What Is Positive Psychology?
Positive psychology is essentially optimizing the positive aspects of your life. It links in with the concept of being in the flow of life. Csikszentimihalyi believes that people can experience this flow when they are optimally challenged and equally go into a flow state to meet those challenges with a positive mindset.
Often positive psychology is used by psychologists to help patients deal with depression or negative attitudes built up over time and ingrained in their behavior. However it can be used beneficially by almost anyone who wants to adopt a positive way of thinking to their everyday living.
So now we have explained this much talked about type of psychology, lets explore it in everyday terms and refer to some more experts in this field.
Essentially a person operating in the grey flow area is adopting the positive psychology approach. In other words the degree of challenge and stress (positive and negative) is balanced and they perform optimally.
Once they step outside this grey area, either challenged too much and not in the flow or challenged too little and not in the follow they experience extreme perspectives (none-positive psychology states). The aim for everyone is to operate in the grey area or the flow or the zone as much as possible.
In addition there are some practical aspects to living according to positive psychology. These include the following strategies which are by no means an exhaustive list of methods.
How To Be Positive?
#1. Learn To Forgive Others
Even go so far as to write a letter that you never send to them. This will start the healing process from your end at least. Scientists are now doing experiments on the emotion of forgiveness and sometimes it is thought that the person forgiven starts to heal too. It is almost as if there is some energy released.
#2. Kind Deeds
Adopt a daily attitude of doing kind deeds for others. A positive, happy, healthy life is after all about giving as much as receiving!
#3. Gratitude Diary
Keep a thankful or gratitude diary. List every good thing that happens to you, no matter how small or insignificant.
#4. List Of Helpful People
Make a list of people who have helped you in your life. Perhaps you never really thanked them enough. Write a letter of thanks to them saying why you are thankful. Take it further if you can and go and read the letter to the person face-to-face.
#5. Your Goals In Life
Do a regular stock take of your goals, mission and values in life. One of the most useful methods is to use the “Nine square values” method. Write the nine things that mean the most to you. Then you select major aspects of your life such as family, close relationship (spouse/partner/lover), health, spirituality/religion, work & career, physical exercise, travel, and hobbies.
If you have children you can make the partner one extend to my family. You will be amazed when you write these down and think about them on a regular basis how much more aware you are of the time spent doing each. More importantly the emphasis you actually place on each of them. It can really help you to re-evaluate your life and your priorities, especially if you are spending way too much time doing one of the segments.
Note that you put your priority in life in the centre square. This visual method of taking stock of your life on an ongoing basis is incredibly useful.
I am sure this concept of living a positive, balanced and fulfilling life has got you all thinking that you would like to know more about this form of self-help psychology.
Remember, sometimes when life is really tough, all we have is to adopt a positive attitude, to act and live as though things were in fact much more positive…and then perhaps that imagining becomes factual…therein lies the power of “positive psychology” and being in the flow. Since when we are in the flow, we are operating at optimal contentment regardless of our external or internal environment.
In essence, positive psychology can be an incredible and transformative way of living!