appreciate the little things. A cute dog on the street, a friendly neighbor waving hello, a delicious breakfast. Too often, we focus on the negative aspects of our life that we forget the little parts of life that make us beautifully human.
WCU is here to assist you in your journey! West Chester University offers a number of resources to assist students and professors when feeling overwhelmed. Offices such as the Office of Wellness Promotion, the Counseling Center, the Center of Women and Gender Equity, LGBTQ+ Services, peer mentors, and Health Services are just a few of the places on campus that can help you thrive as a Ram over the next few years.
Everyday isn’t always going to be a good day, but we can always try to make today better than yesterday!
Stay well, fellow Rams.