Positive Psychology

In 1998 the President of the American Psychological Association, Martin Seligman, argued that psychology needed to move beyond its focus on mental illness to understand positive emotion and the pursuit of happiness.  With Csikszentmihalyi he argued that the discipline had been dominated by a focus on pathology to the neglect of “the positive features that make life worth living” (2000).

Since then there has been growing interest in positive psychology, and many books provide practical guidance on introducing its findings into everyday life.  The range of themes is extensive, and a number of them are addressed by mindfulness, mindful learning and the Four Immeasurables.  Mindfulness Based Life Enhancement incorporates six key themes from Positive Psychology.  These are Gratitude, Hope, Optimism, Forgiveness, Addressing Negativity and Savouring.