For many years psychologists were interested in abnormal behaviour and mental disorders. That’s why today for many people psychology seems to be equivalent to Abnormal Psychology.
But the field of psychology is much vast than this.
Psychologists now are interested in what consists in a “good life”? What makes our life meaningful? How can we achieve wellbeing? What makes us happy?
This gave birth to positive psychology in 1998.
Now the word “positive” doesn’t mean that this is the only branch of psychology that is important and others are insignificant or “negative”
Actually, positive psychology and abnormal psychology both work hand in hand to make human life better.
How’d your life be without any doctors in town? Just your friends and family to make you happy.. will you really be happy? What if you get some illness? You need doctors for that.
In the same way Abnormal Psychology helps us by treating mental illness. And positive psychology helps us to enhance our happiness.
Both are necessary for overall well-being of mankind.
One helps us by reducing mental illness and other helps us by strengthening mental health.
Do you sometimes feel like you’re not really happy with your life? There’s nothing really bad happening to you.. but still, you don’t feel like you’re not living your life to the fullest.
The absence of negative doesn’t mean the presence of positive. That’s where positive psychology comes in. It helps you live a balanced and happy life. It deals with questions like – what makes you happy? What leads to wellbeing? What are the characteristics of happy couples? How can you be successful and happy? How can you enhance positive emotions in your life?
It deals with concepts like – gratitude, compassion, kindness, altruism, happiness, wellbeing, mindfulness, resilience, hope, savouring, grit, etc.
We understand that talking rudely with someone constantly will damage our relationship with the other person. Does this mean that simply not talking rudely with someone will strengthen our relationship with other person?
Good behaviours are not simply the opposite of bad behaviours.
To strengthen your relationship with someone you might need to appreciate that person, spend quality time together, be kind to one another and make eachother laugh.
Sometimes people wonder what does their relationship lack when there are not really any conflicts happening. Most of the times it’s the absence of positive behaviours which strengthen the relationship.
That’s how positive psychology helps you. And this is why you need to understand what behaviours you need to practice for a happy and meaningful life.