Running head:POSITIVE MENTAL HEALTH/HOPE EXERCISE

Positive Mental Health/Hope Exercise

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Positive Mental Health/Hope Exercise

Elizabeth Gilberts’ ‘Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything across Italy, India and Indonesia’ is an inspirational book I recently read. The book focuses on the author’s journey taken in pursuit of more spiritual enlightenment, balance and appreciation of life and its tenets. Gilbert, the protagonist in the story, seems to have everything a person could ever want: an education, a husband, a successful career, and a beautiful home, all at 32 years of age. However, life on the inside is not so rosy for Elizabeth. She is estranged from her husband, and most nights sleeps on the bathroom floor. Additionally, Elizabeth feels that her life has become monotonous, unfulfilled and empty. It is for this reason that she takes a year off to travel around the world in search of the true meaning of life, which to her translates to appreciation, balance, and spirituality. The book is divided into three sections, which bear the title of the places she spent time in: Italy (Eat), India (Pray), and Indonesia (Love). Perhaps the most interesting section for me was India, where Elizabeth found her spirituality.

I found India, which represents spirituality in the story, quite relevant, as one of the challenges Elizabeth encountered was that of maintaining silence for long periods in order to “listen more and speak less” (Gilbert, 2007). She found this rather challenging, as would most people in such a situation. This was interesting to me because it represents the meaningful challenges that spirituality is full of. Additionally, it was in India that Elizabeth learn t the art of devotion. Spirituality is an important aspect in my life. Indeed, spirituality acts much like a compass does, pointing out the way when it is not very clear. While Elizabeth and I may share different faiths, I believe that spirituality goes beyond faith, and is rooted in the fact that man’s spiritual component demands attention and nourishment if he is to experience life at his optimum. Spirituality is also one of the major components of happiness as identified in Positive Psychology. Research in fact indicates that spiritual people are happier and experience less anxiety than non-spiritual people. Indeed, many components of happiness are related to spirituality. These include social contact, positive mental attitude, and coping mechanisms provided by spirituality. It was mainly for this reason – spirituality – that ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ had a profound impact on me, as it revealed to me that spirituality is a universal key contributing factor to happiness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference:

Gilbert, A. (2007). Eat, Pray, Love: One woman’s search for everything across Italy, India and Indonesia. London, UK: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC.

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