How can you attain true happiness? This remains one of the biggest questions in the history of humankind. Positive psychology and its related research have tried to answer the question over the years. The eternal pursuit of happiness and yearning to live a fulfilled life has resulted in an entire industry. This industry prioritizes the well-being of humans through different programs, remedies, guides, and tips on how to lead a joyous life.
Many occurrences in modern life cause many to experience despair and misery. More people feeling the weight of adverse events are looking for ways to emphasize positivity in communities and themselves. They focus on highlighting the things that bring meaning to life. That is where positive psychology plays a role in the wellness of people. This article looks at the five key areas of positive psychology and the effectiveness of the interventions.
Grit is the perseverance towards and passion for long-term goals. It is what keeps you going when you are faced with challenges. People with more grit experience higher success levels are resilient and quickly come back after a downfall. According to research on motivation assessments, grit can impact your level of success more than other measures, such as conscientiousness and IQ.
The excellent news is that grit, unlike IQ, is something you can improve through practice. While your IQ levels will remain stagnant throughout your adulthood, you can make the deliberate decision to enhance your grit. Having more grit needs a shift of mind from beliefs that hold you back to more positive beliefs.
2. The Three Types of Happiness
Happiness and positive psychology go hand in hand. Martin Seligman suggested that there are three paths to happiness, but the paths are not equal. First, there is Pleasant Life. Here, you have the things that give you happiness: a delicious meal, drinks with buddies, or something simple like sleeping in to avoid work. However, while the activities give short-term pleasure, instant gratification does not translate to long-term happiness.
The second type of happiness is the Good Life. You get happiness through this path by being engaged in what you do. Engagement involves being passionate about your work, pursuing new hobbies, and building relationships. You become engaged and live the Good Life when you continuously use your virtues and strengths in your everyday life.
The ultimate path to becoming happy is Meaningful Life. This path involves using your strengths and character to serve a purpose or cause more significant than you. There isn’t a cause that is crucial to everyone. So, to find meaning in your life, you must reflect on what matters to you.
PERMA is another essential concept of positive psychology. These are the five fundamentals of well-being and resilience as identified by Seligman: positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment.
There have been developments that have added a sixth determinant to the model. The added determinant of well-being, in this case, is Health. It can be broken down into three pillars: movement, a healthy diet, and sleep.
4. Strength and Virtues
Strength is vital for you to live a meaningful and engaging life. Yet, it can be challenging to introspect and understand your strengths. Seligman and Peterson created the Value in Action (VIA) Character Strength Survey, comprising 24 strengths divided into six virtues: courage, wisdom and knowledge, justice, humanity, transcendence, and temperance.
The VIA Strengths survey assists in identifying specific strengths, and by constantly working and applying them, you ultimately flourish and thrive. It would be in your best interest to reflect and be mindful of your strengths in life. Ensure you understand the strengths to use when you are at your best and those to use to overcome your struggles.
Ensure you set goals that identify your strengths and integrate them into your everyday routines. The more you practice tapping into your strengths, the higher the chances they will become part of your routines and improve satisfaction and meaning in life. You may be pulled towards hobbies, study paths, or job opportunities based on your strengths.
There is a reason gratitude has taken wellness by storm. It is an excellent way of amplifying the effects of whatever is happening in your life. Receiving or expressing gratitude releases your brain’s happy transmitters (serotonin and dopamine). The chemicals assist you in feeling good, making you tap into positive emotions that are vital for your well-being. By making gratitude a habit, you increase the strength of your neuropathways—anchor gratitude to everyday practice to increase your chances of success.
Positive thinking has been criticized, with others saying it advances misleading ideas. Critics say that the principles are more akin to self-help tactics and less to scientific methods. Yet, positive psychology techniques are being used in traditional therapy aspects with results supporting their effectiveness. The principles above suggest you can build success on personal strength. However, working on your weaknesses would be in your best interest to get a healthy balance. Consequently, you will have a more fulfilled life.