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What is Positive Psychology?
  • What makes life worth living?
Home What is Positive Psychology?

What is Positive Psychology?

Positive Psychology is, in short, the science of what makes life worth living.

Traditionally - though this is up for philosophical debate - psychology focused on what goes wrong with people's minds, like mental illness and disorders. In the early naughties, Professor Martin Seligman flipped this around and instead focused on the "scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive". Thus founding the movement of Positive Psychology.

Since then, the movement has flourished and now has its own international associations, worldwide conferences (some of which Practically Positive speaks at), journals and official postgraduate programmes.

Positive Science

As the field gathers momentum, it is becoming more of a 'positive science'. To give you a flavour though, the typical areas of focus (and the ones we're most interested in) are:

  • Subjective Well-Being
  • Positive Emotions 
  • Humour
  • Optimal Experience (flow)
  • Optimism
  • Hope
  • Post-traumatic Growth 
  • Character Strengths
  • Self-efficacy & Resilience
  • Meaning
  • Eudaimonic Well-Being 
  • Emotional Intelligence 
  • Positive Relationships
  • Time Perspective
  • Wisdom
  • Gratitude

To find out more about positive psychology, here are some websites we really like:

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