A major misconception is that positive psychology is positive thinking. SO if you think good thoughts good things will happen.
Whilst positive psychology suggests having an optimistic outlook on life is beneficial good things will only happen if you actively do things to make them happen. Otherwise we could all sit at home thinking nice thoughts and day dreaming about a life we aspire to have and well it just happens? Yes? No. Life doesn’t just happen to us. It’s what we do in life that matters not just simply about how we think.
Positive psychology focuses on building positive emotions such as joy and excitement, contentment and calm. It does not deny the reality of negative emotions and experiences after all we all live within the tension of positive and negative emotions. It is part of life and it is the human condition. We do however tend to focus too much on the negative so there is much value to gain from shifting the focus more to the positive side.
Positive psychology is more than self help. It uses techniques based on rigorous psychological research. Different interventions are tested for their validity and efficacy. It is not a catch all solution and nor is it appropriate for everyone – interventions may work brilliantly for some and not so well for others. Research is moving fast in this field and new techniques are being developed to address many issues we face today.
I use positive psychology techniques in my coaching practise and many clients have enjoyed great results through these methods. It is an essential part of my ‘toolkit’ but in some people the techniques can take time to manifest into outcomes so it is prudent as a practitioner to have many options and strategies to hand.