What Is Positive Psychology?

Positive psychology is the study of happiness. Psychology has traditionally focused on dysfunction—people with mental illness or other psychological problems—and how to treat it. 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

When is Depression Not Depression? Part 2

Being discouraged is a state that sounds like depression, but the causes are so different.

Looking to Our Past: Escapism or Exploration?

The past is gone, cannot be changed, and cannot return. Is revisiting it in memory a reluctance to live in the present?

Why I Am No Longer a Sex-Addiction Therapist

Our evolving understanding of the complexities of human sexuality have revealed an increasing number of cracks in the foundational models of sex-addiction therapy.

The #BrightFriday Challenge

By Eva Ritvo M.D. on November 21, 2015 On Vitality
Did you know that Black Friday is bad for your brain? Based on neuroscience, we've got the perfect way to turn Black Friday into Bright Friday.

Top 10 Highly Popular Strategies for Boosting Happiness

Here are 10 of the most popular interventions for boosting well-being. The science of happiness is young but there are many good strategies that have begun to show consistency in both research and popularity. Which ones will you try?

Does Your Workplace Have A Growth Mindset?

Leaders with a growth mindset see talent and intelligence as just the starting point, and instead are interested in cultivating people’s effort and willingness to learn.

Who is "A Mensch"?

You've surely heard or read the word "Mensch," which is a Yiddish-derived term reserved for a special human being, who is recognized by others to represent decency, honest and kindness, among other admirable qualities.

Stress Relief in Seven Minutes, Doggie Style

By Hal Herzog Ph.D. on November 19, 2015 Animals and Us
Yale University researchers have found that just seven minutes in the presence of a dog named Finn caused a major decline in anxiety levels of med school students and a big upswing in their moods.

9 Mantras That Keep You Mentally Strong During Tough Times

The things you tell yourself during tough times play a major role in your ability to overcome hardship.

Top 10 Unpopular Strategies to Boost Happiness

When it comes to boosting well-being, some exercises get all the attention (e.g.., mindfulness) and some get little attention. This post offers 10 powerful but rarely discussed interventions that emerge from well-being research.

You Can't Have Pleasure Without Pain

The research is clear - you need to endure some pain if you want to live a truly happy life.

Our Immigration Imperative

Immigration is a provocative subject, a red flag to many, an opportunity for humankind to many others. We are or were all immigrants, and our forebears have benefited from doors open to them. Large numbers of destitute immigrants can obviously create a financial and social challenge in the short run, but will inevitably enhance and enrich our society and culture.

Where Is the Education in Positive Education?

Positive psychology has influenced a whole movement in education: but, is something missing?

Why Nature is Good for Our Brains

When was the last time you enjoyed some time outside? Three reasons nature is good for your brain.

Have Common Core Standards Killed Student Creativity?

Many educators believe the concept of creativity has been abandoned by today’s standards-based schools. Yet teachers can and do foster creativity in their classrooms each and every day. Learn six ways teachers expand minds and foster creative thinking.

3 Ways to Flourish - New Must-See Research

How can you become 9, 18 or 29 times more likely to flourish than others? Read on to discover 3 important pathways to flourishing.

Why Adults Are Less Happy Than They Used to Be

Why American adults aren't as happy as they used to be.

How to Maintain Calm in the Midst of Chaos

By Diana Raab Ph.D. on November 05, 2015 The Empowerment Diary
November is the beginning of the holiday season and often a stressful time for many people. It's a good time to develop strategies to manage the chaos and stress inherent to this time of year. Some ways to cope include meditation, setting intentions, being in nature or journaling. This entry includes some suggestions, including writing prompts.

30 of the Best Quotes About Passion

By Gregg Levoy on November 04, 2015 Passion!
Here are some of the most inspiring and entertaining quotes about passion

The Genius of Instinct

If you want to thrive in life, begin to use the genius of your instincts.

With Or Without You

By Kristi Pikiewicz Ph.D. on November 03, 2015 Meaningful You
Here's how to work on your relationship even if your partner won't join you.

What to Do When Your Emotions Overwhelm You

When you're highly sensitive and someone says or does something hurtful, you feel a rush of emotions like a wave has cracked over your head. If you want to keep yourself from drowning in your emotions, you must learn to relax and stop fighting them.

The Heartful Way, Part 2

This post explores how heartfulness can also be internal (intra-personal) and will relay tips for practicing it and the research that supports these ideas.

Forgive Me, Forgive me not

“I’m so mad, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forgive them.” So what exactly is forgiveness… and what is it not?

7 Ways to Make Your Happiness Last

The ability to hang on to good feelings is an important aid to our emotional well-being, but it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Those struggling with depression, for example, find that surges of pleasure fade like shooting stars instead of providing a lasting glow.

Thriving On Worry

Are you a good or bad worrier?

17 Ways to Inoculate Yourself Against Stress

The funny thing about stress is how it takes us away from the very things that would help us manage it: a good night’s sleep, exercise and eating well. We withdraw from friends, are reluctant to try new things, and lose interest in our favorite hobbies. The result is a double dose of stress.

Do We Find Happiness or Does Happiness Find Us?

Relationship guru Maggie Scarf relates a story about a memorable party she and her husband once gave. As she tells it, a somewhat plastered guest overturned a punch bowl, which landed in the leek soup. Two couples left with the wrong spouses, several noisy quarrels broke out, and Scarf herself seriously considered leaving and staying at the neighbors’ for the night.

9 Ways You Can Improve Your Mental Health Today

Pick something from this article that resonates with you and try it. Making these simple changes will pay off in all aspects of your life, including boosting your mood, building resilience, and adding to your overall enjoyment of life.

Strategies to Handle a Drama Queeen

By Judith Orloff M.D. on October 26, 2015 Emotional Freedom
The rollercoaster antics of a drama queen can put you on overload, and wipe you out. Learn how to protect your energy from this energy vampire.