What Is Positive Psychology?

Positive psychology is the study of happiness. Psychology has traditionally focused on dysfunction—people with mental illness or other issues—and how to treat it. Positive psychology, in contrast, is a field that examines how ordinary people can become happier and more fulfilled.

Recent posts on Positive Psychology

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When Is It “Time To Fold ‘Em?”

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on January 22, 2018 in Your Wise Brain
Self-critical thoughts, obsessions, defensive about your issues, or drinking too much. These things are relatively straightforward to deal with, even though it could be difficult.

Talking About the Things That Matter

By Barton Goldsmith Ph.D. on January 20, 2018 in Emotional Fitness
When the two of you can spend the entire night talking, you know this is someone you can spend a lifetime with.

Happiness Is Here

Happiness is right here in this moment, right here in your surroundings, right here in you. Learn to unlock it.

How Suppressed Emotions Enter Our Dreams and Affect Health

We push negative thoughts out of our waking minds and they appear in our dreams, doing little good. How can we find a balance to address negative emotions with positive intent?
DepositPhotos/VIA Institute

How Mindfulness Can Save the World (Here's One Example)

By Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D. on January 16, 2018 in What Matters Most?
A story of a nuclear physicist, a wise mindfulness teacher, and one of the toughest decisions a person can make.

What's In Your Mind?

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on January 15, 2018 in Your Wise Brain
Believe in realistic thinking. Life is often hard but try to focus on the good facts in life. Let them become good experiences and let them really sink in.

Stand Strong in Your Beliefs

If you seek authenticity and want to bring alignment to your beliefs and your actions, some of these ideas might work for you.

A Triple Coincidence Enhances His Life

Mind-blowing coincidences can open your mind to new realities.

Are You Tougher Than You Think?

Unfortunately, life can sometimes take a turn for the worse. How confident are you to navigate your way through these kinds of challenges?

Talking With Larry King About "Why the Grass Seems Greener"

Are small annoyances in your relationship driving you crazy? Shifting your perspective from what's going wrong to what's going right can make all the difference.

Intuition and Dreaming: Four Questions to Ask of Each Dream

An easy way of increasing your access to a natural source of intuition is to ask yourself four questions every time you remember a dream.

What Do You Need?

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on January 08, 2018 in Your Wise Brain
Daily life is full of opportunities to notice or create experiences of inner strength, a psychological resource. Take it into yourself, making it a part of you.

The Best Happiness Apps of 2018

Compare four happiness apps to find the best one for you.

One Powerful Way to Feel Better About Your Body in 2018

By Jessica Alleva Ph.D. on January 04, 2018 in Mind Your Body
Ready to feel more positively about your body in 2018? Here's one powerful change that you can make now.

How to Be Happy: 23 Ways to Be Happier

The complete guide to boosting happiness in 2018, according to science.

Is the Culture of Me Killing Democracy?

By Po Chi Wu Ph.D. on January 01, 2018 in Jacob's Staff
The "me-first" attitude only begets more selfishness and divisiveness. What is a constructive, positive way to fight for our rights? Millennials may have an answer.

The Archetypal Themes of Synchronicity Stories

Coincidence stories tend to fall into fairly discrete thematic categories. Here is the first attempt at describing them.
Maky Orel/Pixabay

Have a “Happy New Year” by Avoiding a Fixation on Happiness

By Alex Pattakos Ph.D. on January 01, 2018 in The Meaningful Life
Are you looking forward to the New Year? If not, a shift in your attitude and focus of attention can help.

Kindness to You Is Kindness to Me

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on January 01, 2018 in Your Wise Brain
For better or worse, what you do to others ripples back to you; what you do to yourself ripples out to others. Recognizing this will change the lives of others for the better.

Positive Psychology in Martial Arts

Martial arts does not just teach us how to kick and punch. It provides a strong basis for living with positive psychology foundational principles.

5 Alternatives to Traditional New Year's Resolutions

These alternatives will help you go on more adventures, connect with amazing people, learn new things, and grow stronger in 2018.

Bullying is Just Plain Mean

Refuse to give in to bullies who want to drag you down with these five ideas for rising up and being the kind of person you were meant to be!

Is There Really True Love?

Is the idea of a true love that lasts forever an outdated concept?

4 Ways You Can Use Netflix to Cultivate Well-Being

Feeling guilty about spending the entire weekend binging on Netflix? Learn how to use your next video binge to strengthen your emotion regulation skills.

A Mindful Day

By David Dillard-Wright Ph.D. on December 20, 2017 in Boundless
Try these three reflections for a more peaceful day.

Can You Switch Off?

Does being away from your computer or smart phone leave you feeling anxious and a little out of control? Is our addiction to technology making us happier?

Why Daydreaming Is Good for Us

By David B. Feldman Ph.D. on December 19, 2017 in Supersurvivors
Though many of us were told by our grade-school teachers to get our heads out of clouds, research shows that this may not have been good advice.

Youth Say “Listen to Science” and Do the Kind Thing

By Mica B. Estrada, Ph.D. on December 18, 2017 in Lead with Kindness
Youth feel climate science is clear and the response is to act. But what do we do? Social scientists say we can easily do these three things that go beyond changing a light bulb.

Drop the "Shoulds"

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on December 18, 2017 in Your Wise Brain
Consider a situation that bothers you, and find a deeper "should" that's related to an experience you "must" have or avoid. Face the should, ask this question: "Is it really true?"
Zamurovic Photography/Shutterstock

Making Peace with the End of the Year

By Tara Well Ph.D. on December 12, 2017 in The Clarity
Feeling like you're running out time? A few tips for successfully closing out the year and find peace.