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

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Awe, Happiness, and the Solar Eclipse

Upon seeing the solar eclipse, people are reporting feeling a boost to well-being. Is this coincidental or is it related to the eclipse? The science of character has some answers.

When Are You?

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on August 21, 2017 in Your Wise Brain
The present moment is continually passing away, so if you try to hold onto it you are no longer in the present. Relax and be open to this moment. Stop being lost in thought.

What Exactly Is Well-Being?

Everyone agrees that well-being is important, but what exactly is it? New research has identified the fourteen components that make up the good life.

Meditation, Mindfulness, and Endurance Sports

By David Dillard-Wright Ph.D. on August 19, 2017 in Boundless
David talks with Meredith Atwood about meditation and endurance sports.

The Optimism Challenge, Continued

By David Dillard-Wright Ph.D. on August 18, 2017 in Boundless
More ways to live a more positive life.

Are You Wired for Resilience?

If you knew you had the resilience to recover from almost any challenge or experience, what might you do differently? Would you finally start living the life you most want?
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Life’s Imaginary Prison Bars

By Alex Pattakos Ph.D. on August 17, 2017 in The Meaningful Life
"Prison bars imagined are no less solid steel."
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The Lunar Eclipse and Your Shadow

By Diana Raab PhD on August 16, 2017 in The Empowerment Diary
Are you feeling a bit off this week? Are strange things happening to you and your loved ones? There's a chance that this might be an effect of the upcoming lunar eclipse.

Coal Miners and Resilience

By Michael Ungar Ph.D. on August 15, 2017 in Nurturing Resilience
Making families and communities resilient when industries are in decline is possible but we have to give people the resources they need to build new lives.

Michelle Gielan On Mindset

By Isaac Lidsky on August 14, 2017 in Mastering Your Reality
A positive psychology expert teaches us to “mine the data of our existence” and construct a reality that fuels and empowers us.

Does It Feel Safe With Other People?

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on August 14, 2017 in Your Wise Brain
Even if the other person reacts to you, you could handle it fine. If there is something to deal with — conflict, betrayal — you can be clear-eyed and strong, without being anxious.

Should Your Employees Toughen Up or Soften Up?

Do you need your employees to toughen up? Might your organizational dollars and leadership efforts be better spent on helping your people to soften up instead?

Keep Daydreaming: Why Only Dreamers Create Consciously

Understand the concept of unintentional creation of reality: Worrying vs. daydreaming.

Two Parallel Events Together Send a Message to You

Conjunctions of Meaningfully Parallel Events (CMPEs) is a coincidence type that provides highly useful messages to those who learn how to use them.

How Americans Really Feel about Solo Travel

By Andrea Bartz on August 08, 2017 in The Wandering Mind
Who vacations alone—and why? The answers may surprise you.

Out of Balance?

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on August 08, 2017 in Your Wise Brain
Think of sobriety in terms of the big picture, and in the context of a life well-lived. Sobriety is a gain—of health, self-respect, unclouded mind, peace with others and bliss.

Awe as an Antidote to the Polarized Mind

By Kirk J. Schneider Ph.D. on August 08, 2017 in Awakening to Awe
Awe-based tips for healing the social divides.
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Why What I Admire In You Also Says Something About Me

The people we admire in our lives have much to teach us -- not just as role models to emulate but as outer reflections of good qualities that are already innate in us.
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Is Meaning The Path to Happiness?

Let’s face it, most of us want to be happier. But are you looking for it in the wrong places?

Five Elixirs for Revitalizing Love and Intimacy

By Clifford N Lazarus Ph.D. on August 04, 2017 in Think Well
Here are five easy ways to improve your relationship, and four intimacy killers to work on eliminating.

Chewing on the Twizzler Coincidence

Out of the mundane discover of a package of Twizzlers comes a meaning loaded sequence that challenges the materialist view of how the world works.

In the Midst of Hate, Why Not Love?

How did the "summer of love" appear out of a backdrop of war and discontent?

Is Our Western Happiness Fetish Causing Depression?

By Brock Bastian Ph.D. on August 02, 2017 in The Other Side
In a series of experiments, we showed the high value we place on happiness is not only associated with increased levels of depression, it may actually be the underlying factor.

Predictability of the Unexpected: The Yin and Yang of Life

By Saul Levine M.D. on August 01, 2017 in Our Emotional Footprint
As wonderful (or painful) as our lives can sometimes be, we will all experience unexpected dramatic changes. How we handle successes and setbacks is what is of most importance.

What's Precious to You?

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on July 31, 2017 in Your Wise Brain
Try to identify what is sacred to you. Maybe you already know. You could also find a place or time that is peaceful or meaningful. Different answers come to different people.

Why Are Our Workplaces Getting Ruder?

Incivility is costing us personally and professionally. So what can we do to deal with it?

Is Critical Thinking the New Mindfulness?

Think "sexy" and think "critical thinking," at least in the not-so-distant future.

Want Long-Term Well-Being in Life? Your Mind Holds the Key

Do you want lifelong vitality and health? Research shows that your state of mind and engagement with others matter more than your physical condition.
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6 Inner Resources You Didn't Know You Had

Character strengths come in many shapes and sizes. Lost strengths. Happiness strengths. How might you use each category of strengths to make the most of your life?

Benefits of Sex After 50

On July 24, 2017, The European Court of Human Rights affirmed the importance of sexuality to people 50 and older. From hormones to spirituality, sex can benefit older adults.