Friday, June 20, 2008

The Importance of Success on Mental Health

In keeping with the theme of mental health this week, I'll go ahead and round out the trio of posts with another about the topic. I have seen this one in action quite a bit over the past several weeks. It might even be described as a sort of momentum. I'm talking about the importance of success on one's mental health. I think success can be this kind of momentum that is so helpful in pushing us on towards achieving even more success. A book I just finished awhile back (and have subsequently been quoting from for this series of posts) juxtaposes this concept with some biological evidence.

Even better for our spirits are activities that bring a sense of success. It's important that we set goals when we're going through periods of sadness [...].
That the experience of success becomes especially important when people are having a hard time can be explained by the functioning of the two halves of the prefrontal cortex, according to the neuropsychologist Richard Davidson. When we're sad, its left half, which both directs us towards goals and controls negative thoughts, is insufficiently active.
-The Science of Happiness, page 192

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