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Positive Psychology Takes a New Look at Happiness

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/fulfillment-any-age/202007/positive-psychology-takes-new-look-happiness

psychologytoday.com

Positive Psychology Takes a New Look at Happiness
In the newest version of positive psychology, your own personal happiness is just one part of the formula for understanding your overall sense of well-being.

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Positive Psychology's New Approach

Positive Psychology's New Approach
  • Due to its fleeting and fickle nature, our levels of happiness cannot be gauged, measured or rated accurately.
  • While earlier psychology focused on the bad apples, emphasizing on psychopathology, a relatively new approach to psychology is positive in nature, and focuses on psychological health.
  • Positive psychology’s newer avatar focuses on the various virtues, meaning, resilience and well-being.

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Four Types of Well-Being

To address the disconnect between happiness and deeper levels of satisfaction, researches proposed a model that characterizes people as falling into one of four well-being types.

  1. Optimizing one’s positive emotions, and denying the reality of their negative experiences.
  2. Feeling unhappy seeing the complexity of the world around them, and neglecting the positive aspects.
  3. Having a generally negative view of themselves and the world.
  4. Having a generally positive and empathetic view of the world.

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The Real Meaning Of Happiness

Being happy means more than feeling good. True happiness comes from handling challenging and adverse situations, while collaborating and building lifelong bonds with the people in our lives.

A collective thinking process, where the good of all is considered leads to a level of happiness that cannot be attained by being selfish or self-concerned.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Subjective well-being

This is the primary way Positive Psychology researchers have defined and measured people's happiness and well-being.

It's defined as your evaluations of your own life and your mo...

Subjective Well-Being components

It consists of 3 parts: positive affect, negative affect, and life satisfaction.

Positive affect and negative affect are basically your emotions and moods, and life satisfaction refers to the evaluation of your life as a whole (how satisfied you are with your life, what you would change etc).

Measuring Subjective Well-Being

Tracking your own subjective well-being can be very powerful if you keep alongside a journal of your life's events. 

Keep it up for some time and you will see trends emerge. You'll also be able to adjust your activities in order to maximize positive affect and life satisfaction and minimize negative affect.

Positive psychology: the "science of happiness"

Positive psychology: the "science of happiness"

The "science of happiness" was born as a result of Martin Seligman's (the father of positive psychology) endeavour to approach psychology beyond the idea of r...

The plasticity of the brain

Neuroscience research demonstrates the power of positive psychology:

  • Studies showed that repetitive negative thinking causes one pattern of brain activity, while positive thoughts can produce another.
  • Practices such as gratitude, mindfulness, and physical activity can change certain pathways within the brain.
  • Medication can also stimulate or suppress brain activity. Martin Seligman found a combined treatment plan of medication and therapy can help patients recover sooner.

Positive psychology strategies

Positive psychology treatments focus on four fundamental areas:

  • Strengths: Finding one's inner strength and resilience.
  • Quality of life: Goals and achievements should be underpinned by meaning and purpose.
  • Hope: Ensuring a positive attitude when faced with life's trials and knowing that they have the support to cope.
  • Wellbeing: A sense of environmental mastery, full engagement with the world, and personal satisfaction.

The beginning of positive psychology

The story of positive psychology started just 20 years ago with Martin Seligman, head of the American Psychological Association. The idea he considered was: What if every perso...

Personal transformation

The term “positive psychology" was coined by Abraham Maslow in 1954. Martin Seligman used this term to promote personal change through the redemptive power of devotional practices like counting your blessings, gratitude, forgiveness, and meditation.

It is expressly designed to build moral character by cultivating the six virtues of wisdom, courage, justice, humanity, temperance, and transcendence.

Not a science

Martin Seligman insists on the value-neutral purity of the research on positive psychology. Yet even its fans say it seems to have some of the characteristics of a religion.

Philosophers such as Mike W. Martin say positive psychology has left the field of science and entered the realm of ethics. Science is a factual enterprise, not promoting particular values.