Positive Psychology that Works
a. Why is positive psychology worth pursuing?
a. Simple answer: It gets results—success rates in reducing depression and remission rates: 55% (positive psychology); 20% for treatment as usual; and just 8% for usual treatment and drugs!
b. Fifty people did the “What went well” exercise for just one week, and 47 of the 50 became less depressed. That’s an amazing result. At that rate one could even call it a potential law (with testing on a much larger scale).
b. The Gratitude Visit: Seligman suggests writing a one pager to a person who’s meant a lot to us in our lives and then delivering the message in person. Communicating sincere thanks for help along the path of life makes both recipient and donor much more positive immediately.
c. What Went Well (Three Blessings Exercise): Write down three things each day that went well and why you think they went well. I do this nightly and keep a small notebook in a prominent place so I don’t forget to do it. Makes a huge difference.
d. Gratitude List: Keeping a list of 3-5 things you’re grateful for—including even those we often take for granted like running water, heat in the winter, sunlight—is a great way to prime your day with a positive push out the door that can color the rest of the day.
e. Signature Strengths: Go to www.authentichappiness.com and take the signature strengths instrument. Try to use your strengths daily, especially if you want to feel the sense of flow (being totally engaged in the moment) and to flourish…being the best you can be.