How to boost your happiness - Deepstash

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Positive psychology - the Pollyanna of psych?

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 person was encouraged to nurture his or her character strengths, rather than being scolded into fixing their shortcomings?

He reorientated the entire discipline of psychology away from mostly treating mental illness and toward human flourishing, then used his authority to promote it.

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.

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.
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 : the ability to create goals.
  • Pathways thinking : the capacity to plan specific strategies to reach those goals.
  • Agency thinking : the ability to stay motivated for using those strategies.

According to psychologist Charles Snyder, hope is in the context of doing (the capacity to achieve goals), not in the realm of being.

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.