Positive psychology is a newer branch of psychology (started in the 1990's) that focuses on what works. They address questions like:
What makes a human life fullfilling?
What causes people to thrive in life?
What makes people successfull?
It is a science of positive emotions. Traditional psychology, on the other hand, focuses on the dysfunction, the dis-ease and the symptoms (they use DSM 5 to diagnose mental illness). Both psychologies are useful and they complement each other.
Positive psychology is for people who are already functioning at a decent level, but they want to improve their emotional state, find more meaning in their life and fulfill their potential.
Here are common findings as a result of solid research and studies;
1. Happiness is 50% genetic, 10% caused by external factors and 40% is by our own doing! In other words we can increase our levels of happiness by 40%
2. If we can change our mindset , we can increase our levels of happiness.
3. People with a positive outlook on life have:
- Better immune system
- Increased longevity
- Higher resilience
- More happiness
4. We can empower ourselves by using our top 5 signature strengths. (to find out about your strengths, go to www.viacharacter.com)
5. Having strong relationships is the biggest buffer against depression AND is the greatest source of meaning in our life.
Attention: Positive psychology cultivates a realistic optimism in which you embrace life with its joys and pains ( losses).
Because of advanced technology, we discovered that we can form new neuropathways which means that it is possible to re-train our brain and form new thinking patterns.
Conclusion: Cutlitvating a grounded optimism will improve your quality of life on every level.
Be Happy... Not because everything is good but
because you can see the good in everything