Positive Psychology

Posted on 18 Aug, 2021

What is positive psychology and can it help you? 

The terms “wellbeing” and “positive psychology” seem to be everywhere these days. But what does “positive psychology” actually mean, and is it useful? Positive psychology is a relatively new branch of psychology which focuses on ways to make a person’s life the best it can be.  By identifying strategies and interventions that play to a person’s strengths and help them get the most from their life, the field of positive psychology aims to prevent mental illness and build the skills and habits people need to thrive.

Some common misunderstandings

A common belief is that positive psychology is all about “positive thinking” and that, just by thinking positively, good things will happen. In truth, positive psychology uses scientific enquiry and rigorous research to arrive at findings which have a very practical application in everyday life. Positive psychology is also quite different to the popular “self help” movement, also because of its foundation in rigorous research.  It’s not about needing to be “happy” all the time, but rather the focus on individual character strengths and positive emotions that lead to positive thoughts, and then to positive behaviours.

Some key thinkers

There have been many researchers who have contributed to expanding the field and study of positive psychology, such as Martin Seligman, Carol Dwek, Ed Diener, Chris Peterson and Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi. Understanding your strengths will enable you to be more productive, to be more engaged in what you are doing, and find greater joy in your work and home life.

How can you use positive psychology to improve your life?

Several aspects of the field of positive psychology provide practical ways to help you improve your wellbeing. Assessment tools to gain insight into your current state, and techniques to help you identify and focus on your inherent strengths are how many people start.  You might want to try the free VIA strengths character …to help you identify your strengths