IntroductionPsychology is made of different theories, frameworks, ideologies and hypothesis. Psychology continues to evolve because of new areas of study and changing human requirements. An example of such an approach is the positive psychology. The aim of this paper is to analyses positive psychology and happiness. The paper starts with an overview of both happiness and positive psychology. The second part analysis the role of positive psychology in the promotion of happiness through counselling and the third and last part discusses the application of positive psychology techniques to the promotion of happiness.
Overview of Happiness and Positive PsychologyHappiness can be viewed from a different perspective, but the feeling of positive emotion is integral to the process of happiness. Having positive emotions is not only appropriate because of pleasantness but also advances the requirements of the individual and general development of the world (Park & Peterson, 2008). In addition, happiness or developing positive emotion enables greater achievement, better physical health, love, and build friendship. Happiness ensures the wrongs and the bad things are addressed through creating an environment of positive emotion. Positive psychology is a term used for grouping a number of themes focused on strengths, positive virtues, flow, flourishing, mental health and subjective experiences (Lyubomirsky, Sheldon & Schkade, 2005; Sheldon & Lyubomirsky, 2006).
Positive psychology aims to capitalise on what is good rather than what is wrong. For example, many people ask “what is wrong? ” and the aim of positive psychology is to encourage people to ask “what is right? ” The objective of positive psychology is to assist in mitigating dysfunctional behaviours, cognitions, and emotions, which negates the requirements of happiness and positive orientation (Park & Peterson, 2008).
In addition, understanding positive psychology equip individuals with the confidence and skills to address day to day challenges (Wood & Tarrier, 2010). Positive psychology maintains and fosters optimal state whereby an appropriate ratio of negative and positive experiences and state are present most of the time (Delle et al. 2011). The aim is not to analyse the weaknesses or negative side of a challenge rather to also view the positive angle. Therefore, positive psychology aims to champion happiness through concentrating on variables that encourage, champions and upholds happiness.
Positive Psychology and HappinessHappiness is integral to the assumptions of positive psychology (Lyubomirsky, Sheldon & Schkade, 2005). The characteristics of happiness include the frequent positive affective state, which is more compared to the negative affective state (Duckworth, Steen & Seligman, 2005). In addition, happiness creates the perception that an individual is progressing appropriately towards life goals (Park & Peterson, 2008). However, it is a challenge to identify the factors that contribute to happiness meaning what makes one individual happy is different from what it makes another individual (Wood & Tarrier, 2010).
The point of coherence in the studies and researches is that pursuit and attainment of pleasure may not translate to happiness. It is associated with the skewed nature in which individuals aim to own or have earthly belongings without considering the wider impact of happiness. Some environmental conditions or factors have been shown to be associated with happiness and include moral values, social relationships, family, health, labour market status, and individual income (Carr, 2004; Sheldon & Lyubomirsky, 2006). In understanding happiness, two theoretical perspectives are usually discussed and utilized to understand the reasons why individuals feel happy and good (Wood & Tarrier, 2010).
These theoretical perspectives are eudemonic and hedonic approaches to happiness (Keyes, Shmotkin, & Ryff, 2002).