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Is the World Ready for Positive Psychology? by Amy Tardio


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Amy Tardio writes:

The emerging field of Positive Psychology is intended to compliment, not to replace traditional psychology. By scientifically studying what has gone right, rather than wrong in both individuals and societies, Positive Psychology hopes to achieve a renaissance of sorts. In other words, an understanding of the important role of positive emotions and experiences that leads to the broad practice in institutions from politics to preschool to insure our personal and collective best.

Oh...And Did I Mention The Word Happy?

Happiness is a favorite topic in both mainstream media and Positive Psychology. In both fields the word Happiness is widely seen in book and research titles, headlines and on magazine covers. Obviously -- like sex -- happiness sells. The basic premise is that given our personality type and current situation we can still learn to be happier. How much happier and for how long is a ripe topic for discussion. Scanning the newsstand one would believe happiness is instant and enduring. "5 Quick Ways to a Happier you" or "How to be Your Happiest Self" are catchy cover lines but the concept of thriving (positive psychologists also like to use the word "flourishing") is not a quick fix and requires effort, expertise and strategies that have been scientifically studied. In fact, some researchers believe that without sustained effort to be happier we may revert back to a "set point." Still others believe that our set point can be raised. Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D. a smart, down-to earth mom and highly regarded researcher at the University of California, Riverside is confident as much as forty percent of our happiness is within our control. The trick is to pick a happiness activity that is a good fit with ones personality, lifestyle and means, vary the activity to avoid boredom and adaptation and commit -- as one does with exercise -- to make a lasting change. Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D. a calming, and acclaimed researcher at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill describes negative emotions as much more memorable and longer lasting than positive emotions. Much of her strategies involve stacking the deck as much as possible with positive experiences, thoughts and feelings in an effort to outweigh the influence of negativity. Fredrickson describes a ratio of 3:1, positive to negative emotions as the "tipping point" toward overall well-being.

Check out a few books on positive psychology.

www.talbenshahar.com: Tal Ben-Shahar is the Author of Happier and Perfect and is a Harvard University Professor known for teaching the most popular course on campus; "Positive Psychology."

www.Authentic Happiness.sas.upenn. Founded by Martin Seligman, Ph.D. and run by The University of Pennsylvania. This website is designed to promote research and offer strategies toward thriving. Seligman is also the author of several books including Authentic happiness: using the new positive psychology to realize your potential for lasting fulfillment.

The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D. An easy to follow, practical guide to finding happiness strategies that are a good fit and lots of easy, different ways to implement them.

Positivity by Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D. A look at why positive emotions broaden our minds, open our hearts and increase creativity. The science behind the 3:1 ratio and great tips for recognizing and savoring the best of life.

Curious by Todd Kashdan, Ph.D. One of the young rock stars of the Positive Psychology Conference. Kashdan's studies recognize the importance of mindfulness in unleashing curiosity, dealing with times of fear and being open to what life has to offer.

Everything's connected!

Snip from above:  <Scanning the newsstand one would believe happiness is instant and enduring. "5 Quick Ways to a Happier you" or "How to be Your Happiest Self" are catchy cover lines but the concept of thriving (positive psychologists also like to use the word "flourishing") is not a quick fix and requires effort, expertise and strategies that have been scientifically studied. In fact, some researchers believe that without sustained effort to be happier we may revert back to a "set point." Still others believe that our set point can be raised.>

Sustained effort and vigilance is the key.

Snip: "http://pandawhale.com/post/21120/george-harrison-and-the-beatles"

("Beware of Darkness") In addition, the lyrics warn against negative thoughts ("thoughts that linger"), because these corrupting influences and negative thoughts can lead to maya, or illusion, which distracts people from the true purpose of life.[3] [2] [4] [5] The middle eight delivers the message that this "can hurt you", and that "that is not what you are here for."

"That is not what you are here for" is a great place to start.  We are here to flourish.

I really think we're onto something important here, Geege.

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