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Positive psychology - the Pollyanna of psych?

https://www.draudreyt.com/post/positive-psychology-the-pollyanna-of-psych

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Positive psychology - the Pollyanna of psych?
positive psychology - the "science of happiness" - currently sits hand in hand with traditional mental health interventions.

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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 restoring normality in individuals and to look at happiness and contentment as ways to not only restore normality, but also to prevent and protect as well as potentially cure.

Positive psychology has three main areas: Generation of both short and long term healthy pleasures, joy obtained through the connection with others and happiness that comes from a meaningful life.

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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.

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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.

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Intervention techniques for positive psychology

Intervention techniques for positive psychology
  • Reflective journaling
  • Mindfulness and gratitude
  • Identifying and balancing negative thoughts
  • Accepting and managing emotions
  • Forming healthy interpersonal relationships, including forgiveness.

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The benefits of positive psychology

Studies show that individuals with a positive outlook on life have lower blood pressure, fewer illnesses, faster healing times and higher recovery rates.

Positive psychology, just like the the majority of interventions, is not enough on its own. The right importance should be given other aspects such as: overall physical, mental and social wellness of the individual.

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The limits of positive psychology

Positive psychology will not prevent life's problems but will give a lens through which one can view difficulties. Finding the silver lining in every cloud lays the foundation by which resetting is made possible.

Positive psychology will not necessarily prevent illness, but their approach can be beneficial when combined with other treatments.

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How to boost your happiness

  • Make a list of the things that make you happy. Take photos of them or write them down on post-its to remind you when you need a lift.
  • Don't repress painful experiences. Instead, ask what you can learn from it.
  • Do something to boost your overall health every day. Think about something you're looking forward to today, even if it's taking the time to enjoy a cup of tea.

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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.

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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,...

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.

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.

Describing Hope

Describing Hope

Hope is a positive cognitive state based on determination and planning to meet a goal successfully. It consists of three things:

  • Goals thinking

4 Types of Hope

  • Realistic hope: It is hope for an outcome that is reasonable and possible. For example, hope for ease from chronic pain, knowing that complete eradication is unrealistic.
  • Utopian hope: It is a collectively oriented hope that combined action can lead to a better future for everyone.
  • Chosen hope: Hope helps us live with a problematic present in an uncertain future. Choosing hope for the smallest range of goals is essential to control negative emotions.
  • Transcendent hope, or existential hope, is the hope that is not tied to a specific outcome, but a general hope that something good can happen.

Being Hopeful: Benefits

  • Hope correlates with high academic and athletic performance, greater physical and psychological well-being, better self-esteem, and increased relationships.
  • Hope can enhance well-being over time.
  • Hope results in the person viewing stressful situations as a challenge rather than a threat.
  • Hope can be seen as creating a buffer against chronic anxiety.
  • Hope is a motivational factor that sustains actions toward long-term goals.
  • Hope is positively related to overall life satisfaction.
  • Hope motivates individuals to maintain their positive involvement in life despite any limitations they may have.