Lesson: Happiness can help protect your mind and body Before the growth of positive psychology, most psychological research focused on people’s bad experiences. It was well known that negative emotional experiences could damage relationships, health and longevity. Not only that, but many studies suggested negative experiences, in general, had more influence on people than positive… Continue reading How to be happy – 3. Choose happiness for your health
Lesson: How to measure happiness So now we’re clear what we mean by ‘happiness‘. But how do researchers measure it? Since it’s subjective wellbeing we’re interested in, it makes sense that most research uses self-report questionnaires – that is, researchers find out how happy people are by asking them. There are various self-report questionnaires designed… Continue reading How to be happy – 2. Measure your happiness level
Lesson: Happiness is pretty big-picture Most of the research on happiness refers to subjective wellbeing* (SWB), sometimes called hedonic wellbeing. Here’s what researchers generally agree about SWB: It’s somewhat stable. Over time people tend to stay within a range of happiness, allowing of course for the inevitable ups and downs of life. It’s fairly consistent… Continue reading How to be happy – 1. Get clear about happiness
Last week I reviewed a book about the happiness ‘problem’ – the reality that although (US) incomes have doubled in the last 50 years, people are no happier. In that book much of the onus for fixing the problem was placed on society. Now I’m a big fan of individual power, but it did get… Continue reading The politics of happiness
The current issue of PsycCRITIQUES* reviews the film The Pursuit of Happyness from a positive psychology perspective. According to reviewer Ryan Niemiec, it stacks up pretty well. If you haven’t seen the movie, and want a reminder of the value of persevering through hurdles while using your strengths for resourcefulness, then it might be worth… Continue reading Positive psychology – Coming to a theatre near you?
Why is there so much talk these days about positive psychology – where did it all start? Positive psychology is the scientific study of: – The pleasant life – having positive experiences – The engaged life – using your strengths in what you do to create a sense of ‘flow’ – The meaningful life –… Continue reading What is positive psychology?