What is Positive Psychology

What is Positive Psychology and Why Does it Matter? 

What is Positive Psychology
Positive Psychology

Why Does it Matter? 

Chances are you picked up this article because you’re searching for something more—more meaning, more fulfillment, more joy. You have an inner sense that your life could feel more worthwhile than it currently does. Know you’re not alone. Behind the glossy veneer of social media perfection, many people are craving the same. 

This inner longing for lives brimming with purpose, resilience, and possibility is why the field of positive psychology matters now more than ever. Rather than trivializing happiness as the answer, positive psychology offers research-based insights into the attitudes, experiences, and practices that allow individuals, relationships, and communities to thrive.

At its core, positive psychology is the rigorous scientific study of what makes life worth living. It explores topics such as connections between mindset and motivation, the impact emotions have on physical health, and why certain mindfulness practices create resilience while others trigger anxiety. Positive psychology examines these deeply human questions with the same focused research as fields like depression or chronic disease. 

The goal is to create an evidentiary body of knowledge detailing how humans can proactively enhance well-being rather than just treating illness, how we can build lives filled with meaning and potential rather than just reducing harm, and so on. The research is then translated into concrete positive psychology tools and coaching methods we can apply in everyday life.

So, what are some of the critical research concepts emerging from positive psychology? Here are a few core areas:

Character Strengths: We each have core virtues woven into our character that fuel purpose and flow when activated. These virtues include creativity, leadership, fairness, and humor. Know and deploy yours. 

Positive Emotions: Positive emotions like joy, inspiration or awe have been shown to physically alter our brains and bodies to expand possibilities, unlike negative states.

Resilience: Success is predicted by the ability to persist through challenges by leveraging skills like optimism, social connectivity, and adaptability. 

Flow: Becoming immersed in growth-oriented activities aligned with our strengths creates a state of energized focus and enjoyment called flow. Seeking flow enhances work and relationships.

Mindset: Our ingrained mindsets largely determine daily thoughts, feelings, and actions. Adjust mindsets around adversity, aging, or emotions to write a new life story.

Positive psychology offers scientifically grounded insights that translate into tangible improvements across all life domains. By better understanding the root causes enabling human flourishing rather than languishing and then applying tools matching those discoveries, positive change naturally flows.

Some additional evidence-based positive psychology practices you can adopt today include:

Gratitude Journaling: Writing a few things you’re thankful for daily physically changes neural pathways to enhance well-being over time. Consistency matters most. 

Meditation: Simple yet powerful. Even 5-10 minutes daily of open awareness meditation can rewire brain functioning to enable the present moment to focus versus fixation on past regrets or future worries. 

Random Acts of Kindness: Channels positive emotions while building social bonds critical for fulfillment. Notice opportunities for small, thoughtful acts in daily interactions. 

As a coach grounded in positive psychology, I help clients identify areas for growth and integrate daily practices tailored to their unique needs and aspirations. By approaching coaching through the lens of positive psychology rather than just eliminating problems, our work naturally cultivates untapped strengths, enables new possibilities, and fuels sustainable change.

The exciting truth is that each small positive habit forged lays the foundation for an upward spiral toward a life well-lived. Science clearly confirms that over time, patterns of positive thoughts, emotions, and experiences literally rewire neural circuitry to lift mood, motivation, and openness to possibility. The compounding impact over the years can be profound.

So, let me leave you with a simple question: What is one positive psychology habit resonating that you’re willing to try today? Just remember, your consistency matters far more than perfection. Approach this as a lifelong journey of progress by gently bringing yourself back anytime you drift. With regular practice, you’ll be stunned by the transformation. 

Now is the time to turn toward the sun. What do you say, shall we begin?