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 authentic people more self-interested?

Are authentic people more selfish, aggressive and out for themselves. Research suggests otherwise and that authenticity may actually be for the common good.

Can You Teach Someone to Love Their Job?

Confucius advised: “Choose a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.” Steve Jobs agreed, counseling: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
VIA Institute/DepositPhotos

The Best Thing to Do Before Handling a Problem

What is one easy thing you can do before walking into a difficult situation?

International Positive Education Network (IPEN) Festival

Flip your lid, settle your glitter, stand on your head, use your red cape and green cape, use your soaring words, and be an orange frog! Every school should host a mini-festival!
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Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Is grit over-rated? As Angela Duckworth's new book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance dominates the best-seller charts some interesting questions are starting to be asked.

An Interview with Tony Robbins

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on July 20, 2016 in How To Do Life
The famous self-improvement expert's advice on achieving success in career, weight loss, resiliency, and public speaking.

What Do You Think About When You First Wake Up?

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on July 18, 2016 in Your Wise Brain
When waking from sleep, try to be aware of your deep purpose, or aspiration, or guiding light. Find refuge in things that support you by taking a moment and letting it sink in.

Are You Your Millennial Child’s New Spouse?

By Susan Newman Ph.D. on July 18, 2016 in Singletons
More young adults are moving home than are getting married or living on their own. Here are 6 ways to the smooth transition.

The Causes of Misery: Column A and Column B

Why do we become unhappy? There are two sets of factors, and knowing the difference between them can help us know how to cope.
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Is This Where Your Mindfulness Practice Is Going Wrong?

It seems from managing stress and anxiety, to improving depression and a range of health issues, mindfulness can help us.

Is Serving Others the Key to Meaning and Purpose?

Are you going through the motions day after day without feeling fulfilled, and tired of not having a sense of meaning and purpose in your life? Serving others might be the answer!

Why Limit Yourself?

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on July 14, 2016 in Think, Act, Be
Sometimes what seems like a self-esteem problem turns out to be our intuition telling us we're capable of more.

The Presence of Playfulness

By Bernard L. De Koven on July 14, 2016 in On Having Fun
How about this instead? How about just being open to the possibility of joy?

Making Your Inner Monologues More Effective: Use Your Name

If I started emailing myself notes "Dear nervous, hard-working Gina" when stressed, my friends wouldn't think I was getting healthy; they'd think I was going "Fight Club" on them.

Positive Education 2.0

The next step for positive education is greater focus on strategy and professional 'practice.'

The Psychological Benefits of Pokémon GO

Pokémon GO is a mobile app that uses augmented reality (AR) and GPS to extend a fantasy world into the physical world. Is it also good for you?

Forget the Inner Child: What About the Inner Adult?

We've all heard about the importance of the inner child in the creation of a sustaining life. But what about the inner adult?
graphic stock with permission

Decision-Making Made Ridiculously Simple!

By Neil Farber M.D, Ph.D. on July 11, 2016 in The Blame Game
Decision making can be stressful, It's one of the most important things that we do and we do it about 35,000 times every day. These 8 factors are the key to making wise choices.

The Powerful Psychology Behind Cleanliness

Organization is a topic that's sweeping the internet. What is it about cleanliness that makes us feel so good? Here's a look at the science behind our need to be tidy.

Are You Breathing?

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on July 11, 2016 in Your Wise Brain
When you inhale, oxygen surges into your brain and accelerates the heartbeat. When you exhale, your heart beats more slowly.

Evolved as One People

Right before our eyes, the world has seemed to all but unravel. Perhaps an evolutionary perspective can help us remember that we’re all in the same boat.

Why Some People Undermine Their Power to Change

Do you sabotage yourself when you want to change? Here's how to stop giving away your power.

As We Wonder: A Heroine's Wisdom for Violent Times

A superheroine gives wisdom: "Don't kill if you can wound, don't wound if you can subdue, don't subdue if you can pacify, and don't raise your hand until you've first extended it."
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Can You Make Change P.O.S.I.T.I.V.E?

Have you ever tried to create change in your own life, in a team or across an entire workplace? Did you find yourself wishing there was an easier way to make the changes stick?
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Could Loving What You Do Be a Problem?

Do you love your work? Do you believe that what you do each day is making a positive difference? Does it give you a sense of identity and a feeling of purpose in the world?
Harold Lloyd and Wesley Stout, An American Comedy / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

The Perils of Pursuing Pleasure

Is your philosophy of happiness making you unhappy? See why it's important to put pleasure in its place.

Why Hug?

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on July 03, 2016 in Moral Landscapes
Cuddling with mom. Wrestling with dad. Hugging family members. Loving and playful touch contribute to well-being.

A Job Worth Doing: Understanding Early Recollections

Early recollections in life can seem mystical and obscure. A new model for interpreting the meaning of first memories can be helpful in understanding the remembrances.

The Origins of Our Emotional Life: Our Earliest Feelings

Our earliest nine inborn feelings—“primary affects”—are key to understanding human development and emotional life. What are they? How do they work?