Category: Positive psychology

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Abraham Maslow on Self-actualization - Finding Your True Potential

Abraham Maslow on Self-actualization – Finding Your True Potential

Abraham Maslow was one of the leading writers and thinkers in self-actualization and human potential. He was best known for creating his hierarchy of needs, “a theory of psychological health predicated on fulfilling innate human needs in priority, culminating in self-actualization. “Maslow was a psychology professor at Brandeis University, Brooklyn College, New School for Social […]

Martin Seligman on positive psychology and flourishing

Martin Seligman on positive psychology and flourishing

From Parade magazine: In his new book, Flourish, positive-psychology guru Martin Seligman looks beyond happiness and asks: How can we create a rich, fulfilling, meaningful life? We spoke with him about what it means to flourish. What’s the difference between flourishing and simply being happy? To have a good life—to flourish—it’s not enough to just […]

Creative thinking - creative mindfulness

Creative thinking – creative mindfulness

Creativity coach and therapist Eric Maisel, PhD notes the word mindfulness stands for “the nonjudgmental observation and acknowledgment of our thoughts.” He explains: “We notice the thought – for example, ‘I am running from my writing’ – and acknowledge that we had the thought. The thought comes, we notice it, and it goes.” So, how […]

Brad Swift: from near suicide to a life of purpose

Brad Swift: from near suicide to a life of purpose

In his book Life on Purpose: Six Passages to an Inspired Life, Brad Swift quotes Indian philosopher Patanjali: “When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all of your thoughts break their bonds: your mind transcends limitations.. faculties and talents become alive and you discover yourself to be a greater person than […]

Take Me to Pandora, or The Positive Psychology of Avatar

Take Me to Pandora, or The Positive Psychology of Avatar

By Louis Alloro, Positive Psychology News Daily I want to travel to Pandora, the fictional planet depicted in Avatar. I saw James Cameron’s newest film that has rocked box offices since its release in December on I-MAX 3-D and have since been urging friends to run, not walk, to see this movie. The message inherent […]

Morty Lefkoe on recognizing self-limiting beliefs

Morty Lefkoe on recognizing self-limiting beliefs

Morty Lefkoe notes how much power beliefs have to affect our actions, identity and esteem. He describes his therapeutic approach to eliminate the beliefs that cause our behavioral and emotional patterns. “All meaning is in our minds.  All beliefs are merely the meaning we assign to what we observe.  Before I explain how this axiom […]

Emotion Regulation

Emotion Regulation

How we relate to our emotions can deeply impact our experience of life, and how well we are able to pursue talents and passions. Trying to block or “escape” what we view as negative feelings or emotions can block access to parts of ourselves we might develop. Laura L.C. Johnson writes in a Positive Psychology […]

Beethoven and Stress Induced Growth

Beethoven and Stress Induced Growth

Two of the themes of positive psychology that make the field relevant are resilience and thriving: how some people not only endure but transcend even devastating hardships to find new strengths and continue to realize their talents. In an article, Paul Pearsall, PhD writes: “In 1801, at age 31, Ludwig van Beethoven had become suicidal. He […]

Filling your time with meaning

Filling your time with meaning

“Drawing is sort of therapy for me. I draw in between film shooting sessions, I draw while flying on airplanes, and sometimes when I have days off.” Actor Jane Seymour [from the page Painting 2] Actively making a life of meaning beyond work can help keep us emotionally healthy and creatively dynamic. Gabriel Byrne notes […]

Yee-Ming Tan on positive psychology, Chinese culture, wise sayings

Yee-Ming Tan on positive psychology, Chinese culture, wise sayings

Many seemingly helpful and encouraging aphorisms and wise sayings passed along in centuries of literature may not be so wise after all, as Yee-Ming Tan of Positive Psychology News Daily notes. She writes that she “just finished reading Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book Outliers: The Story of Success. “Much of what Gladwell has to say about […]

Drew Barrymore and Gretchen Rubin on authentic happiness as a choice

Drew Barrymore and Gretchen Rubin on authentic happiness as a choice

Gretchen Rubin describes in her post How To Be Happier – in Four Easy Lessons the series of truths she came up with, based on her study of Buddhism. Her First Splendid Truth: “To be happier, you have to think about feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right, in an atmosphere of growth.” And her […]

Personal Growth Ideas in Positive Psychology

Personal Growth Ideas in Positive Psychology

In her article Nature and Nocturnal Themes in Positive Psychology, Iris Marie Bloom [Positive Psychology News Daily] relates some of the personal development values in this new orientation of psychology. She notes the research and writing of Norman Doidge focuses on neuroplasticity. Bloom explains, “Every thought we think, every feeling we feel, and every action […]

Abraham Maslow and Humanism - how to be self actualized

Abraham Maslow and Humanism – how to be self actualized

Our extraordinary potential Humanism may be summarized as “any system or mode of thought which emphasizes human interests, values, and dignity.” To get more specific with reference to personal growth, it is a central philosophy in the Human Potential Movement, which “formed around the concept of cultivating extraordinary potential that its advocates believed to lie […]

Attitude and personal growth - "Choose to see what is viable for yourself"

Attitude and personal growth – “Choose to see what is viable for yourself”

From article: Stuck? You May Have Eyes Wide Shut Syndrome, By Valery Satterwhite “I’ve been told that I’m incompetent, socially retarded, maladjusted. I still know that I couldn’t function in reality. Los Angeles is a good place for me.” – Diablo Cody, Writer, “Juno” What seems painful, limiting or defeating can become a source of […]

Happiness research gives hope in a dispiriting zeitgeist

Happiness research gives hope in a dispiriting zeitgeist

Learning to be happy “It’s almost as if this happiness stuff has anticipated the hard times to come. As we’re going into this recession, perhaps depression, it’s interesting to note there’s been this big upsurge of work on happiness just prior to that.” That is David Van Nuys, PhD, aka Dr. Dave, in one of […]

Authentic happiness doesn’t necessarily mean "pleased"

Authentic happiness doesn’t necessarily mean “pleased”

Sylvia Boorstein, Ph.D. is author of Happiness Is an Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life. Here is an excerpt from her ShrinkRapRadio.com podcast interview: Happiness has quite a specific meaning. It doesn’t necessarily mean “pleased.” We often, I think, equate “pleased” with “happy.” Things are going my way. I feel pleased, that’s good, I’m […]

Resetting our happiness set point

Resetting our happiness set point

Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., an experimental social psychologist, notes each of us is born with a particular “happiness set point” – “a baseline or potential for happiness.” She has conducted “the first controlled experimental intervention studies to increase and maintain a person’s happiness level over and above” this set point. In her book The How of […]

Learning to be happy - The Happiness Hypothesis

Learning to be happy – The Happiness Hypothesis

The darkness before the dawn “Being happy is something you have to learn.” Harrison Ford Ford certainly has known plenty of unhappiness. He was shy as a child, bullied at school for not “fitting in.” According to Laura Silva Quesada, in her article A reminder from Indiana Jones, “Every day, they’d tease the future Indiana […]

When positive thinking is not so helpful

When positive thinking is not so helpful

Being more optimistic than negative in our thinking can impact how happy we feel, how we value ourselves and our level of achievement. But is it always realistic and in our best interest? Growing up, many of us were treated to stories like the book The Little Engine That Could – a celebration of a […]

Change comes from awareness - not willpower

Change comes from awareness – not willpower

“If self-improvement worked, it would have by now. Getting where you want to be has everything to do with awareness, and nothing to do with willpower.” Cheri Huber – from Unconditional Self-Acceptance (Audio CD) She is founder and resident teacher at the Zen Monastery Peace Center in Murphys, CA, and the Palo Alto Zen Center. […]

Believing and Hoping: Changing and Stereotyping Ourselves

Believing and Hoping: Changing and Stereotyping Ourselves

Revolutionary Road and pursuing your dreams “For years I thought we shared a secret… that we would be wonderful in the world. I didn’t exactly know how, but just the possibility… kept me hoping.” That is from one of many powerful scenes in the movie “Revolutionary Road” – April Wheeler (Kate Winslet) is talking to […]

Fireflies and a positive side to the Lucifer effect

Fireflies and a positive side to the Lucifer effect

In a Positive Psychology News Daily article, Derrick Carpenter writes about experiencing a firefly: “Its body flashed, emitting a gorgeous amber light… I was instantly reminded of innocent and perfect childhood summers.” He goes on to write about Stanford psychologist Philip Zimbardo who discussed research presented in his book The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good […]

Positive Psychology Also Includes Negative Emotions

Positive Psychology Also Includes Negative Emotions

Excerpted from article Positive Psychology Includes Negative Emotions, By Dave Shearon, Positive Psychology News. “Recently, I was teaching ‘Detecting Icebergs’, one of the resilience skills described in The Resilience Factor. “I mentioned the importance of using personal examples whenever possible and gave a quick example of a personal iceberg I had uncovered. “I mentioned that […]

Hale Dwoskin on why “Positive Thinking” fails to build lasting personal growth

Hale Dwoskin on why “Positive Thinking” fails to build lasting personal growth

Hale Dwoskin is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Sedona Method: Your Key to Lasting Happiness, Success, Peace and Emotional Well-being, is a founding member of the Transformational Leadership Council, and CEO of Sedona Training Associates. He writes in an article about trying to use a form of positive thinking: When I […]

Emotions both enhance and impair higher cognition

Emotions both enhance and impair higher cognition

A study reported in the journal Psychological Science concluded that watching funny videos on the internet at work isn’t necessarily wasting time. “People may be taking advantage of the latest psychological science — putting themselves in a good mood so they can think more creatively. “Generally, positive mood has been found to enhance creative problem […]

Deal with your negative thinking, but be careful with affirmations

Deal with your negative thinking, but be careful with affirmations

The self-help ‘author’ Stuart Smalley, a fictional character created by satirist Al Franken on Saturday Night Live in the mid-90’s, had a certain goofy self-effacing charm, but a proclivity for psychobabble, using phrases often taken from common 12-step slogans, such as: * “That’s just stinkin’ thinkin!” * “You’re should-ing all over yourself.” * “Denial ain’t […]

What's a meaningful life? Eric Maisel and tips for making meaning

What’s a meaningful life? Eric Maisel and tips for making meaning

Creativity coach Eric Maisel, PhD is a leading expert on meaning, and has written more than 30 books, including The Van Gogh Blues. The Brain Fitness for Seniors blog has a quick summary: 1. Meaning, Identity and Purpose Are Not Fixed. They naturally shift and change throughout life. A lot of our suffering over lack […]

What You See Is What You Believe

What You See Is What You Believe

By Adam Mortimer How many things in your life, right now, could you be blind to because of a poor mentality? Discovering this truth truly unlocks the keys to personal success. The question then becomes, how can I actively cultivate the correct beliefs that will allow me to see the opportunities that I may be […]

Timothy T.C. So on the Positivity of Sadness

Timothy T.C. So on the Positivity of Sadness

Some authors, including Kay Redfield Jamison, think there is more to depression than negativity. How can sadness be of any possible benefit? In the following article, Timothy T.C. So discusses the positive side of sadness. The emphasis of positive psychology on building the best things in life and making people’s lives fulfilling does not imply […]

DanielDay-Lewis

Daniel Day-Lewis: staying in character, being in flow

“The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.” Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Daniel Day-Lewis describes being intensely immersed in his character when he is working on a movie. He was asked in an interview what he loves about […]

'Twilight' as a positive psychology film: Edward and self-control

‘Twilight’ as a positive psychology film: Edward and self-control

In a scene in the movie “Twilight,” Edward (Robert Pattinson) is telling his love interest Bella (Kristen Stewart): “It would be better if we weren’t friends, not that I don’t want to be. If you were smart, you’d stay away from me.” Psychologists Jeremy Clyman and Ryan M. Niemiec consider it to be a “very […]

Caroline Myss on healing

Author Caroline Myss says that healing is not only physical – “it is also a mystical phenomenon that transcends reason.” She “instructs readers to move beyond the dilemma of needing to find logical reasons for why an illness has developed and instead get on with the task of personal transformation.” Continued in Caroline Myss video […]

Dacher Keltner on positive emotion and living a good life

Dacher Keltner (PhD in Social Psychology, Stanford University) has worked with Paul Ekman, and is now a professor in U.C. Berkeley’s Psychology Department. Here are the Youtube notes from the following video : In Born to Be Good, Dacher Keltner demonstrates that humans are not hardwired to lead lives that are “nasty, brutish, and short” […]