Positive psychology is a subset of clinical psychology. It looks at happiness and wellbeing as an essential human skill and focuses on strengths, rather than problems.
This is different to the traditional approach to mental health, where the focus is on illness and what can go wrong.
Why Happiness Matters
There is a now a huge body of research looking at why happiness matters and how it improves all areas of our lives. The benefits include:
- Improved heart health
- Improved stress tolerance
- Stronger immune system
- Improved management of chronic conditions
- Increased life span
Many researchers also believe that those who are happier, are more likely to engage in other health-giving behaviours such as eating well, not smoking and exercising regularly.
In the workplace it has been shown that positive emotions can:
- Boost job performance
- Send a ripple effect through the team (happiness is contagious!)
- Reduce stress
- Increase earning potential
- Enhance creativity
What Determines Happiness?
Our overall happiness level is made up of the following three areas:
- Biology/Genetics – 50%
- Life Circumstances – 10%
- Intentional Activity – 40%
Whilst we can’t change our genetics, or life circumstances (e.g., where we are born, who our parents are), we can certainly work on our intentional activity. This is where the power lies.
If we invest time in our mental health, by taking small and regular action then we can see real and noticeable change.
The above is taken from our ‘Positive Mental Health & Resilience’ eLearning Course. If you’d like to learn more about positive psychology or our Digital Learning, please get in touch
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