Samantha Boardman Founder of Positive Prescription
If you want to change the way you think about yourself and the world around you, visit Dr Samantha Boardman’s blog www.positiveprescription.com for a little free advice and a lot of inspiration.
If you want to change the way you think about yourself and the world around you, visit Dr. Samantha Boardman’s blog www.positiveprescription.com for a little free advice and a lot of inspiration. Dr. Samantha Boardman is a Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry and Assistant Attending Psychiatrist at Weill-Cornell Medical College. She has a BA from Harvard University, an MD from Cornell University Medical College. A few years ago Dr. Boardman went back to school and earned a Masters Degree in Applied Positive Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. With that addition to her already very impressive and solid resume, she decided to create a website focusing on life’s bigger picture enhanced by all the little things that matter to us. It’s a positive way to look at ourselves and focus on what’s right in addition to what needs work.
BWB talks to the good doctor about her upcoming book, inspiration, and Positive Prescription.
BWB: What exactly is positive psychology?
Unlike traditional psychiatry and psychology that focuses on mental illness, positive psychology focuses on mental health. It is the study of what makes people thrive even in the face of adversity. I care about helping people stay strong within their stress and cultivating wellness in actionable everyday ways.
Positive psychology has expanded my perspective and broadened my view about mental health and how to cultivate well-being.
BWB: You have had a thriving practice for many years, what sparked the interest in positive psychology?
This is a little bit embarrassing, but I got fired by a patient. One day she came to my office and announced she was quitting therapy. She told me that she hated coming to our sessions because all we ever did was talk about what was wrong with her. She said it made her feel worse. The truth is, my patient was right. All we ever did was focus on the negative. It never occurred to me to focus on anything else. It was a wake-up call. It was then that I started learning about the field of positive psychology and I decided to go back to school and get a master’s degree in it. Positive psychology has expanded my perspective and broadened my view about mental health and how to cultivate wellbeing.
My goal is that it is not just informational but that it is also actionable and applicable.
BWB: Your website www.positiveprescription.com offers daily advice and reminders about positivity and wellbeing. What do you love most about the site you have created?
I love sharing science backed and research driven information that my readers can integrate into their daily lives. My goal is that it is not just informational but that it is also actionable and applicable. It means the world to me when I meet someone who tells me that something they read on PositivePrescription.com changed their life for the better. My weekly newsletter, The Weekly Dose, is a lot of fun. I love choosing the topics and the titles. I am always curious about what resonates with my readers.
BWB: What was it like returning to school later in life? How did you find the experience of being a student again?
It was so hard! But in a good way. What a privilege it is to be in school as a “grown up” and to be 100 percent committed to learning the material and applying it to my personal and professional life. In many ways, I am still a student—every day and everyone you meet is an opportunity to learn something new.
BWB: You are writing a book. When can we expect to read it?
I am over the moon about this project! The book is about everyday resilience and how to cultivate it in ourselves and in the ones we love. I still don’t have a title. Any suggestions? Fingers crossed it will be out in early 2018.
I think well-being is less about the “rules” we follow and more about the actions we take.
BWB: You recently posted “wellbeing is a verb” What is your one easy expert piece of advice on how to be well?
Just something that everyone can do to brighten their day. I think well-being is less about the “rules” we follow and more about the actions we take. Doing something kind for someone else is an instant mood brightener. I used to think happiness came from within. I now know that equally important is the time we spend doing things with and for others.
BWB: What post has resonated most with your viewers?
Relationship advice! Our connections with others are at the heart of our well-being.
Fernanda Niven is a native New Yorker with a passion for health, wellness, education, and food. Her background is at the intersection of fashion, business, and wellness. She has held executive roles at Vera Wang, Parasol – a sun protective clothing brand and was an early investor and lead strategist for Organic Avenue – a raw vegan juice company. Fernanda is on the board of Edible Schoolyard NYC and Madoo Conservancy in Sagaponack, NY. She has a BA in Fine Arts from NYU.