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Positive Psychology: What it is & How it Can Improve Your Life - Flourish with Emiliya

Positive Psychology: What it is & How it Can Improve Your Life - Flourish with Emiliya

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http://flourishwithemiliya.com/Test/gen-step1.php

Discover scientifically proven techniques for increasing your happiness, optimism and life satisfaction.

In the early days, psychology was mainly about research. They wanted to understand how reflexes worked (touch a hot stove… Ouch! Move your hand away), perception worked (I see an old lady… now I see a princess...) and how behavior worked (dog sees food… it salivates).
http://flourishwithemiliya.com/Test/gen-step1.php

Discover scientifically proven techniques for increasing your happiness, optimism and life satisfaction.

In the early days, psychology was mainly about research. They wanted to understand how reflexes worked (touch a hot stove… Ouch! Move your hand away), perception worked (I see an old lady… now I see a princess...) and how behavior worked (dog sees food… it salivates).

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Published by: Emiliya Zhivotovskaya, MAPP, RYT on Apr 05, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/10/2014

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Positive Psychology: What it is & How it Can Improve Your LifeIn the early days, psychology was mainly about research. They wanted to understandhow reflexes worked (touch a hot stove… Ouch! Move your hand away), perceptionworked (I see an old lady… now I see a princess...) and how behavior worked (dogsees food… it salivates).When psychology started it had 3 aims: treat and cure mental illness, support‘creative genius’ or prodigies which back then may have been mistaken for mentalillness, and help every day people live better lives.Mental illness became a popular topic after WWI and WWII. Psychologists who usedto play in labs and give lectures all day had new career opportunities. They couldtreat people who were coming home from war plagued by mental illness.And poof…A lot of funding and money poured into studying how to fix what was wrong withpeople.Well in 2008, we now know A LOT about what is wrong with people. We havetreatments for most mental illnesses and even some cures. We also know a lot aboutcreative genius, but as a whole psychology did not know a lot about your every dayJoe.So in 1998 Dr. Martin Seligman created a new field in psychology… positivepsychology.Seligman spent most of his life studying depression and proved that depression islearned. Then he asked, what about optimism?For a long time, psychologists thought that if you took a person who was depressedand took their depression away, you’d have a happy person. But that’s not true.Just because you don’t have a cold, doesn’t mean you are optimally healthy. Justbecause you aren’t depressed doesn’t mean you feel vibrant, joyful and love yourlife.The field of positive psychology, sometimes referred to as the science ofhappiness, uses the same scientific rigor that has been applied to studying what’swrong with people and how to fix them, to understanding the breadth of humanpotential. Positive psychologists conduct research on things like optimism,resilience, grit, hope, joy, awe, strengths, happiness, flow, prayer, and humor.Anyone can apply the research that has come out of positive psychology into theirlives and careers. Practitioners such as psychologists, therapists and lifecoaches, use positive psychology to find what is already working with clients andhelp them build their strengths, find engagement and meaning in their life. Theyhelp them feel happier and more fulfilled.Positive psychology is different than “happiology”. We are not advocating peoplebe happy, happy, happy all the time. It’s extremely important to feel angry,frustrated and sad when it is appropriate. Positive psychology is about what Dr.Tal Ben-Shahar calls, “the permission to be human.” That is, feeling all theemotions that human beings feel as opposed to trying to tell ourselves we shouldbe happy all the time. It's about allowing yourself to feel all emotions as theycome up without getting stuck.
 
For a long time, psychology did not give people the permission to be human. Thefield was heavily skewed on the side of mental illness, positive psychology isabout evening out the scale. Bringing as much focus to the positive side of lifeas we have to the negative.The research coming out of positive psychology is fascinating. Never before havescientists ran double-blind placebo studies on things like happiness, gratitudeand optimism.Now, you might be thinking, why bother conducting a research study to find outthat doing good things for others can help you feel better? I completely agreewith you. Inherently we know those things are good and we should do that. But, howmany miserable or slightly unhappy people do you come across in your life? Howmany people do you know that go out of their way to do something nice for someoneelse? Even better, go out of their way for a complete stranger?Research shows that you can dramatically and instantaneously improve yourhappiness level just by doing something nice for someone else. These people arehappier, have better relationships, are more liked by others and feel better aboutthemselves.Yes, we know that doing these things can benefit our lives. But we forget. Or wedon’t realize the impact it can have on us.Sound scientific research is powerful stuff. A study showed that sales people wholearn skills on becoming more resilient and optimistic were three times moresuccessful than their depressed counterparts. If you’re a company owner, that’s abig deal.Research shows that engaging in work that enables you to use your strengths andwhat you are naturally good at not only enables you to be happier but also moreeffective. Makes sense right? But how many people do you know that actually get todo what they are good at and love to do every day?Positive psychology is unique from self-help and pop psychology. Its founderMartin Seligman is very clear that positive psychology should be descriptive,rather than prescriptive. Meaning, rather than doing research about what increaseshappiness and then telling people what to do with their lives, positive psychologyshould describe the research on these topics. According to Seligman, peopleconduct sound studies on topics such as resilience, gratitude and prayer, figureout how these things affect people and the mechanisms by which they work.Then they educate people on what the research shows. For example, studies showthat expressing increases your experience of positive emotions and reducessymptoms of depression. Grateful people are more optimistic about future events,feel more connected with others and even report better quality sleep. Asscientists conduct these studies they aim to understand the mechanisms involved ingratitude: how does it work? Why does it work?Positive psychologist say, “show people the research, help them make informeddecisions about what would work best in their life.” This is powerful andprofoundly different from prescribing or telling people how to live their lives.As a positive psychology based life coach, I combine both a descriptive and aprescriptive approach. I describe positive psychology based approaches forcreating the positive change clients want to see, and I make suggestions based onwhat has worked for me and others.

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