Articles in Strengths
The world premiere of North of Normal will take place on September 5 as part of the Western Positive Psychology Association Conference. Ph.D. students Monica Montijo and Angela Mouton traveled to 22 countries on six continents in order to interview people about love, passion, and peak experience. In addition to their doctoral research, they were inspired to make a documentary film to transmit their findings to a wide audience through the stories of people in diverse cultures and situations.
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.
I was thrilled to speak at two back-to-back Positive Psychology conferences this summer. I came away from the two experiences with my brain filled with new resources to integrate into my work and dozens of new connections. I am so grateful to be part of a community that is at the forefront of bringing positive health and wellness to people worldwide.
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.
Today’s Western society is characterized by an abundance of choices, from supermarket products to online education to career choices. At first sight, these opportunities may seem very positive, but at the same time they pose a serious challenge: How to make the right choice? If the number of choices increases, so does the possibility of making the wrong choice. What insights from positive psychology can help us increase the chance of making the right choices?
Still trying to decide whether to attend the Canadian Positive Psychology Association conference in a few weeks? Read these previews of applications of positive psychology in educational settings. Not able to attend? You still may want to know about the work these people are doing.
Positive Psychology focuses on many constructs that are related to the idea of freedom. Sonja Lyubomirsky found that about 40% of the variation in happiness across a population is attributable to intentional activities rather than genetic or environmental factors. Isn’t she talking about making free decisions?
If freedom is that important, how can we reconcile Positive Psychology with studies that appear to undermine free will?
Certain work habits run deep in our culture. To name a few: Work ourselves to exhaustion, don’t take breaks, stare down a problem until a solution is reached, and multitask. Do these habits enhance efficiency or effectiveness? Do they lead to creative solutions to the problems we face?
“Yet!” is a one-word positive intervention. Let’s say you’ve tried something and the results are disappointing. When you say, “I can’t do it!” good friends will chime in “Yet!” to remind you that skills are not fixed and inborn. They grow with practice and effort. So what if you can’t do it yet!
Positive psychology films portray the human condition, which is not always pleasant and upbeat. Some positive psychology films are intentionally raw, dark, and emotionally riveting, while others are lighthearted and fun.
This is the fifth time that Ryan Niemiec has looked back at the movies from the previous year and awarded those that shine light on what is vulnerable, authentic, conflicted, and beautiful in the human condition.