It has mostly concentrated on reducing maladaptive emotions and behaviors while disregarding good and optimum functioning. Positive psychology, on the other hand, seeks to find and strengthen the human traits and virtues that make life worthwhile. It also aims at eliminating negative aspects of human nature such as depression and anxiety while attempting to increase others such as happiness and optimism.
Why is this important now? Because we need to improve and maintain healthy levels of all types of psychological functioning if we are going to live more fulfilling lives and help those around us do the same.
What makes positive psychology different from other fields of psychology? While most schools of psychology focus on what is wrong with people and how to fix them, positive psychologists try to understand what is right with people and how they can be helped. They also pay attention to both negative and positive experiences because something being negative does not mean it cannot be useful or meaningful.
In addition, positive psychologists seek to broaden our understanding of what it means to be human by looking at the traits and qualities that make us unique. They also attempt to reduce some of the differences between men and women by showing that many gender roles are based on cultural stereotypes rather than biological facts of life.
Positive psychology seeks to improve people's lives by helping them to be the best psychologically healthy persons they can be. Positive psychology says that eliminating disease, disability, sadness, crime, and other life difficulties is necessary, but not sufficient. Being happy and fulfilling lives must be made possible through our actions and decisions every day.
By applying its understanding of how people grow stronger over time by learning from experience, practicing skills, making new connections, and interacting with others, positive psychology aims to help individuals develop their potential mental health and achieve more meaningful and satisfying lives.
Many psychologists believe that one way to promote psychological health and well-being is through positive emotion such as joy, love, and pride. Research shows that when people feel proud of themselves or something they have done, this gives them greater self-esteem. This in turn helps them deal with problems more effectively and get the most out of their daily lives. Studies also show that happiness works similarly by giving people a sense of meaning and purpose in their lives which helps them cope with stressors more easily.
Another important aspect of positive psychology is finding ways to reduce negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, and depression. Research shows that by learning how to better control these emotions we can live more freely and satisfy ourselves with what we have rather than looking for things that will never come.
Good psychology seeks to catalyze a shift in psychology's focus from just fixing the worst aspects of life to also developing positive attributes. Positive psychologists take this idea and apply it explicitly to human flourishing or happiness. They believe that like diseases, negative emotions such as anxiety and depression are part of human nature and should be treated like any other medical condition rather than avoided or suppressed.
Eudaimonism is the view that people should pursue their highest potential or "eudaimonia" and find meaning, value, and joy in their lives. It is a form of ethical egoism: the belief that we should act only in accordance with our own interests without concern for others' opinions of us. Eudaimonists claim that only by seeking out these higher things can we achieve true happiness.
Positive psychologists often refer to Aristotle as the father of eudaimonism because he was one of the first philosophers to discuss ethics in terms of psychological wellness rather than virtue theory or action guidance. His work influenced many subsequent philosophers including Socrates, Plutarch, and Augustine.
Modern scholars have also studied ancient Greek texts for insights on how to live a good life.
"Positive psychology is the scientific study of human wellbeing as well as a practical approach to optimal living." It has also been defined as the study of the qualities and characteristics that allow people, communities, and organizations to flourish. Positive psychologists seek to apply their findings on what makes us happy and healthy to help others face challenges head-on and overcome adversity.
Since the early 20th century, when researchers such as Albert Schweitzer and William James began to investigate what it means to be happy, positive psychology has become one of the fastest growing fields of study in psychology. In recent years, advances in brain science have led some psychologists to speculate that we are now witnessing the beginning of a new era in which mental health will take priority over mental illness. If this prediction proves true, we can look forward to a time when depression is treated not like a disease but like high blood pressure or diabetes—a condition that can be managed but not cured by medications or surgery. Such optimism is justified given that research shows that positive emotions increase the strength of our immune system and make us more likely to reach for and engage with opportunities that would have otherwise been ignored. They also play a role in preventing psychological disorders.