What Is Positive Psychology?

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

Affects, Language, and Cognition

For many months, we have been exploring the three pillars of human development: Affects (Feelings), Language, and Cognition. We have tried to make the case that there is a revolution in our understanding of human development. I have suggested that this revolution has tremendous potential for enhancing development.

Be Yourself, Act Yourself, and Be a Hero

By Ran Zilca on July 30, 2015 in Confessions of a Techie
The first step on this “heroic journey”, to be a hero for your children, spouse, friends, or coworkers, is simply to know who you are.

The Playful Adult

By Bernard L. De Koven on July 30, 2015 in On Having Fun
...adults are playful beings, just like we children are...when it comes to needing to play, we might very well be more play deprived than they.

The Fun Assumption

By Bernard L. De Koven on July 29, 2015 in On Having Fun
Suppose you supposed that the only reason you laugh is because it’s fun to laugh. Not because of the endorphins or the health benefits. But only because of the fun. Only because it’s more fun than you can contain.

Can You Create Good Habits That Stick?

Do you have the chance to do what you do best each day at work? Take a moment and think about it. Do you have the chance to do what you do best each day?

Positive Psychology of Mindfulness

When students call out "Present', make sure they know what it means. So what does "Present" really mean? It does not just mean "here" - it means here in the moment and mindfully in touch with the learning.

Feeling Good? What Makes Good Feelings Flow?

How much good feeling have you been experiencing? Would you like more? Check out these 5 factors.

Summer Camp and Disruptive Moments

By Steve Baskin on July 26, 2015 in S'mores and More
Former summer campers often describe their experiences as "life changing", despite the fact that they spend far less time at camp than home or school. This article discusses one reason that camps have a disproportionate impact on the children they serve.

Nature Calms the Mind—Even in Photos

By Temma Ehrenfeld on July 23, 2015 in Open Gently
Brain research on why nature is calming and restorative.

Stay Well

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on July 20, 2015 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.

Tribes Always Triumph

By Paddy Steinfort on July 19, 2015 in Quick Wins
In adversity, tribes support each other in many ways - some of which research has shown increase willpower and resilience

Resilience: The Capacity to Rebuild and Grow from Adversity

Resilience is not a genetic trait. It is derived from the ways children learn to think and act when they are faced with obstacles, large and small. How do teachers cultivate resilience in the classroom?

F%$& Shame, TEDx and Mental Health

By Adi Jaffe Ph.D. on July 13, 2015 in All About Addiction
Many of us don't give the proper weight to the use of mental health labels. As this talk shows, diagnostic labels can actually impact the way in which labeled individuals perform. If nothing else, this fact should make us more wary of using these labels as everyday placeholders to describe those around us. We may just be sentencing them to meeting our low expectations.

What Are the Qualities of Competent Coaches?

“A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.” John Wooden, legendary UCLA basketball coach

Can We Create a Flourishing World?

What would it take to create a world in which our children can truly flourish?

Can You Create Lasting Change?

When it comes to creating the changes you really want to make in your work or in you life, do ever find you have difficulty making this last?

Depression: Here's One Forgotten Approach

The use of character strengths is not a cure for depression. It is an important adjunct. In fact, it's an often forgotten aspect of depression therapies. This is surprising because it couldn't be easier for people with depression or their therapists to integrate strengths into treatment. Here's how...

Being at Peace With the Pain of Others

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on July 07, 2015 in Your Wise Brain
When you recognize the truth of others' pain, it is strangely calming. You still care about the other person, and you do what you can, but you see that this pain and its causes are a tiny part of a larger and mostly impersonal whole.

Are You Fully Charged?

When you wake up in the morning would you describe yourself as fully charged? If you're like many people recently surveyed chances are you're shaking your head and instead feel more like you're struggling to get out of bed.

The Road Let's Travel: Why David Brooks Should Start a Cult

How does what we say pave the road to character? David Brooks has some words of wisdom.

6 Questions to Ask Yourself to Create the Dream Career

Get yourself on the right career path by reflecting on these six powerful questions before making the next move.

How Your Beliefs About Yourself Limit Your Potential

At one time, your beliefs protected you and helped you navigate your life. But as an adult, believing you can't express your anger or that winning is all that matters - doesn't help you anymore. It limits you.

Women by Design: Transforming Home, Transforming Self

By Toby Israel Ph.D. on July 02, 2015 in Design on My Mind
Use Design Psychology to create homes that support women's growth and change

Why (Almost) Everyone Is Happy About Same-Sex Marriage

By Ran Zilca on July 02, 2015 in Confessions of a Techie
How is it that a topic that was deeply divisive for years becomes so vastly supported, almost unanimously perceived as a victory?

Random Acts of Kindness Meets Road Rage

By Dana Klisanin Ph.D. on July 01, 2015 in Digital Altruism
Positive psychology takes to the road in this new gadget designed to make the road a happier place.

10 Tendencias Emergentes en la Psicología Positiva

En el IV Congreso Mundial de Psicología Positiva pudimos ver un panorama general sobre el estado de los estudios actuales sobre la felicidad y el bienestar. Yo detecto 10 tendencias prominentes.

Wanting to Feel Good, Familiar or Useful?

But what about familar emotions? Do people like, and seek out, familiar emotions more than unfamilar ones? Or, do people merely seek out emotions that feel good?

Humanism: To Think Is to Act

Humanism: Moving towards pre-frontal cortex functioning and moving away from reptilian brain functioning

Put Your Strengths to Work!

Do you have the chance to do what you best each day? Not just now and again. Not even just most days. But each and every day?

6 Important Facts About Forgiveness

From our partner not doing their share of the chores to infidelity, brutal mass murder and everything in between, there are many times in life when we are called on to forgive (or not). Consider these psychological facts before making your personal decision about forgiveness.