The focus on positive psychology in the media and society sometimes gives the impression that people are now expected to be happy all the time. This can lead people to feel under pressure to achieve the impossible or wronged for feeling negative emotions and moods. This of course decreases their levels of positive emotion and increases stress.
Positive psychology doesn’t proscribe specific levels of happiness. It provides meaningful insight, analysis and strategies to help people benefit from positive emotions and raise their level of happiness and effectiveness over all.
Research in the positive psychology incorporates study of wide ranging areas of wellbeing—subjective (levels of happiness and in-the-moment positive emotion), psychological (overall flourishing in life) and physical (health).
It suggests a simple yet fundamental equation:
Positive emotion + engagement + meaning + relationships + accomplishment = life / job satisfaction and effectiveness.
Positive psychology tells us that to give ourselves the best chance of success we need tools at our disposal to increase the duration and intensity of our positive emotions and decrease the intensity and duration of our negative emotions. We also need tactics to build overall wellbeing into our lives through relationships, community, strengths, engagement and meaning.
These bolster our resilience and psychological resources, making us feel more fulfilled and more able to perform at our best—in the moment and overall.
The wonderful thing positive psychology research provides is clear indications about the most effective methods both personally and professionally to create more flourishing in individuals, teams and organisations.
To learn more about positive psychology, download your free white paper that distils the science, practice and impact of positive psychology on human happiness, performance and wellbeing.