As I once mentioned in a previous post I am a magazine addict. The other night while reading “Figaro Madame” I found an article on depression which among other things alluded to the overuse of prescription drugs to ward-off what is often not clinical depression, but a temporary dip in morale and joyfulness. Many of us can relate. What I found most fascinating in this article, particularly in a country reputed to pop considerably more meds than we do, was the approach to the problem.
Concerned over the use and abuse of anti-depression medication, Terese Amabile, referred to as the grand sage of positive psychology, suggests an alternative approach. She maintains that within the time it takes for a prescription to kick-in — approximately six-weeks — one can beat even deep blues with a simple, daily exercise. Take a notebook, she says, and each day write down one positive event, observation, experience that has occurred. If perchance you have more, all the better. She believes, and her studies support her theory, that this discipline is as effective, if not more so then turning to possibly addictive chemical solutions.
The French are so into this movement of what they’re calling “optimistic intelligence” that three books are coming out to support their theses: “Live Happily: The Psychology of Happiness” by Christophe André; “The Force Is Within You: For a Positive Psychology” by Jean Cottreau and “A Collection of Correspondence on Positive Ideas” by Janine Casevecchie.*
Shall we? It’s a win/win, non?
The notebook above says: “Surprise Yourself”.
*I‘ve translated the titles. I’m afraid they’re not available in English which means I won’t be reading them either. It takes me about 10 times longer to read books in French; whereas it only takes two to three times longer to whip through a magazine article.