Articles in Relationships
On July 31, I joined around 500 other people in London to hear a talk on The Science of Happiness by Dr Tal Ben-Shahar. Anyone who can engage undergraduates on the scale that he did at Harvard must have something very special to offer. He focused on three themes: paying attention, asking the right questions, and appreciation.
I shared this particular story in Dr. Rashad’s workshop of Positive Psychotherapy, and he pointed out that I was able to employ the character strength of playfulness to address an ongoing and challenging problem with my mother.
The 7th ECPP in Amsterdam from 1st-4th July was a fabulous opportunity to get up-to-date with the latest positive psychology research and practice. I was struck by how often the conference returned to the theme of connection and, in the widest-possible sense, well-being from a community perspective.
At the upcoming Canadian Positive Psychology conference in Ottawa this July, many different keynotes, speakers and presenters will be sharing insights into their research and application of positive psychology. Typically, we think of positive psychology as serving a non-clinical population, but these forward-thinkers are taking positive psychology to populations that may be seen as vulnerable, disadvantaged, or difficult.
When they want to feel more loved, valued, respected or connected, most people give away their power. They ask (or want) others to be different, which means someone else’s behavior determines how happy they will be.
What do happier people do?
What can you do to help people understand the strengths of others? How can you help them learn how to use different strengths as lenses to see things from different points of view? Here’s one fabulous technique, adapted from Michelle C. Louis to enable people to do just that. At the same time, it strengthens relationships.
Earlier this month I got together with several of my colleagues to share ideas about using the VIA Character Strengths at work. We shared stories about seeing the same strength displayed in different ways in different people. Take Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence. Here are three stories about this strength manifesting in different ways in different lives.
We’ve had a tradition for several years now of presenting ideas for gifts for the holiday season. We’re a little late this year, but many of our gift ideas don’t require anything more than a card or piece of paper to make a promise. Besides, gift ideas are useful around the year for birthdays and other celebrations.
Nature can be an easy, free, and effective toolkit for supercharging positive psychology practice, supporting positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment. Ultimately nature gives life to everything that supports flourishing. If we learn to nurture our relationship with the natural world, perhaps we’ll find it supports us in ways we never thought possible.
When we are dissatisfied with our jobs, often our first instinct is to say, “Get out!” The very next thought is, “I can’t!” Then we feel stuck, and the emotional downward spiral begins. There is something we can do that is more effective than simply enduring the pain while stewing in resentment. In the short term, we can try re-crafting our job until we can create a longer-term solution.