What Is Positive Psychology?

Positive psychology is the study of happiness. Psychology has traditionally focused on dysfunction—people with mental illness or other issues—and how to treat it. Positive psychology, in contrast, is a field that examines how ordinary people can become happier and more fulfilled.

Recent posts on Positive Psychology

Andrew Weil: Coincidences in an Amazing Life

Coincidences in the professional life of a major contributor to the advancement of medicine.

Anxiety as Depression Waiting to Happen

Why does anxiety often lead to depression, and even create further anxiety? This article provides an answer, and discusses a key factor in overcoming the comorbidity.

Are You Setting the Right Goals?

Do you struggle setting or sticking with your goals? It turns out you’re not alone. So where are we going wrong?

Is Your Mind Wandering?

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on June 19, 2017 in Your Wise Brain
Controlling your attention, by pulling it away from what's bothersome or pointless (such as mental grumbling or self-criticism) is the foundation for changing your brain.

I Ching: Intentional Meaningful Coincidences

Create your own coincidences by tossing the coins and turning to the designated page in the I Ching.

Should You Throw a Divorce Party?

By Wendy Paris on June 15, 2017 in Splitopia
Increasingly, people are seeking a way to honor their marriage, even as they end it.
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What’s Your Relationship With Your Life?

We have a relationship with our lives and a story that we've created that shapes its outcome. You have the power to nurture the relationship and change the story.
DepositPhotos/VIA Institute

Gen Z: A Strong Generation. New Data on Why

New insights and approaches in connecting with Gen Z. You'll want to thank the next Gen Z person you meet.

Is Mindfulness as Easy as Mindlessness?

Do you feel that you go through most of your days on auto-pilot? What if being more mindful as you move through your day, could actually be just as easy as being mindless?

What Can You Do When Nothing Is Working?

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on June 12, 2017 in Your Wise Brain
Sometimes it helps to change the channel, shake things up, distract yourself, rest or enjoy something. A respite or some sort of pleasure will help to refuel you for challenges.

Happiness and Your Immune System

Positive emotions are good for our health. Research shows that happiness increases the effectiveness of the immune system, including protecting us from the common cold and the flu.

Why You Don’t Have to Wait to Find Your Purpose

Are you waiting to be struck by a sense of purpose when it comes to your career? What if there was a way to start being true to your purpose right now?

The Three Hounds of Hell

Three forces deplete our well-being and that of our communities and countries.
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Community College

Choosing to go to a community college after high school instead of a four-year university was not an easy choice for me to make and caused me a lot of anxiety.

Understanding Bias, Prejudice, and Violence

If we want to understand bias and prejudice, it might help to understand infant development—feelings and how they work—and evolution.
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Your Psychological and Spiritual Development Helps All of Us

The psychosphere, our mental atmosphere, shows how your own individual evolution contributes the the evolution of human consciousness.

Are You Stressed Or Upset?

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on June 05, 2017 in Your Wise Brain
We move back and forth between Green and Red, which our ancestors evolved to survive and pass on to us in their genes.
CC0 Public Domain

Projection: How We See Ourselves in the Outer World

We like to think we are in touch with objective reality. We could all benefit from looking at our how we project aspects of our inner selves onto the outer world.

Psychology of Peak Performance, Continued

By David Dillard-Wright Ph.D. on June 02, 2017 in Boundless
Endurance athletes teach lessons about mental toughness for everyone.

Are You Getting Growth Mindset Wrong?

Does your organization have a growth mindset? But with all the buzz surrounding this practice, are we actually creating false growth mindsets?

What Do Kids Really Want from a Trip?

By Andrea Bartz on June 01, 2017 in The Wandering Mind
New research shines a light on exactly how children feel about family vacations.

The Psychophysiology of Flow and Your Vagus Nerve

New research offers fresh clues about the psychology and physiological components that come together to create what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi famously describes as a state "flow."

What's Changing?

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on May 29, 2017 in Your Wise Brain
Nothing about opening to the changing nature of both internal experiences and external conditions means that we should pursue wholesome ends and means any less wholeheartedly.

Are We Over Simplifying Our Wellbeing?

Do you struggle sometimes to maintain your wellbeing? Does it feel like circumstances around you just seem to keep pulling you down?
DepositPhotos/VIA Institute

You Are Lucky to Have Found Mindfulness

Why are you lucky to have discovered the practice of mindfulness?

Celebrate Graduation! Booster Shots Advised!

A "booster shot" of self-affirmation at the start of the academic year can have amazing effects on student accomplishment.

Finding Sanity in Today's Political Chaos

By Kimberly Key on May 23, 2017 in Counseling Keys
Research shows that recurring negative stories (on TV or engaging in repeated negative discourse with friends) can have a deleterious effect on our mental and physical health.

Are You Hard On Yourself?

By Rick Hanson Ph.D. on May 22, 2017 in Your Wise Brain
Inner criticism tears you down. Commit to skillful corrections. Take a big breath and very deliberately name to yourself three strengths or virtues you have and let them sink in.

Measuring Happiness: How Can We Measure It?

Can positive psychology researchers really measure happiness? Here are five ways they try—and some of the surprising and interesting findings that come from measuring happiness.
T. Mairunteregger

Seligman on Tour

Is "prospection" the newest and holiest of grails in psychology? Seligman: "Yes." We: "No."