What can we learn from positive psychology?

Positive Psychology

Positive psychology is the scientific study of what makes people flourish. Simply put it’s the scientific study of wellbeing and happiness and includes areas such as; positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishment.

Consider some of the findings in recent years

  • Most of us are happy and happiness counts: it leads to a longer, healthier life, fulfilling relationships and it buffers us against stress.
  • 50% of our overall sense of well-being and happiness is genetic; only 10% is determined by our environment and our general circumstances which means that the remaining 40% is within our control. One problem is that we are not very good at predicting what will make us happy, so we often look for happiness in the wrong places.
  • Psychologist Barbara Frederickson discovered that experiencing positive to negative emotions in a 3-to-1 ratio leads people to flourish in life.  This means that we need 3 positive emotions to give us a lift for every negative emotion which pulls us down.Other people make life worth living. Studies show that happy people devote lots of time to their family and friends nurturing and enjoying those relationships.
  •  Our work matters if we find it engaging and we find meaning and purpose in it.
  • Knowing our strengths and playing to them leads to a host of benefits including; less stress, and increased happiness, engagement and performance.
  • 3 things lead us to feel our best are competence, autonomy and connection to others.


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