Have you ever taken a moment to consider how you perceive the world? Are you a glass-is-half-full person or someone who sees the glass as half-empty? Sometimes it’s hard to see the positives in life. However, developing a mindset based on positive psychology has the potential to change not only how you approach life, but also how to increase happiness as well.

Positive Psychology #1: Optimism

One way to increase happiness is to be optimistic. To be optimistic means to be hopeful about the future. Note that this doesn’t mean you ignore the struggles or challenges in front of you, or are naïve about the future. It means you are hopeful that things will work out.

Positive Psychology #2:  Enjoyment

Another aspect of positive psychology is enjoyment. Do you find joy in these areas of your life?

What you do for your work or profession.
Hobbies and recreational activities.
Close relationships, such as your partner, family, or friends.
Belonging to a community.
Finding happiness in simple things: eating a delicious meal, reading a good book, listening to music, etc.
Experiencing enjoyment means that you can approach life feeling more open and finding satisfaction and fulfillment in the different avenues of your life.

Positive Psychology #3: Wisdom

Everyone has the potential to be wise, whether they realize it or not. We all contain a certain degree of knowledge, skill, expertise, experience, or awareness about a particular subject. This could be something specific, such as:

A sport or other athletic activity.
A hobby.
An academic subject.
A practical skill or trade.
Wisdom can also be developed by experiencing life and going through its many ups and downs. In turn, this knowledge is respected by others in your life, like…

Your children or grandchildren.
Members of a professional association.
Participants in a club or social group.
People in your community.
Remember, wisdom isn’t just the “book knowledge” you’ve acquired. It’s also knowing that you possess a certain perspective and understanding about life. This acknowledgment has the potential to increase happiness for yourself.

Positive Psychology #4: Excellence

Excellence can also be part of the wisdom you’ll use for developing positive psychology. It means that you are good at something and can take pride in that skill. Excellence reinforces and reminds you that you are a capable person. Whether it’s what you do professionally or for fun, being proficient is a reminder that if you can handle this one situation well, you have the capability to be excellent in other areas of your life as well, which also increases happiness.

Positive Psychology #5: Well-Being

Do you consider yourself to be a happy and healthy person? If not, why? Is there something in the way? Something that’s preventing you from experiencing overall well-being in your life? This could be something you struggle with emotionally, such as anxiety. There may be relationships that have ended poorly or did not contribute positively to your life. On the other hand, you could have physical problems, either because of a disease or an illness or from not maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

How to Increase Happiness in Your Life

You can increase the happiness in your life by making changes that contribute to a more positive outlook. Granted, there are some things you can’t change (your genetics for instance), but you do have the control to create a positive psychology for yourself. For example, you can…

Choose to be more optimistic.

Find joy in life, especially in the “little things.”
Explore ways to connect with others and share your knowledge.
Learn a new skill.
Take care of yourself emotionally and physically.
Practicing positive psychology won’t eliminate all of the problems in the world or even the difficulties in your own life. However, you will be more capable of handling those situations as they arise and not get drowned by the negativity. Instead, you will be able to see the glass as half-full!

References:  Seligman, Martin E.P and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Positive Psychology:  An Introduction. January 2000 ° American Psychologist – the American Psychological Association. – Vol 55. No. 1. 5 14 DOI: 10.1037//0003-066X.55.1.5

Questions, Concerns, Thoughts?
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