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Positive psychology is a popular topic described by mental health professionals; referring to an evidence-based scientific study of the positive aspects of human life, including positive emotions, positive character traits, and resilience.
It's a growing field that looks at how we can cultivate positive emotions and psychological strengths and build on our overall well-being to help people lead happier, more fulfilling lives.
What is positive psychology definitively?
According to Christopher Peterson, writing in Psychology Today, "Positive psychology is the scientific study of what makes life most worth living." Although this is a good description, more is needed. Positive psychology is an evolving branch that seeks to understand the positive influences and factors contributing to human flourishing.
It examines positive states like joy, contentment, satisfaction, and fulfillment and positive traits such as resilience, courage, wisdom, and optimism. It's not just about feeling positive emotions or avoiding negative ones; it's also about building positive character strengths and fostering meaningful connections with others.
What are its focuses and benefits?
We’ve already established that it focuses on positive experiences and traits. Delving deeper, the positive psychology movement also seeks to study how positive experiences and positive traits can help us lead healthier and happier lives. It looks at how we can use positive activities to manage stress, cultivate meaningful relationships and increase our overall wellbeing.
We need positive psychology in our lives. It is invaluable in helping individuals, couples, families, and organisations thrive by holistically studying the positive aspects of human life. Ultimately, its goal is to foster growth and fulfillment in all aspects of life.
Positive psychology's most significant potential benefit is that it teaches us the power of shifting one's perspective. It helps us to reframe problems as opportunities for growth and move towards a more positive outlook on life. By embracing positivity, we have a greater capacity to create meaningful change in our lives and those around us.
However, with every positive, there comes a challenge; in this case, it's the rise of toxic positivity.
What is toxic positivity?
Toxic positivity is the common view of positive thinking as a cure-all solution to life's problems and hardships. It is an unhelpful approach that downplays or ignores complicated feelings to maintain a positive outlook. The danger of toxic positivity is that it can leave us feeling overwhelmed, disconnected, and invalidated when we experience negative emotions.
In contrast, positive psychology offers a more balanced approach by encouraging us to acknowledge our positive and negative experiences without judgment or criticism.
How positive psychology can boost productivity
Business leaders search for ways to boost productivity, and positive psychology is an effective method for achieving this. Studies have found that positive emotions and relationships can help us be more productive, creative, and innovative. This is because positive psychology is not about striving for perfection; it's about embracing life's imperfections and finding positive meaning in our experiences. It is a powerful tool for inspiring positive change, cultivating resilience, and unlocking our growth potential.
Positive psychology also provides tools to increase motivation and job satisfaction, two critical factors for successful employees. By understanding our strengths and building positive relationships with colleagues, we can create a workplace culture of collaboration, trust, and respect that encourages productivity.
Furthermore, positive emotions provide the energy needed to complete tasks efficiently and effectively; studies indicate that optimistic people are more persistent than those who are negative or neutral when solving problems or completing projects.
Embracing the benefit of positive psychology
At the University of Bolton, positive psychology is an excellent option to develop your professional knowledge if you’ve either graduated with an undergraduate psychology degree or are already working in the industry. It’s incorporated into our courses and activities to help students and lecturers become more positive, resilient individuals. Our MSc Positive Psychology course takes things one step further, designed by senior academics to empower students with the knowledge, skills, and techniques needed to become positive psychologists in the real world.
Through engaging lectures, interactive group activities, and project-based learning, our master's degree provides a teaching-intensive, research-informed approach delivered by lecturers who are experts in their field to explore positive psychology concepts in-depth.
The benefits of positive psychology extend beyond just the academic realm; it can also help students become more confident communicators and decision-makers. If you want to find out more about how you can get involved, then click here to view our full course details. Learn to become an industry expert yourself with help from our positive learning environment.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 01204 903807 to find out more.