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 Your Beliefs About Yourself Limit Your Potential

At one time, your beliefs protected you and helped you navigate your life. But as an adult, believing you can't express your anger or that winning is all that matters - doesn't help you anymore. It limits you.

Women by Design: Transforming Home, Transforming Self

By Toby Israel Ph.D. on July 02, 2015 in Design on My Mind
Use Design Psychology to create homes that support women's growth and change

Why (Almost) Everyone Is Happy About Same-Sex Marriage

By Ran Zilca on July 02, 2015 in Confessions of a Techie
How is it that a topic that was deeply divisive for years becomes so vastly supported, almost unanimously perceived as a victory?

Random Acts of Kindness Meets Road Rage

By Dana Klisanin Ph.D. on July 01, 2015 in Digital Altruism
Positive psychology takes to the road in this new gadget designed to make the road a happier place.

10 Tendencias Emergentes en la Psicología Positiva

En el IV Congreso Mundial de Psicología Positiva pudimos ver un panorama general sobre el estado de los estudios actuales sobre la felicidad y el bienestar. Yo detecto 10 tendencias prominentes.

Wanting to Feel Good, Familiar or Useful?

But what about familar emotions? Do people like, and seek out, familiar emotions more than unfamilar ones? Or, do people merely seek out emotions that feel good?

Humanism: To Think Is to Act

Humanism: Moving towards pre-frontal cortex functioning and moving away from reptilian brain functioning

Put Your Strengths to Work!

Do you have the chance to do what you best each day? Not just now and again. Not even just most days. But each and every day?

Do You Forgive and When Should You?

From our partner not doing their share of the chores to infidelity, brutal mass murder and everything in between, there are many times in life when we are called on to forgive (or not). Consider these psychological facts before making your personal decision about forgiveness.

How to Stop Re-Creating Your Past and Finally Break Free

By Jennice Vilhauer Ph.D. on June 28, 2015 in Living Forward
If no matter how hard you try you keep ending up in the same place, it may be that you don’t realize you are creating your life by recreating the past over and over again because the brain works on the principle of anticipation. Learn how to break free of the cycle that is keeping you trapped.

Secrets of Psychotherapy: Ten Ways to Help You Be Happy (#3)

By Stephen A Diamond Ph.D. on June 28, 2015 in Evil Deeds
What can different types of psychotherapy tell us about living a happier life?

5 Ways to Make Your Meetings More Positive

Once you have the right people in the room, it appears the secret to an effective meeting may lie in creating the right mood. Yes you heard me; it’s all about the mood.

This Is How You Bounce Back From a Loss

By Thelma Duffey Ph.D. on June 24, 2015 in Works in Progress
When Plan A does not work out, we often feel that our back up plans are just a consolation prize. With the right perspective, sometimes Plan B has even greater benefits than one can imagine.

"So You're Going Crazy" by Hilary Dean

Psychosis is a deeply powerful and commanding experience...that type of power demands an even greater belief in human resiliency, the company of supportive others, good treatment, daily dedication to making a life, and the tincture of time.

Wednesday's Child

Wednesdays Child is a weekly feature that brings conversations about positive psychology in the classroom to life! Join us or start your own conversation today!

You Are Not Strengths-Based, Even When You Think You Are

Most people who help others believe they are "strengths-based." This is a fallacy. Each of these individuals is likely for more problem-based than strengths-based. Many people are "momentary strengths-based." Here are some stories to exemplify these points. I conclude with 10 insights on strengths blindness and mindfulness and strengths.

Five Reasons You Should Write a Book, Now

There are some surprising benefits to writing – even if you don’t think of yourself as a writer.

3 Ways Pessimism About Future Possibilities Fuels Depression

A new study reports that having a pessimistic attitude about "possible futures" isn't simply the result of depression. Pessimism about possible futures may be a leading cause of depression.

How We Can Face and Even Conquer Fear When Cancer Strikes

By Gregg McBride on June 13, 2015 in The Weight-ing Game
When medical challenges including cancer or other frightening prognosis strike those we care about or even ourselves, our positive attitudes just might make for the most healing prescriptions.

When Should You Trust Your Intuition?

It may make you nervous to trust your intuition, especially in an important life decision. However, if we redefine intuition as insight, it’s possible to see the process of listening to your “gut” as having many potential benefits.

5 Ways to Leap Courageously Toward Your Goals

Courage is a widely misunderstood concept. It is more than facing fears and confronting physical danger; it is a subjective and personal experience. Courage can be enhanced to make dramatic leaps toward desired goals.

Hugging the Horse's Head

By John Sean Doyle on June 09, 2015 in Luminous Things
In an open air market in Turin, Nietzsche witnessed a merchant flogging a horse. He ran to the animal and yelled for the beating to stop. He threw himself between beast and whip, and hugged the equine’s thick neck. This frail and sickly philosopher who gave us the Übermensch and slave morality, then collapsed, weeping. I understand why Nietzsche hugged the horse's head.

How to Write your Way to Bliss

Writing is healing and transformative especially if practiced during challenging times. It is a good way to give voice to your feelings and also helps foster awareness. It is a way to tap into our feelings to understand our true sentiments so that we may move forward with our lives. Writing encourages mindfulness which is a healthy way towards well-being.

Do You Know How To Have a Strengths Conversation?

When you sit down with your manager to talk about how you’re performing at work what’s the focus of your conversation?

7 Habits of Happy Children

Happiness is a habit and I can tell you exactly what habits will make the students in your class happier.

Embracing Diversity to Counter Extremism

By Po Chi Wu Ph.D. on June 04, 2015 in Jacob's Staff
Are we hard-wired to prefer simplistic views of the world? What does it take to keep an open mind? What might happen if we acknowledge and celebrate the richness of diverse talents and points of view? Can we, at the same time, embrace similarities and differences in people from other cultures and beliefs?

Therapists Tell Therapy Stories

By Ryan Howes PhD, ABPP on June 02, 2015 in In Therapy
What really happens behind the closed doors of a therapy session? Six therapists share stories.

Thinking about Death and Pain Makes People Funnier

Death anxiety may promotes humor creativity

New Ways to Happiness with Strengths

Need a happiness boost? Looking for more meaning in life? Trying to reach a goal? A new pathway to reach these benefits is to identify your signature strengths (your best personality characteristics) and use them in a new way each day. Research on strengths has repeatedly found this intervention...

How to Direct Your 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.