6 Things To Know About Positive Psychology
Positive Psychology was created to help clients focus on their strengths, while alleviating their struggles. When you consider counselling, you likely think about discussing your issues, concerns and tackling problems.
Positive Psychology therapists and counsellors aim to help people flourish even after their symptoms of pain and discomfort are over. Although this method continues to change and grow (for the better), it is not meant to replace traditional approaches.
The point is to find a balance and give attention to both positive and negative elements of a person’s life. It’s a combination approach, which is great, as problems are typically complex.
Read further to learn the 6 Need to Knows about Positive Psychology for more information!
Posted: May 6th, 2021
Disclaimer: Although I am a mental health professional, all information and reflections are meant for educational purposes only. If you plan to make changes in your life, it may be worth consulting with loved ones and/or your wellness team. Also, this post may contain affiliate links that will connect you with some pretty cool products and when making a purchase through those links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Need to Knows
You may think that there is likely enough “toxic” positivity out there and you would be right!
Positive psychology is about building the elements that have been RESEARCHED as ways to improve your wellbeing. So, positive psychology is about building a better life with positive elements, not expecting you to be positive or happy all of the time!
Seligman is one of the main pioneers who created the PERMA model and made up of 5 components. This guy is very researched based and believes in the ability to measure progress, so he didn’t come up with this list without careful consideration and study.
What are the five elements for wellbeing?
E – Engagement
R – Relationships
M – Meaning
A – Achievement
Stay tuned for more posts about each of these or click the already linked ones on the list!
Even in our darkest times, we all have natural strengths, and it is important to implement them in our lives. How so? The theory is that nurturing our strengths counteracts the weaknesses we are experiencing.
There are even studies that show how using our natural strengths can actually prevent mental illness and increase our positive experiences.
They used to associate the theory of positive psychology with Happiness, but even the original creator felt it was not the right wording. He even stated that he “detests” the word and feels the overuse of it has created a meaninglessness to it. That’s no good considering one of the PERMA elements is Meaning!
I, too, agree that the word Wellbeing is far more holistic than using a word that typically describes an emotion. You can have overall wellbeing without being cheerful all of the time.
There are MULTIPLE exercises you can do an online search for. Although going to a certified Positive Psychotherapist is a structured 12-14 session expense, it doesn’t hurt to learn little bits here and there to build up each of the elements in the PERMA model!
Also, many life and wellness coaches are quite positive psychology based, so it’s worth checking out.
Although any of us could benefit from building our strengths and areas that improve wellbeing, but if you are unsafe (suicidal) or too mentally unwell to attend to the exercises, Positive Psychology is not the answer. Not right now anyways.
Severe anxiety, psychosis and safety concerns should be treated before heading down this route.
Positive psychology Resources
Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness & Wellbeing – Martin Seligman
Great for therapists or people interested in learning more about positive psychology. It is quite clinical, to a certain extent, but has valuable information.
Science of Wellbeing
Free 10 module class on the app Coursera and initially created for Stanford University students. Helps to build wellbeing and shows a ton of evidence-based approaches. I loved this course and found it helped me. Plus, I received an email that they have done clinical research on the course and it has been helpful for many! It is worth the time!
Happier – Tal Ben -Shahar
This person developed a happiness class at Harvard many years back and it was filled up right away. The book has great perspectives and helpful exercises to better your life, as well. I found it an easy read and felt the exercises were super appropriate.
So, there you have it, a little extra knowledge regarding Positive Psychology. Hopefully it has sparked your interest to learn some more and start working toward an improvement in your own wellbeing!