Positive psychology is among the most recent branches of psychology that has emerged. The particular branch of psychology is focused on ways humans can flourish and live healthy, happy lives. While other areas of psychology are focused on abnormal behavior and dysfunction Positive psychology is focused on helping people live happier lives.
Positive psychology was created to “complement and enhance the problem-focused approach to psychology that has been prevalent for decades,” explained the late Christopher Peterson, author of “A Basic Introduction to Positive Psychology” and professor at the University of Michigan, in an article from 2008 published in Psychology Today.
“Positive psychology is…a demand for psychological science as well as practice that is equally concerned about strength as weaknesses; as concerned with making the most positive things happen in life as they are in fixing the most damaged; and equally focused on creating lives for ordinary people as they are with the healing process,” Peterson wrote.
According to some of the most respected experts on the subject, Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Positive psychology can aid in achieving “scientific understanding and efficient strategies to foster thriving families, individuals and even communities.”
To understand the subject that is positive psychology it’s vital to first learn more about its main theories, its applications, and its history.
Positive psychology is frequently described as having three levels:
Subjective level: concentrates on the feelings of happiness, well-being and optimism and how these feelings change your life
Personal level: a mixture of emotions in the subjective realm and virtues like forgiveness, love and bravery
Group level: positive interactions with your local community and your community, with virtues such as altruism and social responsibility , which can strengthen the bonds between people.
Positive Psychology as well as the PERMA Model
To better explain and define the concept of well-being that is a key area of Positive Psychology, Seligman came up with his PERMA model. PERMA stands that refers to the following five aspects of well-being
Feeling positive, feeling feelings of optimism and also gratitude for your past, satisfaction in the present and hope for the future.
Engagement, or getting into “flow” by engaging in fun activities and interests
Connection, or the process of forming social bonds with friends and family
Meaning is finding meaning in your life that is greater than yourself
Achievements, goals, or success
Positive psychology can be used to solve many practical applications, including therapy, education as well as self-help, stress reduction and workplace problems.
By using strategies using positive psychology teachers, coaches employers and therapists can help others be more motivated and also assist individuals discover and enhance their strengths as individuals.
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Some of the most significant subjects of interest in positive psychology are:
Strengths and virtues of character
The effect of positive psychology
The major results of positive psychology are:
It’s not a guarantee that money will bring happiness However, spending money on others can help people feel happier.
Everyone is generally content.
The best strategies to fight back against setbacks and disappointments are strong relationships with friends and strengths in character.
While happiness is determined by genes, individuals can be happier through developing optimism as well as gratitude and altruism.
Work is essential to wellbeing, particularly when people can engage in tasks that are meaningful and relevant.
The term “positive psychology” is frequently misinterpreted as positive thinking, and is misinterpreted as self-help techniques rather than scientifically-backed theories. Positive thinking is the process to motivate ourselves towards more positive behavior and greater resilience, not merely acting to change our mental state.
Positive psychology On the other hand is the research into what causes people to flourish. It concentrates on actions that help people achieve a better mental state and on thinking patterns that result in more efficient actions.
History of Positive Psychology
“Before World War II, psychology was a field with three distinct tasks including curing mental illness making people’s lives more productive and enjoyable and discovering and nurturing talent that was high-potential,” wrote Seligman and Mihaly Csikszenmihalyi in 2000.
After WWII the main concentration of psychology changed to the primary goal of the treatment of mental illnesses. Through the 50s thinkers of the humanist school such as Carl Rogers, Erich Fromm along with Abraham Maslow helped renew interest in other fields by advancing theories that were based on happiness and the positivity of the human condition.
Here are some more important dates in the development of psychology that are positive:
1998 Seligman is elected president of the American Psychological Association and positive psychology was the focus of his presidency. In the present, Seligman is widely viewed as the founder of modern positive psychology.
2002 First International Conference on Positive Psychology was held in 2002.
2006 A course at Harvard on positive psychology was the most-loved class at Harvard.
2009: The inaugural World Congress on Positive Psychology was held in Philadelphia and included talks by Seligman along with Philip Zimbardo.
Other significant figures in positive psychology include:
The fascination with positive psychology has increased exponentially since the idea was first introduced. Nowadays, more and people are seeking ways to be more satisfied and reach their maximum potential.