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

How Our Habits Affect Our Dreams

By Michelle Carr on May 28, 2015 in Dream Factory
We often feel that we don’t have any control over our dreams. But the truth is, we do. How we react to situations in waking life dictates how we behave in dreams, and in this way, we are responsible for creating our own dreams.

Traumatic Consequences of the Rwandan Genocide of 1994

Our project aims to listen to the ways in which individual Rwandans interpret their own lives and to examine posttraumatic growth in the context of post-genocide Rwanda.

The Perfect Graduation Gift: A Coat for All Seasons!

What is the one gift that can help your kids to succeed? The best part about it --- it's free!

Are You an Ethical Leader?

If you’re really honest with yourself for a moment how ethical are your leadership behaviors?

Take Your Mental Health “Pill” Every Day!

A depressed client of mine once remarked—“I found out I need to take my signature strengths pill every day.” She was speaking of the research-based psychology intervention of “use 1 of your signature strengths in a new way each day.”

A Few Surprising Predictors of Exercise Enjoyment

While further research is always needed from multiple labs and with multiple and diverse populations, our most recent research suggests that your beliefs about your own fitness and working harder might actually help you to enjoy your exercise more. And if you enjoy it, you’ll do it. And if you do it, your body, mind and soul will be better off as well.

How Do Positive Leaders Build Positive Identities?

As a leader what stories are you telling about yourself and your team members? How might these stories be shaping the way you think, feel and act? Could a more positive interpretation lead to better outcomes?

Kitchen Therapy: Cooking Up Mental Well-Being

Culinary therapy is the treatment du jour at a growing number of mental health clinics. Here’s why.

The Hazard of Coasting in Your Partnership

We often coast in our important relationships rather than pay attention. Avoiding a slippery slope toward disconnection means being mindful of when we’re unwisely coasting.

A Crash Course on Happiness

Are you a "seeker"—someone who's always been interested in happiness? Have you wondered about what it would take to sustain happiness? Are you curious about the true and the fake determinants of happiness? If so, you may be in luck!

How Do Positive Leaders Enable People To Thrive At Work?

Are your employees thriving at work? Do they show up each day with a spark of energy, passion and excitement about the learning and growth opportunities unfolding? And as a leader how do you keep this spark burning?

Be Very Afraid: Uncertainty, Fear, and Achievement

Adventure is defined by uncertain outcome. The most significant moments of our lives, the most important decisions and the most meaningful choices are characterized, in part, by uncertainty and by fear. Without uncertainty we have a safe, contained, and predictable experience; we don’t have adventure.

3 Ways Positive Leaders Make Work More Meaningful

Increasingly leaders are coming to understand that more than promotions, income or job security, people rank purpose in their work as their top priority.

Sibling Revelry

The qualitative gains of sibling relationships beg the question, “Do friendships forged at summer camp elicit the same positive outcomes?”

4 Steps to Shake a Bad Mood

Regardless of what is going on in the world around you, try practicing these four steps to lift your spirits instantly.

10 Ways to Become an 'Elephant Teacher'

What can a teacher learn about positive psychology from an elephant? You might be surprised!

What Excites You?

All love is based on the experience of positive emotion, and the part of love that makes your heart thump owes its power to the emotion of excitement that began in early childhood.

Discipline Rooted in Nurturance and Living Example

Discipline is pointing the way. Living example demonstrates the message in vibrant color impacting a child even more than words.

Communication From Boardroom to Bedroom

Communication between the sheets is as important as it is in professional settings. Intimately, sensual talk is of universal interest and curiosity. Lines of communication should be as open in the bedroom as they are in the boardroom. It is all about the art of transparency. Here are some reasons why transparency and open communication is vital in both scenarios.

6 Ways That Tonight's Dreams Could Change Your Life

Can we benefit from thinking about our dreams? Will attending to our dreams waste our time or, even worse, mislead us into inferences of false meaning?

The Gift of Positive Psychology: Empower Teachers

How do we express our gratitude to our favorite teachers? Empower them.

From Arrogance to Appreciation

Using the compass of character strengths to move through the journey of life, takes us from arrogance to appreciation.

Connect, Act, Evolve

What is today's non-religious approach to community?

Does Eating Your Carrots Make You More Creative?

In a new study, people’s daily fruit and vegetable consumption predicted how engaged and inspired they felt that day.

Looking to the Future of Positive Psychology

Positive psychology is at a crossroads whether it is a new separate discipline or a force for transformation and integration

Journaling Clears Out the Bad, Builds Up the Good

By Jason Powers M.D. on May 03, 2015 in Beyond Abstinence
Multiple studies show that disclosing emotions through journaling is therapeutic, which is why I encourage my patients to write for their own benefit and consumption.

A Spiritual Life with a Psychology to Match

Spiritual people, spiritual psychology: hope for the future.

Posttraumatic Growth

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

4 Character Strengths Sustain U2’s Success

How does U2 reflect a connection culture? One reason is the band's many character strengths that they express and appreciate in one another, such as love, humility, and appreciation of beauty and excellence.