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Positive psychology

Fortunately, in the last decade or so, burgeoning research in the field of positive psychology has taught us much about the state of happiness. Most research prior to this, at least in the Western world, had focused on psychological abnormalities, dysfunction, and idiosyncrasies—despite happiness being the next most important life goal for most people once our physical needs for food, shelter, and health have been met.

So what have we learned from this research?

First, as a contributor to happiness, research shows that relationships top the scale. Researchers in one study asked, What contributes to the top ten percent of happy people being happy? Second on the list of what most contributes to happiness is a sense of spirituality. In fact, a sense of spirituality strongly correlates to a life well-lived.

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Similarly it seems that people cope better with major adversity in their lives and major physical illness if they have a sense of established spirituality. While the pursuit of happiness is both personal and subjective, and ultimately an individual responsibility, if the state wants its citizens to be functioning well and contributing to the well-being of society, then it needs to create a conducive atmosphere in which individuals can pursue happiness, which leads to the next question: How can communities, societies, and governments create such an atmosphere?

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In regard to relationships, spirituality, and the identification and use of strengths, the path to developing happiness first needs to incorporate policies and practices that a respect, value, and encourage positive, healthy, and mutually respectful relationships; b promote a strong sense of family values and ties; c allow the freedom for citizens to develop healthy, happy relationships; and d encourage the maintenance of those relationships.

Second, concerning spirituality, it befits governing bodies to create an environment in which individuals are a free to follow their individual spiritual paths; b free to hold those beliefs without fear of retribution; and c allowed to engage freely in spiritual practices, assuming that those beliefs are beneficial to both individuals and society. To receive the benefits of this, society needs to provide opportunities for citizens to a discover their strengths; b develop and train those strengths; and c apply such strengths effectively.

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Happy people contribute much to society—to both the social fabric of society and its effective functioning—and they are less of a drain on its resources. It is therefore in the interests of countries and communities to examine the research on what facilitates happiness and to provide a context in which these factors can develop.

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Not only will individual citizens be healthy, happier, and more productive, but so will the community and the world as a whole. Please login to leave a comment. Since the dawn of the Internet, digital storytelling and new media have been integral parts of the feminist movement.


Flourishing: Positive Psychology and the Life Well-Lived by Corey L.M. Keyes

From the creation of feministing. From competition among hunter-gatherers for wild game to imperialist wars over precious minerals, resource wars have been fought throughout history; today, however, the competition appears set to enter a new—and perhaps unprecedented—phase.

The project—the first of its kind in the UK—is intended to inform civil servants as to what makes …. Their findings reveal that a sense of meaning and a feeling of richness emerge in life as people immerse themselves in activities, relationships, and the pursuit of intrinsically satisfying goals like overcoming adversity or serving one's community through volunteering.

Positive psychology

This provocative book will further define this evolving field. Skip to main content. Authentic Happiness. Create new account Request new password.

A well-lived life from an Africa(n)-centred positive psychological perspective

Keyes and Jonathan Haidt. Edited by Corey L.