What is positive psychology

Happiness

When most people think of psychology they think of a mentally ill person laying on a couch having his psyche dissected by Freudian-type person who asks a lot of questions about the patient’s mother.

Well, to be sure there is still some of that kind of therapy going on, but psychology has changed quite a bit since Freud and Jung. Much of the emphasis on modern psychology is still diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.

However, another approach that focuses less on treating mental illness, and more on improving healthy people’s lives, and keeping them healthy, is gaining popularity. This school of psychology is known as positive psychology.

If you have read much of my blog, or those of the hundreds of other personal development bloggers out there in the blogosphere, you have most likely been exposed to positive psychology. Indeed, if you have read any of the popular self-help books, you already know what positive psychology is about.

What are some examples of positive psychology?

Positive psychology is not just about making people “feel good,” (although I would argue there is some value in that alone). It is about preparing people mentally and emotionally to live happy, successful, and fulfilling lives.

A good example of positive psychology at work is teaching people the value of introspection, mindfulness, and reframing to enable them to react appropriately to life’s challenges, or to align their actions and values. Some of these same techniques are used to treat mental illness such as depression and anxiety, but can also be effectively applied to healthy people to help them better their lives.

Techniques such as NLP, hypnosis, and even clinical practices such as cognitive-behavioral therapies are also very useful when applied in the context of positive psychology.

Teaching people stress relief methods, or other forms of self-care such as the importance of exercise, relaxation, and a healthy diet are also forms of positive psychology. Other forms of positive psychology include helping people focus on their successes, teaching them to learn from failure, and how to make criticism work in their favor.

As you can see, the possibilities are limitless.

An emphasis on positive psychology can make serious improvements in your life, and in the lives of others around you. This does not mean that there is no place for other forms of psychology. The reality is that there is a lot of trauma out there in the real world, and modern psychology has developed some very effective treatments to help people overcome their challenges with mental illness. However, it’s important to realize that psychology is not just for the sick. It can benefit us all.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • ALONIA ANDERSON August 10, 2010, 1:18 pm

    Chris, I have read one of your articles and will read another. Your article is interesting. I also have a Website too. However, my site is about challenging issues that America is facing today such as high unemployment, job creation , health care reform, U.S. and foreign policy. Unlike your Website focussing on relief stress management through positive pschology, I focus on provding solutions to the issues which I have mentioned. You may also ceck my Website and perhaps can find some blogs that would interest you. I will ceratinly keep you in my “favorite” or bookmark your Website. Your blog can also give me some ideas as well to write about

    Thanks you for sharing your Website
    Alonia L. Anderson

    • Chris August 10, 2010, 1:27 pm

      Hi Alonia,

      Thanks for visiting. I am also very much into the current challenges we face as a nation and a world. I try to keep this blog a safe place for all, regardless of political beliefs, so I don’t usually “go there.”But, a friend and I are actually talking about creating another site to explore social and political issues. Ill let you know when and if that ever materializes. And, Ill definitely check out your site.

      Thanks again
      Chris

Next post:

Previous post: