Discover Positive psychology
Positive psychology is a new branch of psychology, helping people to prosper and lead healthier, happier lives. It takes into consideration more of the ‘what’s right’ with you, in order to improve emotional and physical wellbeing. It does this by focussing on what makes ‘life more worth living’ and fulfilling, so we stay less focussed on the ‘what’s wrong’.
There are five main elements:
How can we use Positive Psychology?
Frequently Asked Questions
Happiology is the study of happiness and is based on the science of knowing how to create positive emotions. It also helps a person become more familiar with the triggers that lead to feeling unhappy. Happiology is not dissimilar to positive psychology, in that it focuses on a range of ways you can bring more positive emotions into your life, which create a more balanced state of mind. Like Positive psychology, happiology looks at happiness as a practice and not a destination. As we all know, happiness isn’t something we can feel all the time, but we can practice habits that have a positive impact on the way we feel.
The benefits of understanding how your mind controls your thoughts and your thoughts control your actions and the way you feel is fundamental. Adopting a positive mindset is significant for mental health and wellbeing and there are numerous scientific studies that prove this. Developing a positive mindset can have a significant impact on your life, as it can elevate and improve your thought process, attitude and behaviour and make you feel more content in the process. It also has a huge impact on some of the key areas in your life including mental and physical health, relationships, and career.
There is numerous evidence that proves that exercise improves mental health. It can be anything from walks in the park to triathlons. From the positive psychology perspective, we link how fitness helps create the ‘good life’ and human ‘flourishing’. Exercise creates a burst of happy chemicals and positive emotions which help with reducing anxiety, depression, stress and elevates mood. Exercise when done regularly increases our confidence, not just in the way we look and feel, but it is skill- building that makes us feel accomplished. When done regularly you start to become your best possible self. And when we find an exercise we love, we are engaged and in flow, we don’t realise where the time has gone. And this all has a positive effect on how we feel mentally and physically.
Anything that gets your body moving is good for your mental health. Physical exercise is even now being prescribed by medical practitioners as a form of mental health therapy. Some of the more popular exercises according to surveys are jogging or running, for releasing happy chemicals. Then there’s walking, and even better, walking in nature provides us with a double whammy of endorphins. Yoga is also considered a superpower, especially when combined with deep breathing, as it cuts through those destructive negative thought loops putting the nervous system into rest mode. Swimming, aerobics, dancing is also great. It’s fine to do any physically exerting movement you enjoy, but the key is to do it regularly.
Our brain works super hard all the time. It looks after our thoughts, movement, breathing, senses, and heartbeat, 24 hours a day. And the fuel we put into our bodies impacts how the brain and body functions, and this of course has an impact on our mood. So, eating high-quality foods that contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and good and bad bacteria helps nourish the brain. 95% of what is often termed ‘the happy chemical’ serotonin, an important neurotransmitter, which helps regulate appetite, mood, etc., are produced in our gut. The state of our gut therefore will determine how well we absorb nutrients from our food that travels directly between the gut and the brain and thus impacting how we feel.
It’s no secret that the foundation of strong relationships is built on empathy, positivity, and a strong emotional connection. These factors contribute to some of the happiest and healthiest relationships, connection being one of the most important. Positive psychology, for example, encourages couples to engage in small, routine points of contact that demonstrate appreciation and gratitude for one another. So, when you give a compliment, for example, it makes your partner feel good about themselves and you for the act of kindness towards them. It helps you reinforce positive views about your partner too.
This is a really common question. Positive psychology focuses on shifting our mindset and how we can think more positively, but it also encourages us to accept and compassionately create space for every emotion we feel, even the ones that don’t always feel so comfortable and positive. We can’t and shouldn’t shut off negative feelings and it’s important to honour all feelings and acknowledge them. Positive psychology helps us get more comfortable with dealing with uncomfortable emotions compassionately and effectively, leading to a more balanced, grateful, forgiving, and kinder mindset. Toxic positivity, however, focuses on finding the good and being overly optimistic in every situation, often ignoring situations that are not good for our overall wellbeing.
Menopause often creates emotional symptoms such as emotional outbursts, anger, mood swings, irritability, poor concentration, memory lapses, anxiety, and depression. It can be very difficult to separate which feelings and emotions belong to which event or biological change. From a Positive Psychology perspective, having a positive mindset and practicing any of a variety of resilience interventions are a great place to start. Some interventions include thinking positively about yourself, reminding yourself that menopause is a natural process, and you are able to manage the symptoms. Self-care, meditation, practicing ‘savouring’ when you are in the moment, connecting with nature and doing things, or being around people that help release positive emotions, are just a few examples.
We can all relate in some way, to being in a relationship that doesn’t serve us. That can be not just with a partner or spouse but can be with a relative, friend, your boss, or co-worker. From a positive psychology perspective, having good, strong ‘positive’ relationships in our lives impacts of our levels of happiness and ultimately quality of life.
Ok, so it’s not easy. When a relationship ends, even if you were the person ending the relationship, it can suck! And when you are in that immediate post-relationship headspace, it can feel like one of the most painful experiences you have ever had to face. But, might it be possible that there are some helpful life lessons
Many of us (especially us ladies, let’s be honest), are on the lookout for our fairy-tale ending in a relationship. We are convinced it’s possible because we have watched our fair share of romantic movies, read the novels and even, dare I say it, compared our relationship to others that have seemingly ‘perfect’ relationships.
But you see, herein lies the problem.