A New Theory of Well Being
Over the last two years, we have repeatedly been told by those around us, be it family or friends, to be positive thinkers and not positive covid samples! But is positive thinking enough for us to feel happy and in control of our lives?
A relatively nascent branch of psychology called Positive Psychology suggests differently. There is more than just positive thinking that can change our life.
While most branches of psychology focus on the negative aspects of behavior or mental disorders, Positive Psychology focuses on how to help human beings prosper and lead healthy and happy lives. According to leading authorities in the field, Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Positive Psychology will help achieve “scientific understanding and effective interventions to build thriving individuals, families, and communities”.
In a nutshell, this branch focuses on Positive experiences like happiness, joy, and inspiration. To define and understand well-being, the ‘PERMA’ model was created by Seligman. An acronym, PERMA itself signals Positive emotions, Engagement, with activities and hobbies, Relationships with family and friends, Meaning, or finding a purpose, and Accomplishments, or goals and successes.
It is interesting to note that Positive thinking is distinct from Positive Psychology. Positive thinking is a way of thinking ourselves into better behavior and greater resilience whereas the latter is an organized scientific study of what makes people thrive. Character strengths, optimism, mindfulness, resilience, gratitude, etc. are some of the major topics of interest in the field. In a fast-paced world, we often face problems like stress management and workplace issues which are managed efficiently by positive psychology. Education, therapy, self-help, stress management, and workplace issues are some real-life applications of the branch.
Next time you feel helpless, try practicing gratitude, connecting with people, and having fun by doing activities that give you pleasure, and most importantly by playing to your strengths! Let’s give positive psychology a try in our daily lives and create a ripple effect.
– Daksayani Chandra, 11