If you’ve been working with me then you’ll know that I have a keen ear for the language you use.
In a recent consultation with one of my current clients, I picked up the fact that she had mentioned her negativity bias 6 times in 15 minutes. The thing about her saying that is that she’s right. In fact we all do. But, we can learn optimism.
Our negative bias is a result of evolution. In the very early days of humans it was important to prioritise paying attention to danger and threats. Those who paid more attention to danger and were on negativity alert were more likely to survive the chaos.
Positive psychology aims to find how you can live a happier, more fulfilling life and become resilient in the face of adversity. It's built on the belief that we all want to lead meaningful lives, cultivate what is best within ourselves, and enhance our experiences of love, work, and play.
Positive psychology interventions have been shown to help people with a range of issues, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and chronic pain. And there is growing evidence that positive psychology can also help boost workplace productivity, enhance creativity, and improve your overall well-being.
In a word, positive psychology can empower you to thrive.
Build a life that is most worth living
Whereas traditional psychology primarily focuses on helping you achieve a state of normalcy, positive psychology seeks to help you achieve your optimal state.
When you are thriving, you are not just surviving–you are living a life full of meaning and purpose. You are reaching your potential and doing things that make you feel good.
Positive psychology can help you feel engaged in what you are doing
Allowing you to experience flow–a state of complete absorption in an activity. When you are in flow, you are so focused on what you are doing that you lose all sense of time. You become completely immersed in the experience and feel a sense of joy and satisfaction.
All of which are linked with increased creativity, productivity, and overall well-being.
Communicate effectively and resolve conflict
This one’s a big one! Developing your skills in positive psychology allows you to build stronger, more satisfying relationships with the people who matter to you the most. One of its biggest benefits is helping you develop a strong sense of social connectedness.
Let’s remember that as humans, we are innately social creatures and strong social relationships are among the most important predictors of our happiness and satisfaction with life. They improve our physical health, reduce the risk of premature death, and improve our mental health.
Develop a more positive outlook on life
This allows you to see the glass as half full rather than half empty. To find the silver lining in every cloud. Enter another cliche, if you will. But it's true. Positive psychology helps you to view life in a more positive light.
People with a more positive outlook on life are happier, healthier, and live longer than those who don't. They are also better able to cope with stress and adversity.
Now, depending on your current life circumstances, the above definition of thriving might sound like a complete utopia. Regardless of your starting point, the journey with positive psychology starts with the strengths already within you.
Thrive by developing your character strengths
Through the use of assessments and interventions, positive psychology can help you identify your signature strengths. With my clients I often use Clifton Strengths and then we work together to learn how to use them more effectively in your daily life.
By reinforcing strengths such as courage, resilience, compassion, and creativity, positive psychology helps you to build a more satisfying life.
When you use your strengths regularly, you are more likely to experience flow and find greater fulfilment in your work. Whether it's to build a more resilient marriage and relationships, make an impact in your career, manage stress and emotions more effectively, or increase your overall happiness and well-being.
Positive psychology is not just about being happy all the time
One of the most common misconceptions about positive psychology is that you'll never feel any negative emotions. Or that you extend a positive attitude toward everything that happens to you. But that's not the case. Instead, the goal is to use your strengths to help you through tough times.
The positive psychology approach to negative feelings is like mindfulness and meditation.
It's about building your psychological resilience, the ability to bounce back from adversity. By learning how to manage stress and emotions better, you can become more resilient in the face of challenges.
Positive psychology for pessimistic people
While it's true that pessimists are often more sceptical and negative, they are also more likely to plan and prepare for worst-case scenarios. This can be a strength, as it helps you to be more realistic and grounded in your expectations.
Pessimists are also often very analytical and detail-oriented. If you are a pessimist, you can use these strengths to help you find solutions to problems. You can also use them to develop a more positive outlook on life by looking for the silver lining in every cloud.
So even if you don't consider yourself particularly optimistic, positive psychology can still help you lead a happier and more fulfilling life.
The benefits of using positive psychology in coaching
There is a growing body of research that shows the effectiveness of positive psychology interventions in coaching. As a coach, positive psychology allows me to create a positive coaching environment that supports your learning and growth.
When you feel safe, supported, and valued in your coaching relationship, you are more likely to take risks and explore new areas of development. I can then use positive psychology techniques to help you develop a more positive outlook on life, set realistic goals, and build resilience in the face of setbacks.
How I use positive psychology in my coaching practice
As with my client in the introduction, I use positive psychology to help change how my clients preference information. What I mean by that is that we work together to help you become more aware of the positive experiences around you.
Doing creates a new neural pathway and as you strengthen it over time, you will naturally become more aware of the positives and hold onto less of the negative. It’s a fundamental support function for clients that ruminate and run patterns of depression, panic disorder or anxiety.
Positive psychology is about more than just happiness
It's not about avoiding negative thoughts or situations. But about building a life that is most worth living. And it starts with understanding what makes you thrive.
So ask yourself: What are your strengths? How can you use them to live a more fulfilling life? What are the things that bring you joy? What can you do to make sure you experience more of them in your life?
When you have the answers to these questions, positive psychology can help you turn them into action.
No matter what your starting point is, you can use the tools and techniques of positive psychology to build a more satisfying and fulfilling life. Even if you consider yourself a pessimistic person.
Missed my previous blogs on CBT or Hypnotherapy, you can catch up here.
Have a winning day,