Three Positive Psychology Tools to Immediately Feel Happier

Three Positive Psychology Tools to Immediately Feel Happier

via Psychology Today by Jeffrey Bernstein

People often mistake positive psychology to mean putting on a happy face and living without any negative thoughts. More realistically, my new book, The Stress Survival Guide for Teens, describes positive psychology as seeing your strengths, learning how to become more optimistic, gaining grit, finding flow (kind of like being “in the zone”), and having gratitude.

Grit and resilience are similar, but there is an important distinction. Resilience is the ability to adapt in the face of stress, in times of hardship, or in light of bad past experiences. Meanwhile, grit is the determination to keep working toward your dreams and develop the skills you need to accomplish even the toughest goals.

Some really positive news is that these happiness-building skills work for all ages. For this post, we will focus on three high-impact tools from positive psychology to quickly raise your happiness: optimism, gratitude, and flow. What follows is a brief description and activity for each one. 

1. Open Yourself to Optimism

Optimism is a crucial part of positive psychology. It involves hopefulness and confidence about the future and believing in the chance of a positive outcome during tough times. The power of optimism is evident in a famous quote by Winston Churchill: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Eternal words of wisdom, indeed.

Optimism can help you view stressful times as more manageable. Becoming more optimistic will help you realize that negative events are only temporary, and sooner or later, good things happen.

It’ll help you believe in yourself and your ability to be successful. And it’ll help you see that when things don’t work out, it’s not all your fault—it’s because the circumstances weren’t right. This will help you try again.

Try This: Flip to the Upside

Reflect on a current situation that you don’t believe will turn out as well as you’d like it to. What are the beliefs that go along with seeing this situation in a negative light? Take a moment to identify the feelings and bodily reactions that you’re experiencing now or that you experience whenever the situation seems the worst. Then ask yourself the following questions:

What messages from my past or from others are leading to my pessimistic view of this situation? (Consider those stubborn, lingering sound bites floating in your mind, such as: “He’s out of your league.” “There’s no way you’ll get that promotion.” “Just saying—they really didn’t seem interested in what you were talking about.”)

Why else have I been buying into the idea that things won’t go as well as I’d like them to?

What would it actually take for this situation to go well for me?

…keep reading the full & original article HERE