30/7/21 – A new, slightly updated version of the Good Vibes Experiment Activity Book is now available. Order via this link, or find copies at FUSA, Oasis and other spots around the university.
Arguably the flagship component of the Good Vibes Experiment is the Activity Book.
It contains 40+ playful, engaging and simple exercises that contain deeper messages about how we build, maintain and repair our mental health.
Those exercises were born out of 20 wellbeing tactics – activities we know there is evidence to suggest their value. Groups like the Greater Good Science Center out of Berkeley and SAHMRI Wellbeing and Resilience Centre here in South Australia have done pioneering work in uncovering these activities. We used them as the foundations of our campaign.
The Activity book isn’t intended to be a type of therapy, although we feel a number of the exercises are likely to have some kind of therapeutic effect.
Rather it is intended to allow students to explore and experiment with different kinds of positive affect inducing activities to see what resonates with them.
The term ‘experiment’ is in the title of our campaign for a very specific and strategic reason. Finding what works for you in terms of bringing positive affect into your life is somewhat of a lifetime experiment. I’m in my 40’s and still very much learning how I can create a balanced emotional experience of the world. Trying new things, seeing what works.
We want to encourage that experimental nature in you. The earlier in your life you can do this, the better. The Activity book is a low-intensity introduction to this process.
If you haven’t been able to access or find a copy of the book on campus, you can order for one to be posted out to you. There is also a digital version available via Issuu so you can get a sense of it before trying to find one.
One thing about the book that is worth addressing is that there is a strong focus on bringing positive emotions into one’s life.
The GVE team takes a very specific angle on positive emotions. We believe that learning to cultivate them provides balance against stress and unpleasant emotions. This isn’t necessarily easy though.
Stressful times can breed all manner of unpleasant emotions: sadness, anxiety, fear, worry, anger. Often these emotions have genuine value. They help push us to solve problems, to address wrongs, to find time and space to heal.
But in excess or the absence of balancing positive emotions, unpleasant emotions can take hold and feel like they are running the show.
We want to be clear that the GVE isn’t about ignoring those unpleasant emotions. The Activity book and our other materials strongly emphasise help seeking – whether that be looking at websites all the way to seeing a specialist – as an important avenue for addressing problematic emotions.
But we also want you to have a better sense of how to bring other types of balancing emotions into your life.
We’d love to hear your feedback about the Activity Book. Ultimately we created it for you and any advice or ideas you have for how it can be improved are absolutely welcomed. But we are also totally happy if you just want to tell us you liked it 🙂