Positive psychology is a field concerned with the scientific study of strengths, virtues, and characteristics that facilitate optimal well-being. A basic assumption inherent within positive psychology is the belief that all people desire rich and meaningful lives, personal growth, and enhanced experiences within relational, vocational, and recreational realms. Positive psychology research focuses on understanding the qualities that enable individuals to thrive in the face of adversity and successfully reach meaningful goals, as opposed to investigating pathology or maladaptive symptoms. This scientific inquiry into human virtues and strengths includes qualities such as the capacity for compassion, self-control, happiness, resilience, gratitude, courage, self-knowledge, forgiveness, wisdom, and many more.
By understanding these essential human capacities for growth and focusing on where strengths lie, researchers in the field of positive psychology hope to lend scientific credence to educational and vocational environments that allow humans to flourish and foster high levels of productivity and engagement. Positive psychology research provides useful and accessible tools for increased self-knowledge and identification of strengths. Through greater awareness of where your strengths lie, you can begin to cultivate and develop those strengths by choosing to engage in behaviors that will move you closer to your value-based lifelong goals and aspirations.
“Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered – either by themselves or by others.” – Mark Twain People with healthy levels of self-esteem are able to appreciate themselves fully for who they truly are. There is a calm sense of accurately perceiving strengths and weaknesses without feeling a sense of hubris or self-deprecation. It is…Read More
“Not being able to govern events, I govern myself, and apply myself to them, if they will not apply themselves to me.” – Michel de Montaigne A great deal of time you know what is in your best interest, yet you find yourself either doing the opposite or simply failing to take action. Sometimes self-control is to…Read More
“It is astonishing what an effort it seems to be for many people to put their brains definitely and systematically to work.” – Thomas A. Edison Most of us would love to know how to use our time more effectively. It is a common experience to feel overloaded with tasks and responsibilities, all with an…Read More
People who learn to control inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives, which is as close as any of us can come to being happy. – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi When we are in state of “flow” there is often a sense of losing track of time and feeling completely immersed in…Read More
“Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” – Hans Christian Anderson A meaningful life bestows us with a deep sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. One does not just stumble upon a meaningful life… it is created through diligent work, habits, and chosen direction. While it takes effort and…Read More
“Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” – Abraham Lincoln There are plentiful opportunities in life to be happy or unhappy. While we don’t choose everything that happens to us, we choose most of it in some way or another. When life feels difficult, stressful, or upsetting, there is…Read More
“In the midst of winter, I found there was within me an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus How many times in your life have you set goals, aspirations, or dreams for yourself only to find yourself falling short time and time again? Sometimes that initial “steely” resolve is chipped away by one event after another…Read More
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you are right.” – Henry Ford Self-esteem relates to your appreciative and realistic opinion of yourself. When we go too far in either direction on the continuum of self-esteem we move towards either self-defeating shame or self-defeating pride. A healthy sense of self-esteem requires a…Read More
“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” – Edmund Hillary Self-efficacy is defined by psychologist Albert Bandura as “people’s beliefs about their capabilities to produce designated levels of performance that exercise influence over events that affect their lives.” This translates into a belief not about what we believe our skills to be, but…Read More
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” – Dalai Lama Compassion is a process of relating to others through identification and understanding. Research tells us that infants begin to mirror the expressions of body movements of primary caregivers in the very first few days of…Read More