Mental wellbeing can be measured on a scale of minus eight to positive eight. Traditional psychology is very successful in assisting people to move from the negative up to neutral. Unfortunately, most people with mental health issues don’t want to be ‘neutral’ they want to be happy and experience wellbeing. The role of positive psychology is to study how to move people from neutral to positive.
Positive Psychology aims to improve the quality of life for individuals, communities and organisations. The field studies high achievers, thriving communities and successful organisations and applies these principles to promote wellbeing, spread positivity, improve productivity and importantly in the workplace, create social change.
In 1998 Martin Seligman became the President of the American Psychological Association and redirected the focus from traditional psychology towards positive psychology. He stated that Positive Psychology is “a reoriented science that emphasizes the understanding and building of the most positive qualities of an individual: optimism, courage, work ethic, future-mindedness, interpersonal skill, the capacity for pleasure and insight, and social responsibility.”
Essentially, positive psychology is about enriching the wellbeing of people both at work and at home, by learning how we can become stronger, wiser, more efficient and happier individuals. The focus is on nurturing what is best about mankind. Positive Psychology is growing rapidly and fundamentally shifts our approach from looking at what’s dysfunctional or wrong, to noticing what’s right and flourishing.