Articles by Alicia Assad
If you are eager to make sense of life’s inevitable adversities, read this book. Akhtar reminds us that our future can be bright perhaps not in spite of the adversity we face, but because of it.
I made a more gentle resolution for 2016, because I am a parent in a world where “mom guilt” is the trend. I want to do the best I can for the kids I love, but sometimes more is unproductive and better is unrealistic. By pairing my natural urges to be perfect with the remorse I carried following my son’s burn injury, I was on a one-way trip to martyrdom. For this reason, 2016 was the year of self-compassion. My year-end reflection reveals a happier, more resilient version of myself so I think this resolution is one I will keep.
Yes there are crowds, more on the to-do list, and the flu season is upon us. But there are also more connections, sparkle, and cheer. Since I am (somewhat gracefully) surviving this holiday season with the support of the concepts I understand from positive psychology, I am compelled to spread my cheer by sharing my holiday survival list.
My rainbow baby writer’s block serves as a reminder that sometimes we need to sit back and let life unfold while maintaining self-compassion in our passive state.
In an earlier article, I wrote about 7 positive psychology behaviors that helped me survive some very traumatic experiences. As I approach the end of another pregnancy, I find myself feeling anxious and over-protective. Looking for ways to stay calm, I’ve found an 8th important behavior: experiencing and acting on compassion for the sufferings of others.
Two years ago, my two-year-old son suffered a severe scald burn covering 16 percent of his body. My unborn baby had a birth defect needing attention. In the year-and-a-half that followed, I saw my boys through four surgeries. I went through two surgeries myself after a complicated second trimester pregnancy loss. Seven particular tools from positive psychology helped me come through some very difficullt times. I believe I have experienced posttraumatic growth following these adversities, and Roepke and Seligman’s recent article helps me see why.