What Is Positive Psychology?

Positive psychology focuses on increasing positive emotions, engagement and meaning rather than directly targeting depressive or anxiety symptoms. It is the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive.

Positive psychology has three central concerns:

Positive emotions; positive individual traits; and positive institutions. Understanding positive emotions entails the study of contentment with the past, happiness in the present and the hope for the future.

Understanding the positive individual traits consist of the study of the strengths and virtues, such as compassion, resilience, creativity, curiosity, integrity, self-knowledge, moderation self-control, and wisdom. Understanding positive institutions entails the study of the strengths that foster better communities, such as justice, responsibility, civility, parenting, nuturance, work ethic, leadership, teamwork, purpose and tolerance.

Can we increase our own happiness lastingly?

Research seems to indicate that we can, Dr Seligman who wrote “Authentic Happiness” and is known as the father of positive psychology has spent much of his career researching interventions which actually raise happiness and lower depression lastingly.

He proposed that the unwieldy notion of “happiness” could be decomposed into three more scientifically manageable components.

The Pleasant Life: positive emotions

The Engaged Life: engagement in life through using your strengths and talents

The Meaningful Life: finding meaning in life through belonging to and serving something that is bigger than the personal self.

It has bee found that people who pursue all three lives: pleasure, engagement and meaning, have the most life satisfaction, with engagement and meaning being the biggest contributors to fulfilment.

6 comments

  1. My recent session that I just wrote about definitely enhanced positive emotions. I think there’s a place for that but I also see the benefit in seeing, naming and exploring all the emotions that come up. Interesting article.

  2. This is a cool post, as I am interested in anything related to positive psychology. I think it is especially great that people can take the content of the subject and apply it to their own lives in order to live life with more meaning and fulfillment. I like to write about this topic in my own blog posts to benefit as many people as I can. It would be great to let as many people know about positive psychology and its applications as possible. Feel free to check out my blog sometime and leave any contributions that you would like. Great post!

    • Thanks for commenting. I am delighted to hear from a like-minded person. I am glad the article resonated with you. I would love to collaborate with you. I would like to publish some of your articles on my blog which would link back to yours and all credit would go to you. I think my readers would benefit greatly from hearing from you. Looking forward to hearing from you. When I clicked on the link it said it didn’t exist and offered for me to register it. Is there something wrong with the link? All the best Erin.

      • That is exciting, thanks for replying to my comment. I would be very interested in what you have discussed. I’m not sure which link you are referring to though. Do you mean to my blog itself or a faulty link on one of my posts? Feel free to reach me at my email as well, which is trmitch96@gmail.com. Thanks for replying, and I greatly look forward to an opportunity to collaborate with you. I am passionate about letting people know about topics relating to the mind and positivity as possible!

    • Thanks for getting in touch. I visited your blog you have some very interesting posts which I really enjoyed reading and learned a lot from. Thanks for the link. All the best Erin.

I would love to hear from you so please leave a comment. All feedback is much appreciated. Thank you. Erin

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