Many people are busy running what feels like a race in search of happiness, in the hope of living a life of contentment. But the question remains: how can we truly be happy?
Over the past few decades, several philosophers, sociologists, and psychologists have worked hard to answer this age-old question. And their quest to find the answer gave birth to a new branch of psychology – positive psychology.
Keep reading to learn more about this new field of science and how we can use it to drive productivity in our everyday lives.
What is positive psychology?
Christopher Peterson, a renowned psychologist, describes positive psychology as “the scientific study of what makes life most worth living.”
This branch of psychology focuses on helping humans prosper and lead happy and healthy lives. Instead of working on individuals’ weaknesses, as with most other branches of psychology, this field emphasises strengths. It involves studying human behaviour, thoughts, and feelings – pushing individuals to live an extraordinary life rather than merely a mediocre one.
Positive psychology pivots around emotions such as optimism, joy, hope, and happiness. However, it goes far beyond dealing with just these emotions. For example, it also covers attributes like an individual’s well-being and self-esteem to understand how we can best apply them in our personal and professional lives.
Martin Seligman, known most famously for his work in this branch of science, defines three goals of positive psychology that focus on building happiness. He proposed the PERMA model, which aims to describe these goals in a much broader sense. This model focuses on five major elements associated with well-being:
Whether by fostering gratitude for past events or staying hopeful about the future, conjuring up positive emotions plays a massive role in boosting an individual’s well-being.
It’s essential to develop a sense of “flow” by engaging in enjoyable activities or hobbies that bring individuals joy while letting them show off their skills.
Our social connections and interactions are crucial in helping us thrive and give meaning to our lives through the support we receive via these relationships.
Finding meaning and purpose in our lives can help us achieve long-term happiness.
It’s pretty challenging to achieve wellbeing without the drive to accomplish these goals. Once we complete what we set out to do, the sense of fulfilment will contribute to our happiness.
How can positive psychology influence productivity?
According to an analysis from HuffPost Australia, we spend 13 years of our lives working. With so much of our time and energy spent performing chores and work-related tasks, it makes sense to feel fulfilled and be productive while doing so.
Here are some ways you can apply positive psychology to improve productivity in your day-to-day:
Since one of its core principles is to help individuals experience positive emotions, this is likely to help you feel good about yourself. With energy levels on the rise, there is a better chance you will work harder in doing your tasks.
Putting an emphasis on your strengths, rather than worrying about your shortfalls, can encourage you to try new things and be innovative.
Healthier and collaborative relationships with co-workers, employers, and other professionals within the business circle foster a supportive work culture. You are likely to perform better when surrounded by those you feel most comfortable with.
When you work towards achieving a goal or meaningful purpose, the guidance and support from trained professionals like ADHD counsellors, therapists or psychologists can help you take your tasks much more seriously, bringing extraordinary effects on productivity levels.
Employees thrive at work when they see their hard work helped accomplish a particular objective. You can set KPIs or checklists for your goals to keep track of what you have achieved and push yourself to perform even better next time.
Take away message
Positive psychology focuses on five major elements—positivity, engagement, connection, meaning, and acknowledgment. Creating an environment that offers these will build a space where you actually want to work. It’s thought that this dedication will help drive productivity in your lives and contribute to a thriving society.