What Is Positive Psychology?

Positive psychology is the study of happiness. Psychology traditionally focused on dysfunction: people with mental illness or other psychological problems and how to treat them. Positive psychology, in contrast, is a relatively new field that examines how ordinary people can become happier and more fulfilled.

Recent Posts on Positive Psychology

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week

How do we express our gratitude to our favorite teachers? Empower them.

From Arrogance to Appreciation

Using the compass of character strengths to move through the journey of life, takes us from arrogance to appreciation.

Connect, Act, Evolve

What is today's non-religious approach to community?

Does Eating Your Carrots Make You More Creative?

In a new study, people’s daily fruit and vegetable consumption predicted how engaged and inspired they felt that day.

Looking to the Future of Positive Psychology

Positive psychology is at a crossroads whether it is a new separate discipline or a force for transformation and integration

Journaling Clears Out the Bad, Builds Up the Good

By Jason Powers M.D. on May 03, 2015 in Beyond Abstinence
Multiple studies show that disclosing emotions through journaling is therapeutic, which is why I encourage my patients to write for their own benefit and consumption.

A Spiritual Life with a Psychology to Match

Spiritual people, spiritual psychology: hope for the future.

Posttraumatic Growth

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

4 Character Strengths Sustain U2’s Success

How does U2 reflect a connection culture? One reason is the band's many character strengths that they express and appreciate in one another, such as love, humility, and appreciation of beauty and excellence.

Getting to the Goal

By Seth Slater M.F.A. on April 29, 2015 in The Dolphin Divide
How focusing on the positive helps us overcome obstacles. What we want is often more powerful than what we fear. But if we’re not careful in how we frame our goals, we may be setting ourselves up for disappointment—and inadvertently turn our fears into reality.

Wish You Could Banish Self-Doubt?

Could confidence be over-rated? What if instead of confidently striding into your next meeting, pitching your new big idea or even owning a large public stage relied less on feeling fearless and more on acknowledging your self-doubt and having the courage to move forward and do it anyway?

16 Breaking up Tips and How Journaling Eases Heartbreak

Research tells us that writing about the positive aspects of the relationship has healing value.

3 Reasons You Need Mental Strength to Thrive

Building mental strength will help you reach your greatest potential, despite whatever challenges you face.

Good Faith

By Russ Gerber on April 22, 2015 in Our Health
Materialism or spirituality? Which way should you go? Which way can you count on?

Making a Change? Remember the Key Ingredient!

When I listen to people speak about changes they are making, they often speak as if they have no control. They say things like “I’ll have to wait and see what happens” or “I just hope things go back to the way they were.” These statements indicate a passivity—a sense of inaction. They forget they have core internal qualities that give them some control.

6 Ways You Can Put Your Dreams to Work for You

By Michelle Carr on April 15, 2015 in Dream Factory
Research shows that REM sleep integrates recent emotional memories by forming broad associations to past experience. Could your dreaming style steer the connections your mind makes during sleep?

Curiosity: The Heart of Lifelong Learning

What makes children want to learn? Curious children often spend a great deal of time reading and acquiring knowledge because they sense a gap between what they know and what they want to know—not because they are motivated by grades.

7 Secrets to Hitting Your Reset Button

Dr. Michael Roizen, co-author with Dr. Oz on the best-selling YOU series, has just published a new book, “This is Your Do-Over.” The book provides 7 secrets to better physical health. Fortunately, these same secrets are the pathway to positive mental health, happiness, and well-being.

Happiness, Meaning and Taxes

By John Sean Doyle on April 11, 2015 in Luminous Things
Sometimes we find the meaning in our lives only when we set aside those things that are the best and most beautiful about us... Sometimes for our lives to matter we must delay our dreams and passionate engagements and instead do our duty.

Do the Brain Dance

Dancing stretches the mind and exercises the heart making us physically and emotionally stronger. Dancing communicates deep feelings and connects us to others in intimate ways. Dancing imparts meaning and a sense of accomplishment. Dancing is positive psychology in action. Put it to work in your classroom.

Happinesses

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on April 10, 2015 in One Among Many
I found 26 blog posts on happiness in my blog archive. Here’s a list of them with a brief statement of contents for each. Peace and happiness!

The Cerebellum, Cerebral Cortex, and Autism Are Intertwined

Neuroscientists have identified a new marker for autism based on abnormal connectivity between specific regions of the cerebellum and the cerebral cortex.

The Zen of Love

What propels a person to leave the beaten path and try something new? We seem to be predetermined by our early experiences, especially when it comes to abuse and neglect. Yet, some people free themselves of their conditioning and leap into something they have never encountered: love. Little do we comprehend when it comes to leaps, but what we know may just be a good start.

A Strength-Based Approach Helps Children

The positive psychology movement has started to ask "what is healthy," "what is working," and "what are a child’s strengths" as central—and often more important—than what is wrong or what disorder or illness does a child have... and this can change lives.

Black and Yellow: Blasian Narratives

These “Blasians” are creating something new, testing how much unity there is in such diverse experiences of Blackness and Asian-ness.

The 7 Secrets of a Happy Brain

How do educators help wire the naturally curious and optimistic student's brain? How do they activate the executive functions essential to learning in nurturing and not harsh ways? Unlocking the secrets of the happy brain is the key to happy classrooms.

Want To Be A Hero? Embrace Suffering and Sacrifice

The wisdom gleaned from theology and psychology reveals six ways that suffering and sacrifice are beneficial to human beings.

A Response to Sam Harris's Writings on Moral Truth Pt 3 of 3

By John A. Johnson Ph.D. on April 04, 2015 in Cui Bono
In August of 2013, Sam Harris issued a challenge to refute, in 1,000 words or less, the central thesis of his book, The Moral Landscape. This thesis is that "questions of morality and values must have right and wrong answers that fall within the purview of science." In a three-part blog post, I explain why I agree with everything in his book except the central thesis.

What Constitutes Psychological Health?

By Gregg Henriques on April 03, 2015 in Theory of Knowledge
Psychological health is often a vague notion that is characterized in terms of the absence of psychopathology. This blog briefly reviews some frames for thinking explicitly about what constitutes psychological health.

The Fake Sanity Clause*

By Hal Mathew on April 03, 2015 in Unagoraphobic
If you can look this content you can feel this content