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Positive Psychology: The Effects Of Positive Emotions

1795 words - 7 pages

Positive psychology describes the effects a positive attitude can have on one’s enjoyment of a situation, people, and life as whole. If one is able to find something good about every situation they encounter, then their overall life experience will be positive. It explains that one’s mindset determines the outcome of a situation, including how well they get along with people around them. Positive emotions are capable of changing not only one's outlook on life, but also their life as a whole. By viewing every situation in a positive way stress can be reduced, and both physical and mental discomfort will be limited.
Thinking positively has been studied and proven to help patients battling diseases, and going through physical therapy. These results are attributed to positive emotions ability to overcome negative emotions (Leading With Positive Emotions 1). By outlasting the effects of negative emotions positivity causes feelings of satisfaction and happiness. It also explains how these positive feelings can lead to a happier person who is content with their decisions, and is therefore successful.
Psychology is a field that is constantly evolving to incorporate discoveries within different fields. The study of positive emotions and how they relate to overall happiness is receiving more attention lately, because it was previously overshadowed by the study of mental disorders, due to lack of funding (Seligman 1379). They are also more difficult to study because the emotions that are considered positive are hard to distinguish from one another (The Value of Positive Emotions 330). Recently, more researchers have dedicated their lives to exploring what the definition of happiness is, what makes people happy, and how to allow other people to experience the same level of positive outcomes. Although research is still being conducted on how exactly the work, positive thoughts and actions are capable of changing lives if practiced properly.
When someone is successful it is often assumed that they must also be happy, but this is false. According to Diener and Lucas “there is good evidence to indicate that the absence of maladies does not indicate happiness”(Seligman 1379). Although success can temporarily satisfy you, happiness is not always guaranteed. You may be successful, but unless you are happy you will no be satisfied in life. Happiness was previously defined as minimal or lack of suffering, but, according to Martin Seligman, happiness is a combination of “pleasure, engagement, and meaning” (1380). Instead of reducing things such as “depression, anxiety and anger”, also referred to as “relieving the negatives”, psychologists are focusing on helping patients “build the pleasant life, the engaged life, and the meaningful life” (Duckworth 640-641), and gaining a combination of the three called “the full life” (Seligman 1380).
The full life is a happy fulfilled life that consists of all three lives, with good life replacing engaged life, working...

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