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

Does Your Personal Brand Broadcast Success?

The actions you take each day build your personal brand. The way you think, the way you feel and the way you behave shape the stories people tell about who you are and what they can expect from you when it comes to your work.

The Upward Spiral of Healthy Behaviors and Positive Emotions

A new study from Penn State found that people who reported more positive emotions were more likely to be physically active and have healthier habits. Which came first, the positive emotions or the healthy habits?

Criticizing Personal Autonomy

The free person is not the angry loner, willfully standing apart from those who would sap his energies. Nor is she the enthusiastic manager of others, who directs and controls their behaviors - and reaps the satisfactions of her manipulations. Free people are those who recognize the legitimacy of other people’s participation in their own lives

How to Develop Mentally Tough Young Athletes

Mental toughness can give kids a winning edge in sports and in other areas of life.

10 Ways to Appreciate Your Life More

Appreciating your life is not supposed to be work. It’s a way of allowing yourself to forgive any transgressions and make the promise that you won’t go down that path again. It’s easy if you do things that you know will be appreciated.

Resilience, Growth & Kintsukuroi

By John Sean Doyle on October 03, 2015 Luminous Things
Standing and staring in the face of broken promises and broken dreams, eye-to-bloodshot-eye with our most assiduous fears, sometimes we discover that we were stronger than we imagined: that we can withstand more and that there is no reason to fear.

6 Ways to Find Awe in Your Everyday Life

By Amie M. Gordon PhD on September 30, 2015 Between You and Me
Psychologists are busy at work trying to understand more about awe. Awe experiences aren't just pleasurable, they change how we see the world. Luckily, we don't need to be standing on Mt. Everest to feel awe and reap its benefits. We can get a bit of that right here at home, just by walking out our front doors or clicking the right buttons on our computer.

How Autumn Leaves Color Our Inner Lives

By Linda Wasmer Andrews on September 29, 2015 Minding the Body
We love the brilliant hues of fall foliage — but why? Two experts reflect on the sensory appeal and emotional allure of autumn leaves.

Four Essential Keys to Successful Teaching

If you’re a teacher of any sort, then your success is primarily marked by the success of your students. Interested in keys to cultivating student success? Read on.

Can You Map Your Talents and Character Strengths?

With a growing number of organizations investing money and resources in the use of their people’s strengths, it has to be worth asking: “Exactly what is a strength?” Are they talents, values, interests or resources? Are they something we’re born with or something we’re able to develop?

Escaping the Grief of Financial Disaster

By Michael F. Kay on September 24, 2015 Financial Life Focus
There doesn't seem to be a path to a comfortable solution. Dread and depression become partners with despair and devastation. We can sit in self-blame, self-pity or denial—or recognize that the only way out is through positive action.

Is Everything You Know About Stress Wrong?

Stress is an inevitable part of life. How you handle is it what counts.

Opening the Medicine Box in Your Mind

By Beth Darnall PhD on September 22, 2015 Less Pain, Fewer Pills
In this 25 minute YouTube video Dr. Darnall discusses the science of how to "Open the Medicine Box in Your Mind" to control pain and improve wellness! Learn about the latest in pain psychology research, techniques and tips you can use today!

Learning to Soar: Your Intelligences + Character Strengths

Have you heard the story about the farmer finding an eagle’s egg?

Finding the Right Job

By Fredric Neuman M.D. on September 20, 2015 Fighting Fear
Bad advice--and good advice-- about how to find a job when finding a job seems impossible.

Top 10 Parenting Tips

By Barton Goldsmith Ph.D. on September 19, 2015 Emotional Fitness
The mystery of what your children will be and how you can affect that outcome is what family life is all about. Give all you can, keep your cool, and stay in the game. Raising a family while keeping your life balanced is an art form. Here are 10 tools that make life in the family lane a much nicer ride. The results and your own joy will surprise and reward you.

The Hero Round Table With Phil Zimbardo: Prepare for Heroism

At the Hero Round Table conference, Dr. Phil Zimbardo explains how to become heroic. How does a person prepare for heroism? Heroism, according to Zimbardo, is positive deviance. What distinguishes the reactive hero from the reflective hero? How do bystanders stop standing by? And what does wearing orange pants have to do with standing up, speaking, out, and taking action?

Can You Afford to Stay in a Job You Hate?

Where might your zone of greatness lie, between what you like to do and how you like to work when you’re at your very best?

Six Reasons to Get a Hobby

By Jaime L. Kurtz Ph.D. on September 15, 2015 Happy Trails
Why using your leisure time wisely will make you happier, less stressed, and more connected.

In Praise of Ritual

We need rituals because they make plain the ground-rules by which humans operate. But those rules should be seen less as confinements than as opportunities to communicate with others and to declare our distinctive places in the human community.

A Sense of Awe and Life Purpose Increases Your Mental Health

By Douglas LaBier Ph.D. on September 15, 2015 The New Resilience
Recent studies find that experiencing a sense being connected with something larger than yourself and having a sense of life purpose increases your overall wellbeing and mental health; and it promotes more positive, supportive behavior towards others. The studies add to the value of learning to step "outside" yourself, beyond your self-absorption with your own concerns.

The Psychology of a Champion

By Ryan Anderson on September 14, 2015 The Mating Game
He may have lost the U.S. Open Final, but there are many reasons why Roger Federer is a champion.

How to Release Those Triggers

Life often serves us lemons. Our thoughts can squeeze them into lemonade.

Top 10 Amazing (Recent) Findings on Character Strengths

The science of character strengths has exploded in the last decade and a half and we are gaining plenty of new knowledge about these core positive qualities in human beings. Here are 10 interesting and very recent research studies on VIA character strengths.

5 Secrets to Do What You Don’t Want to Do

Do you know what is best for you, yet find it difficult to actually WANT to do what you need to do? Here are 5 secrets on how to get yourself to do what you need to do, in order to get what you most desire.

The Stigma of Mental "Illness," Part 2

By Joseph A Shrand M.D. on September 04, 2015 The I-M Approach
With our deeper knowledge of Theory of Mind it is time to move away from the concept of pathology. As long as we keep seeing people as "sick", we should not be surprised that many are resistant to treatment. We are interested in what other people think or feel about us. All of us. This story of a man with schizophrenia illustrates the power of The I-M Approach.


By Bernard L. De Koven on September 04, 2015 On Having Fun
It seems that regardless of what we connect to, it is this capacity to connect that brings us our deepest joy.

24 Simple Phrases to Boost Your Happiness

Character strengths use is connected to greater happiness. Many scientific studies have shown this. But, sometimes clarity is needed on what strengths are and how to use them. Here 24 strengths and phrases you can memorize that get at the essence of each universal quality.

The Positive Side to the Personality of Procrastinators

By Garth Sundem on September 02, 2015 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.