What is positive psychology and how can it helpful for us?

What is positive psychology and how can it helpful for us?

Positive psychology

For many years, the emphasis in clinical psychology and psychiatry was on the negative aspects of human experience and the need to lower mental illness. Even if this strategy has benefited many individuals, there might be a better way to address societal issues and promote personal wellbeing. According to positive psychology, living a fulfilling life entails more than just not having any issues. We can create deep and enduring contentment by fostering pleasant emotions, establishing strong bonds with others, acknowledging our accomplishments, and giving our life’s purpose (Kellerman & Seligman, 2023).

Foundations of Positive Psychology

Martin Selingmen is regarded as the Father of Positive Psychology. Positive psychology techniques have beneficial effects on people’s daily lives, including lowering stress and anxiety, boosting resilience, and encouraging personal development, wellness, and quality of life.

Also Read: The Psychology of Mental Peace

In 2008, Peterson defined Positive Psychology as “the scientific exploration of what brings true value to life.” To break it down further, Positive Psychology involves scientifically studying human emotions, thoughts, and behavior. It focuses on nurturing positive traits rather than just addressing negative ones. The goal is to enhance the lives of ordinary individuals, aiming for greatness rather than solely assisting those facing challenges to attain a standard level of normalcy (Peterson, 2008).

Positive experiences and their effects in life are the main emphasis of positive psychology. These include:
  • Positive feelings (such as pleasure, inspiration, and love).
  • Positive emotions and characteristics or traits (such as thankfulness, fortitude, and compassion).
  • Positive institutions are those that implement positive values across their whole company or institution.

Character qualities, optimism, life satisfaction, happiness, wellbeing, gratitude, compassion (including self-compassion), self-esteem and self-confidence, hope, and elevation are among the subjects that positive psychology focuses on a lot.

Also Read: The Psychology of Patience

Three Levels of Positive Psychology

Positive psychology proponents frequently refer to the “Three Levels of Positive Psychology,” which indicate that the discipline is not just about feeling good about oneself.

  • Subjective level: This level is all about how you feel about your everyday experiences in relation to feelings like happiness, optimism, and general well-being.
  • Individual level: this level integrates the subjective well-being experiences with the traits or attributes that contribute to your whole character, such as bravery, forgiveness, and love.
  • Group level: this level comprises characteristics like social responsibility, altruism, and other virtues that fortify social ties. It is centered on having positive interactions with your community.

Importance of Positive Psychology

The primary goal of positive psychology is to support individuals in identifying and developing their personal strengths rather than focusing their energies on improving their weaknesses. Positive psychology emphasizes that in order to enhance one’s quality of life, one must change their pessimistic perspective to one that is more optimistic.

Also Read: The First Experimental Psychology Laboratory

Positive psychology theories hold that one of life’s primary motivators is positivity. Everybody often experiences both positive and negative consequences, but it’s usually simpler to concentrate on the latter and overlook the ways in which we could use the positive things to offset the unfavorable ones. Psychology study has spent a significant portion of its history focusing on the psychological flaws and abnormalities that distinguish certain people from others, as well as the diagnoses that provide an explanation for bad behavior patterns and acts. These diagnoses cover the mental health conditions like anxiety and sadness that a lot of us deal with.

The field of positive psychology is crucial because understanding what makes individuals lead more fulfilling lives can help develop better methods for treating mental illnesses, breaking bad habits, and boosting happiness and productivity. For example, a positive psychologist might research the resilience of those who have successfully recovered and encourage such resilience among prospective patients, as opposed to examining the underlying characteristics linked to drug addiction.

PERMA Model of Positive Psychology

Positive psychology places a strong emphasis on promoting wellbeing. A longer lifespan, more fulfilling relationships, and higher levels of productivity are all associated with higher levels of well-being. Seligman offered the PERMA model in this context as a way to describe and explain well-being in a more comprehensive way. The abbreviation for the five components of well-being is PERMA, and it is now a well-known model in the positive psychology community. A brief summary of the PERMA theory is given below:

P – Positive Emotions

Having happy feelings has a significant effect on improving wellbeing.

E- Engagement

Developing a sense of participation is also essential to improving your well-being.

R- Relationship

Since humans are social creatures, establishing relationships with other people is frequently necessary for survival.

M- Meaning

According to Seligman, the purest form of happiness is when one finds purpose in life. Applying your unique talents to something bigger than yourself, such as a social cause, a significant contribution to your community, or a charitable endeavor, might help you find meaning in your life.

A- Accomplishment

Without a question, we experience a sense of contentment when we succeed and reach our goals. A true sense of well-being is hard to achieve if there is no motivation to reach these goals.

Also Read: The psychology behind different personalities

Positive Psychology in Practice

Being Grateful:

A person can engage in a completely self-contained gratitude practice in which they produce sentiments and thoughts of gratitude but decide not to express them to others. Anything might be the subject of that appreciation: oneself, life, relationships, the wider universe, or something divine. In this sense, keeping a gratitude notebook can be an individual standpoint, and studies indicate that people much rather write than speak about their gratitude. According to one study, spending 10 minutes a day for four weeks writing about how grateful one is for other people was linked to higher life satisfaction, more encouragement to make changes in one’s life, and stronger feelings of connectedness in relationships.

Focus set your Strengths:

According to Boniwell and Tunariu (2019), positive psychology has shown to be an effective tool for employees in the workplace, supporting them in managing stress, building resilience, and experiencing growth and thriving.
One excellent illustration of how psychology may assist transform a business and enhance the lives of its people is provided by Southwest Airlines. The airline faced difficulties in the early 2000s due to high operational costs and intense competition from other carriers. CEO Gary Kelly responded by utilizing positive psychology and a strengths-based strategy to change the company and its employees.

Engage in well being therapy:

An individual may occasionally require more specialized help at work. Here, wellness therapy—which is available through employee support programs—is a fantastic illustration of positive psychology in action in the workplace.

A person’s brain can be efficiently retrained to focus on the positive, develop resilience in the job, and lead a more fulfilling life with wellbeing therapy, which blends therapeutic therapies with the science of wellbeing.

  • Harvard.edu
  • Thebrighterworld.com
  • Positivepsychology.com
  • psychcentral.com

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