Thursday, May 31, 2007

Introduction to Positive Psychology

This blog used to be about my perceptions of New York, but I've decided to wander off in a different direction...

About two years ago I became interested positive psychology, which sounds like a flash name for wishful-thinking! Luckily (ha ha) it is actually grounded in science, not astronomy!

Positive psychology is easiest to define by what it is not.: a focus on the traditional pathology, victimology and mental illness - the usual subjects of traditional psychology.

Positive psychology concentrates on positive emotion and mental health. (This definition from the back cover of Authentic Happiness by the Guru of positive psychology, Martin P Seligman). It proposes that happiness can be cultivated, mindfully. It uses data from studies done in countries all over the world, over time and more recently, which analyze the things, the ways of living, that result in greater life satisfaction. It's about being deeply in touch with our pure, Good, inherent nature.

I'm taking the tools presented and applying them to my own life; a very wayward, unauthorized and mostly unaudited study in determining whether applying positive psychology ideas will result in greater life satisfaction.

I'm not sure how interesting it's going to be yet. Even so, whatever I learn will hopefully be useful for other people too (even if it's only to dissuade from attempting silly things!).

I haven't decided how to write it yet either. I haven't figured out how to fix the fonts and the spacing on this blog yet! It won't be in third person (although a friend of mine's husband has started referring to himself as "The Michael". It's tempting to start calling myself "The Catherine". "The Cat" sounds too much like a pre-schooler's book.)

There is much more to it, but that'll do for starters. Let's see where this goes...happy days :)