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

Are You Feeling Cross?

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on December 11, 2017 in Your Wise Brain
These three things will help guide you to find peace.

Why Am I Here?

By Alex Pattakos Ph.D. on December 11, 2017 in The Meaningful Life
How do you want to be remembered?

The Many Mini Ways to Show You Care

It doesn't take a grand gesture to show someone that you care. With a "micro" act of kindness, according to new research, the payoff can be surprisingly high for both of you.

Rethinking Authenticity

Being authentic does not mean standing alone; it means making worthy judgments about the people one chooses to stand with.

Trauma Psychotherapy, Pilates, EMDR and Sensorimotor Work

By James F. Zender Ph.D. on December 08, 2017 in The New Normal
Chronic pain, fibromyalgia symptoms, and other physical manifestations can reflect unresolved psychological trauma residuals. But maybe Pilates can help?

The World Responds to Our Emotions: Evidence from Physics

Albertus Maximus: the world responds to our emotions.
VIA Institute/Deposit Photos

How to Find Happiness in Today's World

By Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D. on December 07, 2017 in What Matters Most?
If less than 20 percent of people are flourishing, what can we do to build more well-being? Check out the latest research and several practical strategies.

What Is Positive Technology?

Everything you need to know about technologies that improve your life.

Are You Working Together?

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on December 05, 2017 in Your Wise Brain
Minor differences in parenting style are okay. But children get confused when there are major differences. Here are five ways to work effectively and get the best possible results.

Maintaining Positivity in Difficult Times

By David Dillard-Wright Ph.D. on December 05, 2017 in Boundless
Having a bad day or a bad season? Check out these media links.

How Our Personal Finances Can Make Us Happy

By Utpal Dholakia on December 04, 2017 in The Science Behind Behavior
Financial well-being research focuses on security and stress-relief, but not on contentment or joy that we get from money.

Are You in the Power Zone?

How often do you feel you’re hitting your power zone at work? We’ve all had these moments (even if they were fleeting), but can you intentionally create more of them?
Pexels/CCO license

How to Be Miserable During the Holidays

By Randy Paterson Ph.D. on December 02, 2017 in How to be Miserable
Tired of "Holiday Stress Tips"? This year, let's embrace the dark side.

Emotions, Cognition, and Language

Emotions, cognition, and language can all be conceptualized as information-processing systems, as they are intimately connected and overlapping.
Stock Photo

Cognition, Part II

We examine how smart infants and young children are, and how important it is to maintain that trajectory by supporting the effect of interest or curiosity.

Does Getting Older Mean You're Wiser?

By Nicole F. Bernier, Ph.D. on November 29, 2017 in Ripening With Time
Why we may find ourselves saying or doing regrettable things without knowing why.
Santeri Viinamaki/wikimedia commons

Love, Sex, and Romance with Different Abilities

By Elizabeth Young on November 27, 2017 in Adaptations
Hal says, "When you’ve got intimacy, and you add touching, you’ve got really good sex.” 

What's to Like?

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on November 27, 2017 in Your Wise Brain
We're wired to like some things but our liking or disliking depends a lot on what we pay attention to and on our own perspective.

Synchronicity at Play

Analyzing coincidences includes looking at how they impact you in your life right then!

How Socially Intelligent Are You? Take This Quiz and See.

By Karl Albrecht Ph.D. on November 25, 2017 in BrainSnacks
The Social Intelligence Quiz is an online, interactive assessment tool that highlights key toxic or nourishing behaviors that affect success in relationships, jobs, and careers.

Four Ways to Feel Better about Yourself

Not feeling confident? Silence that inner critic and boost your self-worth with these tips.
DepositPhotos/VIA Institute

Five "Thank Yous" to Say Each Day

By Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D. on November 22, 2017 in What Matters Most?
Want to transform the stress of your holidays? Want to boost your well-being? Practice this list of five gratitudes and you'll be on your way.
Adam Kontor/Pexels

Be Home

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on November 21, 2017 in Your Wise Brain
The responsive and reactive modes of living are the foundation of human nature. We have no choice about the vital aims they serve. Our only choice is which mode we’re in.

Ferdinand the Bull Can Teach Your Kids About Their Strengths

The classic story of Ferdinand the Bull is now an animated film. Ferdinand is family-friendly but it can be so much more if you use it to help your kids find their strengths.

“Learned Mindfulness”: Achieving Authentic Integrity

"Learned Mindfulness" is achieving Authentic Integrity. This Integrity Mindfulness model prevents job burnout and optimizes the quality of life.

Are Your Strengths Making You Unhappy?

When it comes to doing more of what you do best each day at work are you missing the mark? So what’s the best way to put your strengths to work?

What Are Spiritual Guidelines for Organizational Success?

Group entrainment can lead to desired outcomes in sports, jazz, and organizations.

Pure Solitude, Away From Devices, Is Calming: New Research

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on November 17, 2017 in Living Single
Four new studies show that pure solitude, away from electronic devices, is calming. They also help explain when time alone is and is not experienced as sad, lonely, or boring.

Five Ways to Practice Gratitude

Need a gratitude boost this holiday season? Try these five gratitude practices.