WHAT IS POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY?

"Perpetual optimism, believing in yourself, believing in your purpose, believing you will prevail, and demonstrating passion and confidence is a force multiplier." | Colin Powell*

Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive and acknowledge their full spectrum of emotions. The field is founded on the belief that human beings desire to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play. 

Major proponents of positive psychology include psychologists Martin Seligman (who promoted the concept as president of the American Psychological Association in 1998), Christopher Peterson, and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. One of Seligman’s forerunners, Abraham Maslow, called attention to humanistic psychology, which focused on human strengths and potential rather than neuroses and pathologies.

Positive psychology is a scientific approach to studying human thoughts, feelings, and behavior, with a focus on strengths instead of weaknesses, building the good in life instead of repairing the bad, and taking the lives of average people up to “great” instead of focusing solely on moving those who are struggling up to “normal” (Peterson, 2008).

"The aim of Positive Psychology is to catalyze a change in psychology from a preoccupation only with repairing the worst things in life to also building the best qualities in life." | Martin Seligman

*NOTEWORTHY: (America's Promise Alliance is the nation’s largest cross-sector alliance of nonprofit, community organizations, businesses, and government organization dedicated to improving the lives of young people. The organization was founded on the idea that children and youth need “Five Promises” to thrive—caring adults, safe spaces, a healthy start, effective education, and the opportunity to serve—but that not nearly enough young people have access to these basic resources. America’s Promise is currently chaired by Alma Powell and was formerly led by her husband and founding chairman, retired Gen. Colin L. Powell.)

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DISCLAIMER:

This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical issue or disease. The author does not in any way guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of this article and will not be held responsible for the content of this article. The information in this article is not intended to replace a personal relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Always consult your personal health care provider for specific medical advice.

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