Positive psychology is the field of study that focuses on assisting people lead healthy, prosperous and fulfilled lives. Instead of trying to treat disorders or illnesses, positive psychology techniques use a scientific approach in order to help people become happier and satisfied in life. Researchers in this field believe that happiness can be broken down into 3 different dimensions.
Pleasant life – Before one can flourish socially, the basic and most primitive needs must be met. This includes physical safety, security and physcological content. This sense of safety also refers to learning how to deal with stress, eliminate negativity and focus on positive energy.
Meaningful life – Extending beyond oneself and providing value to the world and/or environment. Living a life of meaning and purpose creates a sense of expansiveness and inspiration. This area of life includes building strong relationships, doing good work and exploring passions.
Good life – The basis of living a good life is formed around independence and self-control. This is where self-discipline is exercised towards achieving goals and achieving personal success.
Here are some effective positive psychology techniques that can boost your happiness and improve your attitude towards life so that you can achieve more and feel better:
Happiness is mostly based on the relative judgment of your life, not absolute conditions. When you experince an improvement in the circumstance of your current situation, such as through a pay rise, it is only normal to be happy. Unfortunately, happiness from such an event only lasts for a while.
Soon enough, you get used to your new circumstance and levels of flow seem to return to normal. Psychologists refer to this condition as the hedonic treadmill.
The remedy to deal successfully with the hedonic treadmill is to master the art of expressing gratitude. To achieve this, consider writing down about 3 things you are grateful for every night. If you have problems identifying things to be grateful for, start with the basics.
Bring some gratitude for such things as your friends, a roof over your head and good health. Just being thankful for life itself is enough to experience a deep positive shift.
Challenge the Negativity Bias
The human brain comes with a negativity tendency. This means that an event which is perceived as something negative is likely to have a bigger effect than a positive occurrence.
To help illustrate this point, consider a time when several people commended you for doing something good but one or two people criticized your work. Note how the negative comments stuck with you compared to positive comments. That is the work of the negative bias in your brain.
To counter this, write down 3 good things that occur daily just before you turn in for the night. This simple exercise will reorient your attention towards the positive.
Also, being able to see the positive light in different situations will help you perceive life from a greater view. It is from this point of view where more possibilities are visible.
Random Acts of Kindness
Acts of kindness to other people is a positive psychology technique that boosts your happiness. This is a secret that people who regularly engage in volunteer work have always known.
In one study, people were asked to perform 5 acts of kindness every week for about 6 weeks. The people who did this regularly were found to be significantly more satisfied compared to the control group.
A simple act of kindness such as making a drink for someone or holding a door for them will surprisingly increase your sense of joy.
This sensation reinforces the aspect of spiritual consciousness that tells us that we are all connected on a deeper level. Kindness and compassion is what strengthens this connection and nourishes the spirit. So go out there and do some good.
Mindful meditation is a type of emotion and attention regulation training meant to enhance your life experience.
This technique has been extensively researched in recent years with thousands of papers published in the last decade. Studies have found that mindfulness is highly effective in reducing anxiety, stress and depression. It has also been established that mindfulness enhances activity in areas of the brain closely associated with positive emotions.
Mindfulness and exercise have some similarities. Both of these habits are difficult to maintain in spite of the many benefits they are associated with. To master this beneficial habit, you have to be highly disciplined to embed mindfulness in your life.
- Using Mindful Meditation Techniuqes to Manage Anxiety
- Understanding Mindfulness Based Meditation
- How to Practice Detached Mindfulness