What is Positive Psychology – An Overview

September 8, 2020 |

Positive psychology has been described in many ways and with many words, but the commonly accepted definition of the field is this:

Positive psychology is the scientific study of what makes life most worth living” (Peterson, 2008) To push this quote further, positive psychology is an approach to studying human thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. This allows people to focus on strengths, rather than weaknesses and building the ‘good’ in life, rather than repairing the bad (Peterson, 2008).

Identifying one’s character strengths (such as courage, humanity, or justice) is considered an important step on the road to the good and meaningful life envisioned by positive psychologists. There are also positive psychology practices one can try at home to promote well-being. For example, gratitude exercises have been studied by psychologists as a way to increase happiness over time. Just what the name sounds like, these involve such simple actions as writing down each day three things for which one is grateful.

Although the focus of positive psychology is on happiness and fulfilment, it is important to understand that this does not mean people are advised to push away their negative emotions altogether. People who are flourishing make room in their lives for such inevitable states of mind.

For further reading, please visit:

Positive Psychology (Wikipedia)

Positive Psychology Centre

Psychology Today – Positive Psychology

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