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Positive Psychology


Positive Psychology is the scientific approach that studies human thought, behaviors, and feelings. It relies on the awareness of strengths rather than weaknesses. It builds off

of the good that is happening in our lives rather than the bad. To quote Dr Martin Seligman, the guru of Positive Psychology, ““Positive psychology is the scientific study of what makes life most worth living” (Peterson, 2008).

Positive Psychology is well-being, and the gold standard for measuring well-being is Flourishing. The goal of Positive Psychology is to increase Flourishing. What is Flourishing? According to Dr Seligman it is the focus on five factors. They

are: Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishments (Seligman, 2011).


Positive Psychology points to how individuals who flourish

are more content, optimistic, and resilient in the face of adversity. Well-being and flourishing are the tenants of positive psychology. So how can we start to bring more

positivity into our lives? Lets look at the PERMA model created by Dr Seilgman.


The PERMA model of Positive Psychology


So where do we start?


“PERMA” is an acronym for the five facets of wellbeing according to Dr. Seligman:

P – Positive Emotions: Even though seeking positive emotions alone is not a very effective way to boost your wellbeing, experiencing positive emotion is still an important factor. Part of wellbeing is enjoying


yourself in the moment, i.e., experiencing positive emotions.

E – Engagement: Having a sense of engagement, in which we may lose track of time and become completely absorbed in something we enjoy and excel at, is an important piece of wellbeing. It’s hard to have a developed sense of wellbeing if you are not truly engaged in anything you do. Are you engaged when you come to training? Are you engaged during the game?

R – (Positive) Relationships: Humans are social creatures, and we rely on connections with others to truly flourish. Having deep, meaningful relationships with others is vital to our wellbeing. We all want to belong to something meaningful, something that allows us to express ourselves freely.


M – Meaning: Even someone who is deliriously happy most of the time may not have a developed sense of wellbeing if they do not find meaning in their life. When we dedicate ourselves to a cause or recognize something bigger than ourselves, we experience a sense of meaning that there is simply no replacement for. It is having a purpose for why you do what you do. This is critical for both on and off the field.


A – Accomplishment / Achievement: We all thrive when we are succeeding, achieving our goals, and bettering ourselves. Without a drive to accomplish and achieve, we are missing one of the puzzle pieces of authentic wellbeing (Seligman, 2011). Focus on what you have accomplished and what you feel you can achieve. Positive thoughts lead to positive actions. So start working on”

  • Experiencing more positive emotions; do more of the things that make you happy, and bring enjoyment into your daily routine;

  • Working on upping your engagement; pursue hobbies that interest you, develop your skills, and look for a job more suited to your passions, if necessary;

  • Improve the quality (and/or quantity) of your relationships with others; work on building more positive and supportive relationships with your friends, family, and significant other(s);

  • Seek out meaning; if you don’t find it through your work, look for it in volunteering opportunities, personal hobbies or leisure activities, or acting as a mentor for others;

  • Keep your focus on achieving your goals—but don’t focus too hard; try to keep your ambition in balance with all of the other important things in life (Seligman, 2011).



KEY POINTS


  • Experiencing more positive emotions; do more of the things that make you happy, and bring enjoyment into your daily routine

  • Working on upping your engagement; pursue hobbies that interest you, develop your skills, and look for a job more suited to your passions, if necessary

  • Improve the quality (and/or quantity) of your relationships with others; work on building more positive and supportive relationships with your friends, family, and significant other(s)

  • Seek out meaning; if you don’t find it through your work, look for it in volunteering opportunities, personal hobbies or leisure activities, or acting as a mentor for others

  • Keep your focus on achieving your goals—but don’t focus too hard; try to keep your ambition in balance with all of the other important things in life (Seligman, 2011).










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