"What does it mean to live a life worth living? Philosophers, artists, and everyday people have wrestled with this question for centuries, but only in the past few decades has the field of psychology taken it up,” shares Stella Grizont, positive psychology expert and speaker.
Around the turn of the 21st century, Martin Seligman, at the time the president of the American Psychological Association, lamented the “exclusive focus on pathology” in his field and proposed an alternative approach he termed “positive psychology.”
According to Seligman and his collaborator Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, positive psychology is “the scientific study of positive human functioning and flourishing on multiple levels that include the biological, personal, relational, institutional, cultural, and global dimensions of life.”
If we think of traditional psychology as helping people overcome their mental health issues to improve their functioning, positive psychology aims at empowering people not just to achieve functionality, but to thrive.