Positive psychology is a term that most Americans are quite familiar with. It has become a household term in recent years, and you’ve probably heard it on radio, TV, or on a fashion magazine. But what really is positive psychology movement? What does it mean? Who came up with it? And did it really inspire the formation of an entire movement? Keep reading to get a clear understanding of the term ‘positive psychology,’ the positive psychology movement, its origin, and what it does.
Positive psychology is a scientific field specializing in the study of the positive aspects of human life such as flourishing, well-being, and happiness. Unlike self-help, happy-ology, or positive thinking, this area of study uses scientific methods to shed some light on conditions and factors that allow individuals, groups, and institutions to function optimally. In other words, positive psychology uses science to explore why happy people are happy.
The Positive Psychology Movement
The term Positive Psychology was brought about by Abraham Maslow, but many scholars believe that Martin Seligman pioneered Positive Psychology as a scientific field. The Positive Psychology Movement took off when the American Psychologist devoted a whole issue to it in the year 2000. As a result, a high number of books and articles have been published on the subject since then. There is also a lot of courses, grants to research, conferences, and so on in support of the Positive Psychology Movement.
The movement was born out of the need to study neglected areas of psychological research. While the last half of the century was marked by excellent progress in understanding mental illness and disorder, another spectrum of the human experience was left unattended. The positive psychology movement focuses on topics such as curiosity, hope, inspiration, forgiveness, and gratitude. The movement’s goal isn’t to look at the inevitable hardships of life through rose-colored glasses or deny them completely.
The Positive Psychology Movement believes in complementing what turns out bad in life with what turns out well. The movement is based on this premise. Researchers and scholars who subscribe to the ideas of this movement share the belief that studying an individual’s dysfunction and suffering is just as essential as studying the contrary i.e. the way people raise healthy families, practice altruism, and feel joy.
Why Positive Psychology Is Important
Mainstream psychology, for most of its life, has mostly focussed on the negative aspects of the human life — according to positive psychologists. Before the 2nd World War, psychology was tasked with the roles of curing mental illnesses, enhancing normal life, and identifying as well as nurturing top talent. The last two roles were largely ignored in favor of the first one.
The disease model was very effective; previously incurable mental disorders such as anxiety attacks, personality disorder, and depression are now treatable. However, all this happened at the expense of the nurturance of high talent and improvement of normal lives. That’s what positive psychology focusses on. Visit NextLevelRecovery.com for more information on Positive Psychology and learn the best means and ways of improving ordinary living, developing fulfilling relationships, and nurturing talents.