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

Cutting-Edge Research Shows That Love Is All Around Us

How can our precognitive abilities help tune us in to timeless love?
Flip Schulke/wikimedia commons

3 Million of Us

By Elizabeth Young on October 19, 2017 in Adaptations
I have had diabetes for 44 years, 6 months, and 29 days. But who's counting?

The Absolute Best Way to Start Your Happiness Journey

Are you ready to jumpstart your happiness. Here's some tips for getting started on the right foot.

What is a Remarkable Coincidence Telling the Statistician?

Even when confronted personally with a low probability coincidence, a major statistician clings tightly to his belief in the full explanatory power of coincidences.
DepositPhotos/VIA Institute

Teresa of Avila: Mystic, Visionary, or Flourishing Woman?

By Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D. on October 16, 2017 in What Matters Most?
Learn the top strengths of one of the most popular and influential saints, Teresa of Avila. How might this mystic inspire you to flourish?

Are You Taking Care of Yourself?

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on October 16, 2017 in Your Wise Brain
Make sure they are getting enough sleep and that they are eating correctly, doing exercise regularly, avoiding health hazards, and having regular checkups.

Eliminate Unruly Spectator Behavior From Youth Sports

It’s as American as apple pie to boo and criticize judgments made by referees and umpires. But such behavior has no place in youth sports.
Laurenemily/wikimedia commons

Building on Blindness

By Elizabeth Young on October 15, 2017 in Adaptations
"Going blind," Willa says, "I fear I may become invisible."

3 Hidden Ways Natural Disasters Hurt Happiness

With this recent series of earthquakes, record-breaking hurricanes, and fires – it seems more important than ever to discuss the impacts of natural disasters on human happiness.

Emotions Drive Synchronicities

Emotions are the very life of us. They connect us to each other at a distance, forming the basis of many profound coincidences.

Feel the Wind at Your Back

By Jaime L. Kurtz Ph.D. on October 12, 2017 in Happy Trails
Consider a new type of gratitude question.

A Surprising Way to Deal with Stress

Looking for a new way to deal with stress? Here's one that may surprise you.
CCO Creative Commons

Keeping a Positive Attitude

By Diana Raab PhD on October 10, 2017 in The Empowerment Diary
Are you feeling overwhelmed by all the negative news and the apparent increase in mass murders in the U.S.? While disheartening, it's important to also be mindful of all the good.

Retreat From the World to Rejuvenate Your Mind

Have you ever completed a task or reached a goal, enjoyed the high of reaching your goal…then a week later, found yourself wondering, “What’s next?”

How to Deal with Takers at Work

Are you struggling to deal with someone whose only interest is to take from others so they can make themselves look better? What’s the best way to deal with a taker at work?

Can You Take A Moment?

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on October 09, 2017 in Your Wise Brain
Stop the urgency of the day and let a quiet fill the air let your thoughts slow down. There is presence in this moment, and no worries about the future.

"The True Story" of Wonder Woman's Marston Ménage à Trois

The psychologist who created Wonder Woman and the women who inspired him lived an unconventional lifestyle, but do people really know what they think they know about them?

Wearing Cancer Survival Like a Badge of Honor

Labels and degrees of illness can create a divide amongst those with cancer.
DepositPhotos/VIA Institute

The Strengths of St. Francis

By Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D. on October 04, 2017 in What Matters Most?
How you might benefit from learning about a cherished and influential figure.
DepositPhotos/VIA Institute

Love in the Workplace? Yes!

By Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D. on October 03, 2017 in What Matters Most?
Think that love does not apply in the workplace? Think again.

Can a Strengths Coaching Approach Be Damaging?

While focusing on your strengths has been found to have all sorts of benefits, could ignoring your weaknesses come at a cost?

What Are You Doing?

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on October 02, 2017 in Your Wise Brain
Relentless pace of doing wears down mental and physical health. What you need to do while refreshing is have a sense of choice. See if you can feel choice and how it feels.

Loving Myself

We are aching to love and to love ourselves. What stands in the way of self-love? It is essential to remove the obstacles, however arduous that might be....

Positive Psychology and Elite Sports Performance

By Michael D. Matthews Ph.D. on September 30, 2017 in Head Strong
Positive psychology offers a conceptual model for helping elite athletes learn to perform at their best, and to optimize off-field adjustment and balance in their personal lives.

How to Avoid a Personal Political Meltdown

By Sam Osherson Ph.D. on September 29, 2017 in Listen Up!
Feeling worn out by the political situation? A little group can make a big difference

Beyond Grit: Up Close and Personal with Dr. Cindra Kamphoff

By Hendrie Weisinger Ph.D. on September 28, 2017 in Thicken Your Skin
You want to do your best, but do you know how?

Using Your Smartphone Camera as a Mindfulness Tool

By Linda Wasmer Andrews on September 28, 2017 in Minding the Body
Point, shoot, observe. Your phone’s camera may help you focus on the moment and foster mindfulness. It all depends on how you use it.

Does Having Children Make Us Happy?

By Mark Holder, Ph.D. on September 27, 2017 in The Happiness Doctor
Does having children increase or decrease a parent's happiness? Research suggests that it depends on where you live, and that the U.S. may be a particularly bad place for parents.
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Infants express their feelings through facial expressions, bodily movements, and vocalizations. Babies can express built-in feelings almost from day one...

Yoga Practice

By Itai Ivtzan Ph.D. on September 26, 2017 in Mindfulness for Wellbeing
How to increase psychological and physiological well-being as part of yoga practice.