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Tag Archives: positive psychology

Today, a book arrived in the mail. I have been anxiously awaiting it since placing my order last week. Why did I order it, why am I anxious to get it in my hands? I already had the book – in audio format and I have listened to it and loved it. It is a one of a few audio books that I really thought I would benefit from  having a hard copy. I like hard copies for the ability to  easily go back and forth to tie pieces together in my mind. I am a visual learner so seeing the words , as well as any diagrams and tables will help me make the info my own. I also like the ability to highlight and make notes right there in the text.

So what is this book that I am referring to? It is entitled, Flourish, A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being by Martin E.P. Seligman. This book was published in April 2011 by Free Press.

Seligman had five other books, I believe all on the central theme of this book: positive psychology. The revolutionary premise is that psychology  should look at what makes people happy and functional and promote these things rather than, as has traditionally been the case, focusing on all of the negatives and at best hoping to deliver people to a neutral state after eliminating those negatives. Through this perspective people can not just survive and exist but actually flourish!

The book includes some psychological tests, the type where you rate a statement on a 1 to 5 scale and end up with some revelation about yourself. These and a number of other assessment tools can also be accessed through Seligman’s Authentic Happiness website.

One of the key concepts discussed in the book is PERMA – the five pillars of positive psychology. PERMA stands for Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishment.. The book goes into the relationships between positive mental perspectives and physical health (for example lowered incidence of Cardio Vascular Disease.

The book is also filled with good examples of the implementation of the  principles, ranging from a private school in Australia to the U.S. Army. This book is encouraging and as much as I was impressed by it on the first listen I am looking forward to picking up and internalizing more as I work through my printed copy,

For more (and probably better) info on this book I refer you to this post on the Brain Pickings blog.