New research conducted by Emporia has revealed that a significant proportion of Australian women are investing in affordable luxuries for a daily mood boost as means to increase their overall levels of psychological wellbeing. Leading Clinical Psychologist Dr. Suzy Green says 'While on the surface it may seem superficial to be suggesting that making affordable luxury purchases will make you feel good, but there is an incredible amount of research on the benefits of creating or amplifying positive emotions in our daily lives to boost our overall psychological wellbeing.
Dr. Green adds 'rather than spending a lot of money on large items which can often lead to personal debt, making smaller affordable purchases can give you a psychological boost on a daily basis and research on 'savouring' or -luxuriating' has shown that the simple things in life that tap into our senses have been found to create a powerful boost to our emotions. Dr. Suzy Green has also outlined five strategies for women to boost their strength and overall wellbeing day-to-day at home and in the workplace:
Meet your inner leader – Take time out and do some journaling to describe you at your best.
Discover strengths you didn't know you had – Many women focus on what they're not good at rather than what they are good at. Identify what makes you strong and unique.
Pay it forward – Each woman that discovers her inner strength and empowerment has the capacity to help other women do the same.
Build physical and mental toughness – Developing a growth mindset (or can-do approach) is one key skill of a mentally tough person.
Have Hope! - High hopers smash their goals and experience higher levels of wellbeing in doing so.
Dr. Suzy Green is a Clinical and Coaching Psychologist (MAPS) and Founder of The Positivity Institute, an organisation dedicated to the research and application of Positive psychology for life, school and work. Suzy is a leader in the complementary fields of Coaching Psychology and Positive Psychology, having conducted a world-first study on evidence-based coaching as an Applied Positive Psychology. Suzy was the recipient of an international Positive Psychology Fellowship Award and has published in the Journal of Positive Psychology.
Suzy lectured on Applied Positive Psychology as a Senior Adjunct Lecturer in the Coaching Psychology Unit, University of Sydney for ten years, and as an Honorary Vice President of the International Society for Coaching Psychology. Suzy also currently holds Honorary Academic positions at the School of Business, University of Western Sydney; Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne; Institute for Positive Psychology & Education (IPPE), Australian Catholic University and the Black Dog Institute. Suzy is also an Affiliate of the Institute for Well-Being, Cambridge University. Suzy was the 'Stress-less Expert" for Australian Women's Health Magazine for eight years, and maintains a strong media profile appearing regularly on television, radio and in print.
Question: Can you talk us through the benefits of affordable luxury in women's lives?
Dr. Suzy Green: While on the surface it may seem superficial to be suggesting that making affordable luxury purchases will make you feel good, there is an incredible amount of emerging research on the benefits of creating or amplifying positive emotions in our daily lives to boost our overall psychological well-being.
Question: How does purchasing an affordable luxury item increase a woman's overall level of psychological wellbeing?
Dr. Suzy Green: Research on -savouring' or -luxuriating' has shown that the simple things in life that tap into our senses have been found to create a powerful boost to our positive emotions i.e. stopping to smell roses or the feeling of good quality towels in the bathroom. So rather than spending a lot of money on large items which can often lead to personal debt, making smaller affordable purchases can give you a psychological boost on a daily basis and may be a better investment in your long-term wellbeing.
Question: What is an affordable luxury item?
Dr. Suzy Green: An affordable luxury item can be anything from Emporia 4-ply quality tissue paper, quality towels, handwash etc.
Question: What are the disadvantages of affordable luxury as a mood booster?
Dr. Suzy Green: Habituation! Which basically means taking these small simple pleasures for granted rather than really mindfully appreciating them on a daily basis.
Question: What are the psychological benefits of journaling?
Dr. Suzy Green: Journalling has been shown to be highly therapeutic in as much as it allows you an opportunity to process your thoughts an emotions. It can also be used to create a sense of meaning as to how and why experiences have occurred and what you might choose to do differently next time around.
Question: Can you share your morning routine, with us?
Dr. Suzy Green: Weekdays are more structured – 5am rise, 10-15 minute mindfulness practice (Australian app 1GiantMind), a cup of lady grey tea and then into doing any creative work related to my business. I also have a fitness regime, which includes a weekly Pilates class, a personal training session and lots of walking and yoga.
Question: How important is positive thinking to wellbeing?
Dr. Suzy Green: It's not really 'positive thinking" because the danger is that this type of thinking can become a little 'magical" in that we can be in danger of not taking appropriate action and expect our dreams to appear overnight. I prefer 'performance thinking" which asks, 'how do I need to be thinking" to achieve my goals, the desired outcome, supported by consistent action to make dreams a reality.
Question: Can you provide examples of paying it forward?
Dr. Suzy Green: Yes these types of altruistic actions can be large or small. Large might be giving something substantial in regard to your time (knowledge and skills) and money – to a charity or person in need for example. There are so many smaller daily opportunities to pay it forward such as paying for the person behind you in the café, the drive through, the parking station etc. It can also be doing acts of kindness, like cooking a meal for someone who has a lot on their plate right now or helping an elderly person with their weekly shopping. Passing on books that you've read that you believe the other person might find interesting, meaningful or useful can also be a great way to pay it forward. Also smiling is a simple yet effective way of passing joy on – we know smiles are contagious!
Interview by Brooke Hunter