Does positive psychology sound as intriguing to you as it does to us?
Then you should think about picking up a copy of the Positive Psychology for Dummies. A comprehensive and easy to understand manual of positive psychology. Positive Psychology for Dummies puts complex ideas into simple terms and is a great place to start if you are fresh faced in the vast realm of positive psychology.
Martin Seligman is often referred to as the father of positive psychology and created the movement in order to direct psychology away from it’s “dark” past that concentrated largely on abnormal behaviours and mental illness.
Seligman’s work on learned helplessness cued his desire for a shift in focus from the negative to humanity’s good side. In the founding of positive psychology, Seligman developed theories such as the VIA Strengths and Virtues and the PERMA model to explain his findings on the necessary components of well-being.
His research and work over the years has continued to focus on finding and applying evidence-based approaches to subjective well-being, authentic happiness, resilience and optimism. All of which are covered in Positive Psychology for Dummies.
The author’s of Positive Psychology for Dummies are well equipped to discuss positive psychology, with extensive backgrounds in the field. Gladeana McMahon is regarded as one of the UK’s top ten coaches, whilst Averil Leimon is a business psychologist and a leading UK leadership coach.
It is no surprise then that the book claims to increase resilience through its teachings. With their combined experience and the positive psychology topics shared in this resource, the Positive Psychology for Dummies has the potential to shape your mindset, expand your thinking and build your resilience to adversity.
“There is a crack, a crack, in everything. That’s how the light gets in” – Leonard Cohen
Traits of a Positive Workplace
While it is not designed to become a self-help read, it does provide some opportunities for self-development in its pages. The chapters contained in Positive Psychology for Dummies cover the main focus areas of Positive Psychology including how to generate a positive workplace.
Inherent in positive psychology interventions is the promotion of the concepts introduced in PERMA, those of positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning and achievement. All these areas, crucial to well-being, are addressed through positive psychology principles applied in the workplace, introduced within the first section of Positive Psychology for Dummies.
The principles for a Positive Workplace include:
- Enable flow opportunities
- Team Building
- Focus on strengths
- Build employee confidence
- Provide a variety of tasks
- Engage intrinsic motivation
Training Resilience: Positive Psychology Interventions for A New You
The next section of the book is arguably the most exciting and focuses on the skills of building resilience tackling our repetitive habits and the detriment they have on our mental health.
The book challenges the necessity of our negative behaviours with the aim of showing us the positive alternative. Backed up by strong evidence it shows us how positive psychology has the power to change individual lives.
In the process of challenging your behaviours and finding new, happier ways of being, The Positive Psychology for Dummies covers the following topics:
- Emotional awareness
- Impulse control
- and Self-efficacy
The authors argue that anger is an emotion that is often inherent within us, and whilst this is essential in times of injustice, it is not a healthy response in our everyday issues.
Healthy expression of our thoughts and emotions is key, and passive aggressive and hostile communication are unhealthy for our bodies, our minds as well as our relationships. If you suppress all your negative feelings they will be submerged within you, breeding hate and waiting to explode.
This section of Positive Psychology for Dummies deals with mastering your anger, developing your self-control and providing concrete, alternative ways of building your opportunities for positive emotions and positive relationships and in turn developing your ability to bounce back from difficulties.
A Strengths-Based Approach
The final topic of the book is the that of human Values in Action, Character Strengths and Virtues. Fundamental to the positive psychology movement this theory provides us with a positive perspective on individual capacities. As opposed to focusing on people’s weaknesses and how to improve them this enlightening perspective offers us the benefits of looking at people’s best qualities and how to identify, focus and build on them.
This focus on morality, intelligence and love encompass what it means to create a positive attitude.
A Take Home Message
The book is a combination of a self-help book and an educational resource on the topic of positive psychology. And this really highlights the core of positive psychology itself, as while learning its principles you also deepen your understanding of your own happiness and habits. In learning from the topics discussed you will find ways to adapt your own behaviours and attain a more rewarding life.
Overall, the book is a great read for exploring the basics of positive psychology. Whilst it does not delve deeper into studies, applications and concepts, it gives you a broad foundation of what you need to know and is a great place to start your positive psychology journey.
The book’s upfront, self-explanatory title keeps its promise- you will learn the simple stuff and not the complexities within its covers. For those who don’t have the time to take a course and just want to learn the key elements, I highly recommend this.