Positivity BagNothing boosts self-confidence like positive feedback from others. For individuals in recovery from the effects of mental illness or addiction, an extra dose of positivity can be just what the doctor ordered.

To provide peers with a learning experience in the power of positive feedback, staff, led by Nikki Thompson, created a special project. First, paper bags were distributed to peers. They were asked to decorate the outside panels of the bag with pictures, words, and graphics that showed positive aspects of their own personalities.

The decorated bags were then filled with other peers’ thoughts and compliments. Comments reflected how peers’ daily actions were seen by others. After filling others’ bags with comments, each peer gathered his or her personal bag and read the comments inside.

Nikki Thompson explained, “This hands-on project was a great way to make each others’ day by learning the positive things everyone thinks about them and improving their own mental health by paying other people compliments.”

She concluded, “We attempt to encourage peers to think positively about their friends. We work to help them to become more aware of what their friends are discovering with their actions.”

While individuals’ comment sheets were not shared with others, staff are considering way to share positive comments with the entire peer community. Overall, this project has reminded everyone that it is indeed blessed to both give and receive.

In the photo above, peers drop positive comments in others’ collection bags as part of their positivity project.

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