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

The Positive Side to the Personality of Procrastinators

By Garth Sundem on September 02, 2015 in Brain Candy
Research is showing that procras­tination isn’t a defect in ability or personality but rather a disconnect between the demands of a task and what motivates the procrastinator.

The ABCs of Child Behavior

Temper tantrums... pushing... mouthing off! When a child misbehaves, parents usually just want them to stop. But by analyzing the patterns of behavior of their children, parents can shape that behavior in more positive directions. These patterns are the keys to unlocking a family's stress-free discipline plan.

10 Ways To Let Your Partner Know That You Care

By Barton Goldsmith Ph.D. on August 29, 2015 in Emotional Fitness
Caring and closeness is what makes life worth living, and anyone can improve upon how they treat the people they love. Remember that showing you care is much more powerful than just saying it.

Happiness Happens

By Bernard L. De Koven on August 28, 2015 in On Having Fun
With happiness it is like with truth: One does not have it, one is in it.

Why Smart People Do Dumb Things

By David Maxfield on August 26, 2015 in Crucial Conversations
The quiet, polite expression of doubt can turn the rest of the group from zombies into thinkers.

Client-Centered Therapy

Non-directive therapy is often misunderstood as sloppy, unstructured, and passive, but actually it means very actively following the direction of the client, carefully, closely, and creatively.

How To Write a Healing Poem

By Diana Raab Ph.D. on August 25, 2015 in The Empowerment Diary
For years psychotherapists have been advocating writing healing poems as a way to navigate through difficult times. In doing so, it's important that the poem is written from the heart and not the mind. The best poems begin with an image or a feeling. This blog offers tips on how to write a poem for emerging and established writers.

Doing Good Makes Life Meaningful

How putting the needs of others may make your life more meaningful

Your Three Languages and How to Speak Them Well

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on August 24, 2015 in Ambigamy
There's a lot of confusion about when it's best to be positive, negative and neutral. Here we sort it out.

Is Extreme Weather an 'Act of God'?

Researchers from Northwestern University, University of Arizona and Stanford University, have recently published an investigation into first-hand accounts from survivors of two major natural disasters--Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Chilean earthquake in 2010. Describing the disasters as an 'Act of God' was among the most common explanations.

Free Will Depletion

By Joachim I Krueger Ph.D. on August 20, 2015 in One Among Many
After tortured administration of surgery and double-blind medicinalization, free will remains clinically dead. Here's another dyslogy.

Walk in Nature: Good for Brain, Good for Spirit

By Azadeh Aalai Ph.D. on August 20, 2015 in The First Impression
How can exposure to nature enrich our brain and mental health?

Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials: Are Strengths Decreasing?

The VIA Institute on Character examined hundreds of thousands of strength profiles of the 4 main, living, adult generations (Millennials, Gen X, Baby Boomers, and Traditionalists). There are consistencies and interesting differences across the generations.

Find Flow Through a Camera Lens

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on August 18, 2015 in Creating in Flow
Flow happens when you lose your sense of self, and many artists, including photographers, mean that quite literally.

10 Techniques For Overcoming Speaker's Anxiety

By Joe Navarro M.A. on August 17, 2015 in Spycatcher
We have all experienced the nervousness and anxiety of having to speak in public. Here are ten easy ways professional speakers overcome the jitters.

The Rise of Green Prison Programs

Can exposure to nature help reduce crime?

When Confusion Is Funny

By Bernard L. De Koven on August 14, 2015 in On Having Fun
Sometimes, failing is more fun than winning.

Rainforest and Nordic Countries Vie in Well-Being Index

Social well-being can be measured by various methods that give different results. Now Costa Rica shows that it's not only the Nordic countries that look so good in surveys of well-being and happiness in nations across the globe.

The Fun Within

By Bernard L. De Koven on August 11, 2015 in On Having Fun
It is not by trying to make something fun that it becomes fun. It is in the discovery of the fun within.

Vacations Can Make You a Better Person

By Clay Routledge Ph.D. on August 10, 2015 in More Than Mortal
Awe-inspiring experiences reduce self-focus and increase prosocial behavior.

Your Lower Strengths Matter (Thanks Jim Gaffigan!)

Humor is my lowest character strength. Yet, it is of great value. Here's why: New research by Rene Proyer and colleagues shows that expressing either our highest character strengths OR our lowest strengths can be associated with higher levels of happiness. This supports one of the VIA Institute’s core teachings: All 24 character strengths matter.

Fun Coaching

By Bernard L. De Koven on August 10, 2015 in On Having Fun
Just talking about fun is fun, and healing.

Going the Distance through Fertility Treatment

By Joann P. Galst Ph.D. on August 08, 2015 in Fertility Factor
Learn some suggestions on how to become your own best coach through the marathon of fertility treatment.

Healthy vs. Unhealthy Coping: Imitate Anna (not Elsa)

Society continues to get it wrong. All the accolades, attention, and toy products emphasize Elsa over Anna. But, which character in Frozen can teach you about healthy coping with problems? Unhealthy coping? Who would you like your child to emulate? Learn about the various ways Elsa and Anna cope in the most popular animated film of all time.

Fun Therapy

By Bernard L. De Koven on August 07, 2015 in On Having Fun
What fun therapy, if there were such a thing, would be like for us now that we’re all grown up.

Blathering, the Game

By Bernard L. De Koven on August 04, 2015 in On Having Fun
We could blather about issues disturbingly profound and teasingly inane, free associating with what- and whomever whilst we freely associate.

Why We Need Work

As much as we might like to inhabit another vision – perhaps lounging on the deck of our new home as we gaze at the ocean across an unpopulated beach – it would be our undoing. What work teaches, and what the Puritans emphasized, is the value of charting a trajectory for one’s life and of maintaining that trajectory.

Are You a Chronic Journal Ditcher?

By Sherry Hamby Ph.D. on August 03, 2015 in The Web of Violence
Higher emotional clarity and better self-understanding? Sounds great, right? Here are some tips to help you stop ditching that journal and stick to a writing routine.

How to Be a Natural Helper

By Sherry Hamby Ph.D. on August 03, 2015 in The Web of Violence
There are easy ways to make a positive impact on the lives of people who are experiencing adversity, and you don't need a professional license or degree to do so.

Soliloquest

By Bernard L. De Koven on August 03, 2015 in On Having Fun
Talking to yourself is sometimes very, very fun.