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Powers of Positive Psychology

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

Powers of Positive Psychology

A Christopher Peterson description of positive psychology can be summed up as a scientific approach to studying human thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Positive psychology focuses on strengths instead of weaknesses and building a good in life instead of repairing an unpleasant one. Positive psychology aims to take the lives of average people to “thriving” instead of focusing solely on moving those who are struggling up to “normal” (2008).

Positive psychology has been shown to be beneficial in a variety of areas, including happiness, life satisfaction, mental health, and creativity. When we focus on problem solving instead of moaning on about an issue at hand, our locus of control is moved inward and we live happier lives. Positive psychology also leads to people scoring higher on life satisfaction surveys. “Life Satisfaction” can be defined as the extent to which we find life rich, meaningful, and of high quality. Creativity is increased as we look more mindfully at the world around us recognizing all its opportunities as opposed to seeing barriers and blockades to “the good life”.

When we learn to habitually see life through the lens of positive psychology, our attitudes and behaviors begin change as well. We begin to look for ways that we’ve been blessed.

When we find them that energy is passed along to those people around us, and to the people around those people. Cascading. Even when the inevitable time comes along that something bad DOES happen, we bounce back quickly without spending unneeded time and effort feeling sorry for ourselves. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy we have total control over. Marcus Aurelius wrote in his Meditations "If you are pained by any external thing, it is not this thing that disturbs you, but your own judgment about it. And it is in your power to wipe out this judgment now."

Positive psychology has been shown to be an effective tool for overcoming personal challenges, such as addiction or simply dealing with life’s stressors. Treatment uses for positive psychology are spreading throughout the scientific community and being tested as a means to treat many different issues. Instead of treatment that is focused on eliminating a negative, Positive psychology focuses on creating the meaningful and uplifting experience of a life lived pursuing happiness and self worth.

Research with alcoholism shows patients are less likely to relapse in the face of stressors and alcohol craving when they practice positivity on the daily. Holding a positive emotional state correlates with less stress and less craving than simply fighting the power of the disease and white knuckling it powered by pure willpower. Individuals with various dependencies will benefit from cultivating more positive emotions in order to regulate their stress levels.

To conclude, people who choose to see the world positively are simply more enjoyable to be around, and this fact serves them in every arena of life. Business comes easier. Friendships become easier and more fruitful. Simple everyday interactions with those in our communities such as the barista or store clerk are more enjoyable and both parties come away feeling better about themselves and the world in general. And THAT, for me, may be the biggest benefit of them all. In a world where we are systematically divided by every imaginable difference from dawn to dusk by the talking heads on our televisions and social media, choosing to see through that garbage and instead see things in a positive light, is our way back together creating the peaceful prosperous environment in which we will thrive.

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