Collaborative Post | From time to time, life throws a curveball when you least expect it. From strained relationships and unreasonable work demands to unpaid loans and health issues, challenges and difficulties can appear in a variety of forms. This is part and parcel of modern-day life, where you are constantly exposed to the demands, pressures, and expectations of society.
However, if left unaddressed, these can take a severe toll on your mental well-being, consuming you with worry, stress, frustration, sadness, jealousy, anger, and countless other negative emotions. In the end, in your pursuit of success, you would have compromised the most basic of human needs to achieve fulfillment—happiness.
But how do you achieve happiness, joy, and hope while tackling life’s many challenges? For decades, psychologists, researchers, and medical experts have proposed various theories, models, and techniques to address this question. Positive psychology, in particular, has gained notable traction in recent years for its emphasis on positive emotions and personal strengths. But what exactly is it, and how can it help unlock your true potential so you can lead a more fulfilling life? Let’s explore.
Positive psychology: Understanding the secret to a happier life
Traditional psychology typically focuses on identifying problems and weaknesses in order to help individuals. However, positive psychology puts the spotlight on a person’s strengths and positive emotions. It goes beyond the practice of positive thinking by enlisting research-backed evidence for achieving a more permanent state of fulfillment.
Martin Seligman, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Christopher Peterson, and Paul Wong are often noted for their work in this field to uncover the path to authentic happiness.
In his PERMA model, Seligman explains five key elements to achieve happiness, contentment, and well-being.
This is about focusing on the upsides of a situation, no matter how unpleasant it may be. Experiencing positive emotions relating to past and present events and developing optimism and hope toward future ones can shift how you see the world.
When you are absorbed in an activity that brings you joy—whether it is playing tennis or watching a movie—you automatically reach a state of flow where you are deeply engaged and consumed by feel-good emotions.
We all know that humans are social creatures. Having a social circle and developing deep and authentic connections with friends, family, and coworkers creates a sense of belongingness. It will also provide you with essential emotional support.
The pursuit of money and material possessions has left many people in distress, even when they achieve their dream job, house, or car. But when you take a moment to understand your life’s true purpose or calling, you can expect to experience a more lasting sense of happiness and contentment.
Even small accomplishments can boost your confidence, make you feel good about yourself, and produce joy.
5 positive psychology strategies for a fulfilling life
How can you practice positive psychology in your daily life to achieve lasting happiness? Here’s what we suggest.
1. Be grateful
You have many things to be grateful for, although negativities may often overshadow them. When you identify and appreciate the positive aspects of your life, you automatically shift your focus and develop positive emotions. For example, you will feel more fortunate and optimistic. You will also start enjoying life’s simple pleasures.
To practice gratitude:
2. Foster kindness
When you are kind to others, you feel good about yourself. This leads to a chain of positive feelings such as compassion, altruism, optimism, and joy.
So, start by treating yourself kindly. Avoid being too hard on yourself and exerting pressure to achieve lofty goals. Do something that brings you joy—take a bubble bath or listen to your favorite music.
Practice kindness towards others, too. For example:
3. Find reasons to smile and feel joy
Proactively searching for reasons to smile is an excellent strategy to infuse positive psychology into your daily life. It allows you to release stress and focus on things that stimulate positive emotions and well-being.
4. Practice mindfulness
Being in the present moment ensures that you see things as they are, without letting preconceived notions and negativity cloud your mind and judgment. Mindfulness also promotes self-awareness.
5. Seek support
A strong support system is essential for cultivating happiness and fulfillment.
Positive psychology has increasingly drawn attention for its focus on positive emotions.
You can adopt it in your daily life by being grateful, fostering kindness, practicing mindfulness, and finding reasons to be joyful every day. Building relationships and seeking support are also important for achieving happiness, positivity, and well-being.
All these can lead to consistent and permanent improvements in your general outlook on life. However, they are not an alternative to medical support. So, ensure you seek advice from a qualified healthcare practitioner if you encounter anxiety, depression, or any other mental health condition that requires medical intervention.
Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post.
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