Positive psychology is a scientific study of the things that make life most worth living. Here we focus on both individual and societal well-being, generally, its importance is that it teaches us the power of shifting one’s perspective. In addition to providing evolutionary advantages, improving skills, and enhancing resources, positive emotions also have more direct effects on our health and wellbeing.
The Concept behind Positive Psychology
Positive psychology can also be defined as a branch of psychology that uses scientific understanding and its effective intervention to aid in the achievement of a satisfactory life. The focus here is on the things that make life most worth living for, positive psychology focuses on the positive events and influences in life, they include; positive experiences, positive states, and traits, positive institutions.
In a positive experience, one should be focused on happiness, joy, inspiration, and love, looking at positive states and traits, one should have a focus on gratitude, resilience, and compassion as for positive institutions the focus is on applying positive principles within the entire organization and institutions. Positive psychology spends much of its time and focuses on topics like character strengths, optimism, life satisfaction, and well-being among others, these are the topics studied in order to learn how to help people flourish and live their best lives.
Some of the Positive Psychology Books
Reading positive psychology books helps you jump-start your education by absorbing what researchers, professors, and authors spent years putting together. This is the simplest way to improve yourself.
When you want to study psychology by yourself, books can be a great way to learn and understand the keys of psychology. Psychology books can be found in any library as well as on the internet. Studying psychology using the books could be simpler for one to understand psychology better and highlight what they feel is most important. Some of these psychology books include the following.
- The man who mistook his wife for a hat and other clinical tales by Oliver Sacks
- The psychopath test: a journey through the madness industry by Jon Ronson
- Phantoms in the brain: probing the mysteries of the human mind by V.S Ramachandran and Sandra Blakeslee
- 50 Great myths of popular psychology: Shattering widespread misconceptions about human behavior by Scott O.Lilienfeld, Steven Jay Lynn, John Ruscio and Barry Bayerstein
- The language instinct: How the mind creates language by Steben Pinker
- Predictably irrational by Dan Ariely
- Bad science by Ben Goldacre
- The invisible gorilla by Christopher Chabis and Daniel Simons
- Influence: Science and practice by Robert Cialdini
- The antidote: happiness for people who can’t stand positive thinking by Oliver Burkeman
Ways You Can Practice Positive Psychology
Here are five positive psychology strategies you should try and put into practice so as to know the things that make life most worth living:
- Prioritise close relationships
One should be able to prioritize time with the close friends they have, those who you care about and enjoy their company with, rather than to have a large number of friends who do not seem to care as much. You should share all your personal feelings with them to feel relaxed and also you should offer support to your friends when they need it.
- Express gratitude
Gratitude is an emotion where you express appreciation for what you have in life. To make this easy you should find somewhere to write and write down as many things as you want that you think you are grateful for, you should continue adding more and more things daily.
- Cultivate kindness
It seems that people who care for others consistently are happier and this is especially true for older individuals, this can occur through practicing various activities such as helping a stranger who appears to be in need of caring for your colleague during their tough times. To make this better you should set yourself a goal of performing a random act of kindness every day, this will boost your level of personal wellbeing.
- Discover your strengths
We all have strengths but sometimes we need a little help in identifying them, according to the famous psychologist Martin Seligman the happiest people are the ones who has identified and used their strengths in various areas of their lives he also discovered that you are likely to be happier when your personal strengths are out in various aspects of your life such as hobbies.
- Find your “flow”
If you want to experience your flow you should try engaging yourself in activities that are challenging and also match your skillset. This will help you discover what you are good at and will help you with the practice of positive psychology.
Techniques of Positive Psychology
The following are some of the techniques and the tools you will need to carry them out when practicing positive psychology.
A gratitude journal will force you to put positive and negative experiences into perspectives. People tend to focus on their negative experiences far more than their positive experiences. If in a day you have a lot of positive experiences and only one negative thing happens, it is the one you will be thinking about mostly forgetting the positive experiences. With a gratitude journal instead of ending each day with negative thoughts of what went wrong, you will spend a few minutes thinking about what went right.
Positive relationships are one of the best predictors of happiness and well-being. Gratitude visits are the perfect opportunity to strengthen our relationships and to make our day. Most of us have people in our lives who we cherish and appreciate, but we don’t take the time to spell out the reasons why. We might also have people from the past who have positively impacted our lives and yet they have no idea.
In this exercise, you will identify a person you are grateful for, and you will tell them how they have impacted your life.
Act of Kindness
Being a kind person does not only help others but also boosts your own happiness. One should try getting to the point where you were doing three acts of kindness each day, then create a worksheet with ideas of acts of kindness to help you find a bit of inspiration.
The Real Meaning of Positive Psychology
Much of positive psychology has been concerned with answering the question, “What is wrong with you?” It has sought to make individuals less miserable to treat pathology and mental illness. The goal of the positive psychology movement used to make normal life more fulfilling, it asks the question, “ what is right with you?” instead of vice versa. Positive psychology is more about increasing wellbeing. Well-being is made up of five pillars; positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishments. The practice of positive psychology will have you have a happy life.