Mental Health & Happiness

The change of perspective: clinical treatment & mental fitness

Mental health is extremely precious. The health system, however, only interferes when there already exist a clinical appearance, which means there is a disease. As long as somebody is “simply” stressed or somebody does not feel that well for a certain time, health insurances do not pay for a treatment. The moment a doctor makes the diagnosis of depression or burnout, psychotherapy takes place. Vázquez draws attention that this problem orientated approach corresponds to a tunnel vision. Of course, it is important to treat mental illnesses with the help of a therapy and/or medication. However, a positive perspective is missing. What is good for me? Where are my strengths? People who exercise their mental strength by means of a “mental fitness program” (e.g. yoga or meditation) consolidate their resilience. The same way somebody trains his body, he can also exercise his mental health. That means the mental health should be increased on the one hand by clinical treatment and on the other hand by happiness-interventions. Thereupon the resilience, that means the resistance against stress, restlessness and fears increases. Consequently, it is crucial to establish a mixture of both perspectives. That means one has to combine positive psychology with the (in psychology previous prevailing) clinical focus. Thereby a quite diversified starting point arises to increase the people´s happiness in the long-term.

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  • Prof. Dr. Andrew Oswald Professor of Economics, University of Warwick
  • Prof. Dr. Ronnie Schöb Professor for International Public Economics, Free University Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Ruut Veenhoven Emeritus Professor Social Conditions of Human Happiness, Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Prof. Dr. Carmelo Vazquez President of the International Positive Psychology association
  • Prof. Dr. Marc Hassenzahl Folkwang University Essen
  • Dr. Martijn Burger Academic Director Erasmus Happiness Economics Research Organisation
  • Dr. Adam Okulicz Kozaryn Researcher Rutgers University
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