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

Playfulness Is Freeing - Even More Freeing Than Play Itself

By Bernard L. De Koven on February 23, 2017 in On Having Fun
It's the freeing kind of play. It's not just playing. It's the way of being that sets you and all with whom you are playful free. Yes. Playful being. That kind.

The Question That Will Set You Up for Failure...Every Time

By Megan Dalla-Camina on February 21, 2017 in Real Women
Are you always trying to be the best possible version of yourself? Why that's setting you up for failure and what to do about it.
DepositPhotos/VIA Institute

5 New, Short Mindfulness Activities

By Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D. on February 21, 2017 in What Matters Most?
One of the most popular mindfulness activities is referred to as "the mindful pause." Now, there are 5 variations for using this popular practice!

Beware Of Anger

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on February 21, 2017 in Your Wise Brain
In small and passing quantities, anger can be like medicine, but in large and lasting quantities it poisons the mind and relationships.

Could Thinking Positively Be Dangerous Right Now?

Have you started opening the newspapers each day with a sense of dread and disbelief about that latest actions of President Trump and his administration?

Creative Thinking is no Longer an Option, It's Essential

The future belongs to creative thinkers. The real currency of our time isn't money, it's ideas. You need to become an ideas generator whatever field you work in.

Surprising Advice for a Happier and More Meaningful Life

By Jaime L. Kurtz Ph.D. on February 19, 2017 in Happy Trails
Ask yourself this one question.

Forgiveness: 3 Misconceptions

By Robert Enright, Ph.D. on February 18, 2017 in The Forgiving Life
Forgiving others can be misunderstood, preventing psychological healing.

5 Tips to Tame Word-Finding Difficulties

Frustrated by word-finding difficulties? Harness the hidden opportunity they provide to boost your brain health.

Why Authenticity is the Hub of Meaning

By Stephen Joseph Ph.D. on February 17, 2017 in What Doesn't Kill Us
Finding meaning in life is important in all sorts of ways, but too often we don’t take the time to sort out for ourselves what it is that actually provides our sense of meaning.

Have You Found The HERO In Your Team?

When your people are faced with challenges how do they generally respond?

Finding the Meaning of Life Today

By Andy Tix Ph.D. on February 15, 2017 in The Pursuit of Peace
We may want to make our "mark" on the world, but the greatest sources of meaning and significance may be found in little moments throughout daily life.

The Missing Piece for Many Parents: Time to Reflect

By Erin Leyba LCSW, Ph.D. on February 14, 2017 in Joyful Parenting
Stress, exhaustion, and overwork may be edging out the time parents need to synthesize, abstract, and articulate the parenting lessons that they glean from their experiences.

Feed the Wolf of Love

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on February 14, 2017 in Your Wise Brain
The wolf of hate today breeds alienation, anger, and conflicts with others. The wolf of love is fed with our hearts and with hopes.

Divorce in Middle Age

The dissolution of a marriage is usually a major life stressor. Yet, it's up to you whether your new life is aimed toward fulfillment and growth or one of regret and stagnation.
DepositPhotos/VIA Institute

Rise Up: The Hidden Power of Your Phasic Strengths

By Ryan M. Niemiec Psy.D. on February 13, 2017 in What Matters Most?
How do you rise to the occasion? What strengths are part of "rising up" when we really need to?
Damian Boeselager/Shutterstock

Hope and Hopelessness in Trump's America

By David B. Feldman Ph.D. on February 09, 2017 in Supersurvivors
Not only does hopelessness feel bad, it’s associated with inaction, making it a recipe for disaster in a democracy. So how do those in the political opposition remain hopeful?

Small World, Isn’t It?

By Po Chi Wu Ph.D. on February 08, 2017 in Jacob's Staff
Do you believe that innovative design principles can affect behavior?

Finding Hope in Dark Times

Are you caught up in a winter of discontent? How to find hope in dark times.

What Happens When We See Ourselves as Doing the Best We Can?

By Joseph A. Shrand M.D. on February 06, 2017 in The I-M Approach
We can be so good at putting ourselves down, putting each other down, and being put down.But we don't have to.The I-M Approach is a simple, powerful way to remind us of our value.

Race: The Reality of the Imagined

Ideas of race, inflamed by ideology, are remnants of a bygone age. It is time to defuse them and to communicate about the real issues that confront us all.

What Happens When You Look at Someone?

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on February 06, 2017 in Your Wise Brain
Though fast and efficient this process has lots of problems. As our ancestors evolved, rapid sorting of friend or foe was very useful but is it still.

Hope and Connection In These Political Times

By Sam Osherson Ph.D. on February 06, 2017 in Listen Up!
Worried, anxious, and confused by politics? Here are a few steps that can help.

Five Secrets to a Stress-Proof Brain

You may want to get rid of stress, but you can’t! But you can learn to accept your stress and transform the way you think about it so you can benefit from its positive aspects.

Is Self-Doubt Holding You Back?

When it comes to your work, are you sitting on a great idea? How can you develop the confidence to be truly innovative at work?

President and Chief Story-teller

By Robyn Fivush Ph.D. on February 04, 2017 in The Stories of Our Lives
Through storytelling, we better understand the human experience, learn what is important and valuable in our lives

Your Brain Is A Muscle You Can Strengthen: Here's How

What if I told you that you can rewire your brain no matter your age? A few adjustments can go a long way.

The Curious Human

Interest is crucial to our learning, exploratory activities, and creativity. But what happens when this feeling of interest or curiosity is squashed…

Is Self-compassion Self-indulgent?

When you’re struggling to stay motivated, feeling paralyzed by fear or looking straight into the face of failure, how do you push yourself through these moments?

Facing a Tough Divorce Transition? Create Positive Moments

By Wendy Paris on January 25, 2017 in Splitopia
Creating more moments of joy can reawaken parts of yourself or your heritage that may have faded in marriage.