What is Positive Psychology? | Transform & Thrive
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Kindness is Magic

What is Positive Psychology?

Traditionally, the field of psychology has focused on understanding, managing and fixing issues when things go wrong. However a new perspective has recently emerged in the form of Positive Psychology, which addresses the potential for improving wellbeing beyond managing mental illness.

Positive Psychology is concerned with identifying the things that allow people to live a happy, fulfilled life, in which they can flourish and thrive. The aim of Positive Psychologists is to understand the elements of life that give us joy and meaning, and how we can build more of these in to our day to day lives.

Founding Father

Dr. Martin Seligman was the first person to coin the term Positive Psychology, in 2000. He describes it as the …

‘scientific study of optimal human functioning [that] aims to discover and promote the factors that allow individuals and communities to thrive’.

Seligman went on to define the core concepts of Positive Psychology through the PERMA model. Just as with the broader field of psychology, these key elements are founded on empirical, evidence-based research and study.

The PERMA Model

Positive Emotions

Whether it’s feelings of  love, humour, inspiration or happiness, focusing on positive emotions is an important part of Positive Psychology. At a basic level that means making more time to do the things you enjoy. But Positive Psychologists also draw on the concepts of mindfulness and gratitude. Simple practices like keeping a gratitude journal can boost happiness levels, while mindfulness teaches us to give our full attention to each moment; without dwelling on or judging our thoughts about the past, or worries about the future.


Have you ever been so absorbed in a task that you lose track of time? It could have been at work or in the form of a sport or hobby. Positive Psychologists call this being in a state of Flow. Having the opportunity to become totally absorbed in things that you enjoy and excel at is important for boosting productivity and improving overall life satisfaction.


Building strong, positive connections with others is vital to our wellbeing. They are often a source of strength, support and joy and give us a sense of belonging. A key concept within Positive Psychology is compassion; the idea that simple acts of kindness help us build meaningful relationships with the people around us. A Positive Psychology Coach can also help you develop your Emotional Intelligence, to improve the way you connect and interact with colleagues, friends and loved ones.


Having a sense of purpose aligned with your personal character strengths and values brings a sense of belonging and an awareness of your contribution to something bigger. Many of us feel uncomfortable talking about our skills and talents, but being aware of these traits is an important first step towards living with authentic meaning. What are your top character strengths? You can find out by taking this free short survey. Positive Psychology Coaching can help you develop your strengths and put them at the heart of your goals and decision-making.

Read more about the importance of purpose.


The feeling of accomplishment that comes with achieving our goals is key to living a fulfilled life. Positive Psychology Coaching involves understanding how to set effective goals and the importance of recognising and celebrating your successes.

By focusing on these measurable and actionable elements, Positive Psychologists aim to help people flourish and thrive in a way that’s authentic to them.

Does Positive Psychology Coaching sounds like something that would help you live the life you want to? Take the first step. Book your free 30 minute telephone consultation.



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