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

What Gets You Stuck?

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on April 24, 2017 in Your Wise Brain
Remind yourself how it's in your own best interest to admit fault and move on. It takes a strong person to admit fault, and it puts us in a stronger position with others.

Play: A Different Perspective

Much has been studied and written about play, and we would like to consider play from a somewhat different perspective, namely, that of affect theory.
istock.com

Can You make Your Employees Happier?

Let’s face it managing people can be tough, and despite your best efforts your people may be part of the growing numbers who feel disengaged from their jobs.

Where Do You Live?

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on April 17, 2017 in Your Wise Brain
Be aware of breathing and let everything else go. There's always a doorway to a deeper sense of presence and peace: being the body.

Fallingwater: Where Design, Structure, & Psychology Converge

Asked to describe Fallingwater in one word, its owner replied, "Romance." Frank Lloyd Wright used design and structure to evoke psychological reactions.

How Much Does Homework Matter in Therapy?

By Joel Minden, PhD on April 16, 2017 in CBT and Me
What research reveals about the work you do outside of therapy sessions.

Hiding in the Basement? Life's Scary But Fear Shouldn't Win

Do you want to be measured by what you avoided in life or by what you embraced?

How to Live 7.2 (Happy) Years Longer

Positive psychology research consistently shows that happiness is linked to longevity even after accounting for initial health, obesity and socio demographic factors.
shock/BigStock

What Is Dance Movement Therapy?

The same endorphins that make you feel better when moving also help you concentrate, sleep better, have more energy, and deal with mental and emotional challenges in life.
Hana Chramostova / Public Domain Pictures / CC0 Public Domain

Can You Be Happy in The Matrix?

Two people have exactly the same experiences. One's trapped in the Matrix. The other's in the real world. Who's happier? And what evidence is supposed to decide this issue?

What Do You Notice in People?

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on April 10, 2017 in Your Wise Brain
See the good in others - it's a simple but very powerful way to feel happier and more confident, and become more loving and more productive in the world.

Positive Heuristics

Researchers are looking at heuristics the wrong way — as sources of bias and error. In fact, they are powerful strategies for making inferences under uncertainty and ambiguity.

Are We Meant For Each Other? Is There a Way to Find Out?

What do couples fight about and are these disagreements inevitable?
istock.com

Is It Worth Trying to Improve Our Wellbeing?

Can the wellbeing of people and populations really be improved? an interview with Professor Martin Seligman.

Hope

Hope remains, psychologically, a paradoxical mental phenomenon.

Toward a Quantum Model of Humor

By Liane Gabora Ph.D. on April 06, 2017 in Mindbloggling
The bisociation of incongruous frames or word meanings in jokes is modelled as a linear superposition of basis states, or possible interpretations, in a complex Hilbert space.

4 Secrets to Improving our Health and Mental Health

Do you know the 4 secrets, hiding in plain sight, to improve our health and mental health? Take a read...

Seeking Common Ground I: The Conservative Tradition

There are people today who believe that the past presents a worthy, indeed better, model for living. Past times were simpler, or at least more blinkered in their resolve.
DepositPhotos/VIA Institute

Having a Religion Doesn't Help You, But Practicing One Does

Religious with a practice? Religious without a practice? No religion? Learn new research on these 3 groups and practical strategies for each.

Why Do We Exist?

Why do humans exist? Because of evolution. And this is a beautiful thing.

Who Are You, Deep Down?

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on April 03, 2017 in Your Wise Brain
Try to take in the good of feeling cared about; recognize goodness in your acts of thought, word, and deed. Enjoy this beautiful goodness, so real and so true.

Creating Surprises: A Powerful Way to Show Love

Surprising a loved one with practical help, a touch of beauty, providing comfort, or adding a note of whimsy can express love through understanding, intimacy, provoking mood shifts

How to Build a Rewarding Romantic Relationship

How can you make your love life more affectionate and satisfying? Research says that a bit of positive reinforcement and reward can help. Find out how.

How Paradoxes Populate Our Lives

By Eric Dietrich Ph.D. on March 31, 2017 in Excellent Beauty
Have you ever experienced something that was too sad for words? Then you have also experienced a paradox. And paradoxes make our lives beautiful.

Vicarious Resilience and Healthy Helping Professionals

Vicarious resilience is the positive effects on helping professionals witnessing the healing, recovery and resilience of persons who have survived severe traumas.

11 Ways to Sound Like a Better Lover

By Donna Barstow on March 29, 2017 in Ink Blots Cartoons
A great way to say goodbye that guarantees more hellos.

Neuromanagement. Really?

By Paul J. Zak on March 29, 2017 in Neuromanagement
Here's why you should keep reading

Randomness and Intentionality

By Po Chi Wu Ph.D. on March 28, 2017 in Jacob's Staff
How can intentionality affect how our lives evolve?

Rediscovering a Zest for Life

By John Sean Doyle on March 27, 2017 in Luminous Things
When we seek the strange or exotic that is just outside our door, we can rediscover who we really are and begin to live our lives more passionately.

What Do You Need?

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on March 27, 2017 in Your Wise Brain
"Vitamin C" is. 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.