Positive psychology is focused on three basic areas of study and practice:
- Positive emotions, consisting of contentment with the past, current happiness, hope for the future.
- Positive traits, such as courage, resilience, curiosity, self-knowledge, integrity, compassion, and creativity.
- Positive institutions, such as community institutions, which can benefit from focusing on the tools developed in positive psychology research.
Positive Psychology: The Evidence on Happiness
Here are some research results that contribute to the field of positive psychology:
- Activities bring more happiness than possessions. A survey of 150 young adults showed that when asked to rate the happiness value of purchases they hoped would be pleasurable, experience-type purchases, such as trips or meals, outranked objects.
- Being wealthy does not make you more likely to be happy than other people, as long as everyone’s income is above the poverty level.
- Grateful people are more likely to be healthy, helpful, and have a greater sense of well-being.
- Seeing other people do good things makes us want to do good too.
- An optimistic outlook reduces the risk of physical and emotional health problems.
We believe that we should work to be happy, but could that be backwards? In this fast-moving and entertaining talk from TEDxBloomington, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that actually happiness inspires productivity.
Photo Credit: http://www.mrichatham.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/positivity-is-key.jpg