It’s a buzzword, and it’s about happiness
In 2000, Dr. Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi published an introduction to Positive Psychology in the journal American Psychologist. They wrote (abstract here):
“A science of positive subjective experience, positive individual traits, and positive institutions promises to improve quality of life and prevent the pathologies that arise when life is barren and meaningless. The exclusive focus on pathology that has dominated so much of our discipline results in a model of the human being lacking the positive features that make life worth living. Hope, wisdom, creativity, future mindedness, courage, spirituality, responsibility, and perseverance are ignored or explained as transformations of more authentic negative impulses.”
Simplistically: let’s focus on building the good instead of treating the bad and maybe we’ll end up better off. Dr. Seligman is now Director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, whose website is Authentic Happiness.com. The website features a bunch of scientifically-tested questionnaires, surveys, and scales designed to help you develop insights into yourself and the world around you.
The site extolls the practical applications of positive psychology in health, neuroscience, education, psychotherapy, and soldier fitness. We think positive psychology is applicable everywhere, especially in body, belief, psych, and style!
Awareness is half the battle, and the field of positive psychology is bringing tons of awareness to happiness. Up your awareness of your own strengths and traits by trying a few quizzes (you do have to register on the site) from Authentic Happiness!