Positive Psychology and Seligman

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Positive Psychology
The “Pleasant Life” is living your life with as much pleasure and positivity as possible and using your skills to increase your happiness (Tiller 2012). However, there are shortcomings to the “pleasant life” which are that people tend to get bored of the activities that make them happy and that is lacks flexibility. Seligman’s research has contributed to the field of positive psychology by helping people acquire the skills to be able to handle life in a more positive way. According to Seligman, there are three components of happiness: 1) pleasure, 2) engagement with one’s family, work, romance, and 3) meaning (Wallis 2005). Each type of happiness is connected to positive emotions with a sequence from gratification to strengths to purpose.

Many research studies have concluded that positive emotions are typically associated with positive events. For example, one study observed nuns who led similar lifestyles. It appeared that the nuns who articulated their emotions in a positive way in their journals seemed to outlive the nuns who did not. So, using this example, one can conclude the correlation between positive emotions and circumstances.

Seligman sees the development of strengths as a crucial to the “good life” (Tiller 2012). The “good life” is knowing what your greatest strengths are and using them in your work and relationships. Seligman’s biggest recommendation for lasting happiness is to figure out your strengths and find new ways to deploy them (Wallis 2005). For example, when a person’s passion in life is to write, they will discover that time ceases when they sit down to write. Seligman refers to this as “flow” or when you feel totally absorbed in what you are passionate in doing. Seligman describes “flow” as an investment in one’s creativity which then results in a greater feeling of happiness. Furthermore, practicing kindness is a type of gratification that calls on these strengths specifically to overcome or meet a...
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