What is your everyday psychology

Positive psychology in everyday life

For a long time, psychotherapy focused on mental disorders. It researched what doesn't work well and how to improve it. In the meantime, however, the so-called positive psychology has taken center stage. Positive psychology is not interested in mental suffering, but in wellbeing. She explores the question: What makes us happy? We have compiled the answers to positive psychology in everyday life for you.

Positive psychology as satisfaction of needs?

Even if the term positive psychology has only become popular in recent years, the psychologist Abraham Maslow actually introduced it as early as the 1950s. Maslow is best known for his so-called “pyramid of needs”. The hierarchy of needs provides an interesting model for how we find fulfillment. It can be summarized as follows: We should not be hungry or thirsty, feel safe, know the people around us, experience appreciation and be able to realize ourselves. That sounds like a really good formula for happiness. The crux of the matter, however, is that even if we know exactly what we need, we cannot always do it justice. Sometimes the circumstances just don't allow it. So what?

Values ​​in Positive Psychology

The neurologist and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl not only survived the Auschwitz concentration camp, he also drew an important insight from his experiences: If we give meaning to our own lives, we can experience a sense of fulfillment even in the most adverse circumstances. We're talking about values. Values ​​are not specific goals that we achieve, such as going to Italy. Metaphorically, values ​​are more like a direction we are taking, e.g. going south. It's not about getting somewhere, but about knowing our direction and following it. That makes us happy in the long term. Common values ​​are: self-care, love, gratitude, compassion, or joy. When we base our lives on our personal values, we have the feeling that we are leading a successful life.

Flow in positive psychology

While values ​​still sound a bit abstract, flow, which the psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi has described in detail, is about concrete activities. What makes us happy in everyday life? What activities should we do? One speaks of a flow state when we experience a feeling of unity with an activity. We forget the time where we are and whether we are hungry or thirsty. We are fully absorbed in our activity and feel great about it. Flow states arise when we do something that is neither too difficult nor too easy for us. We should also be able to come to a conclusion in the end. We are particularly happy when we combine the flow concept with the values, i.e. when our work is not only unbelievably fun, but also makes sense.

Perceive the positive

What sounds banal at first is usually not that easy for us to implement: Perceiving positive things. Research has shown that the human brain is only too happy to focus on what is bad. However, this is not a fault in the system, it serves our survival. Detecting dangers and preventing them (e.g. by worrying) is something completely normal and useful. In order to be happy, we have to swim a little against our usual neurological current. That doesn't mean we should try to convince ourselves that everything is positive. Studies have shown that this can lead to even more negative thoughts. Instead, we should consciously focus on what is actually good! An effective method is to keep a gratitude journal. Every evening or morning, write down three things that you are grateful for. It could be that delicious piece of cake in the afternoon, your health or your job. After a while you will find that your usual "filter" has changed and that you are overall happier.

Sport as positive psychology in everyday life

Happiness can be so easy! When we move, our body releases happiness hormones and breaks down stress hormones. Often, however, the point is not that we don't know, we just have to somehow manage to motivate ourselves to do sports. For this it is very important that we find a sport that we really enjoy. Sport shouldn't be a means to an end, but above all we should look forward to it. Dancing, going for a walk, playing badminton or table tennis - or maybe something completely new? Many universities, for example, offer a large number of unusual sports at low prices, also for external participants. It is therefore definitely worth taking a look at the corresponding lists on the Internet!

Daily happiness

In order to really get your money's worth when it comes to happiness, you should apply the techniques of positive psychology presented in everyday life. For example, define three values ​​that are important to you. You can learn these values ​​by heart and make them aware of them again and again during your everyday activities. Also find out when it is best to get into the flow: maybe while talking to a friend, while cooking or when you play soccer? Incorporate more of these activities into your everyday life! Also, keep a gratitude journal and make sure you get enough exercise. If you really implement the strategies of positive psychology, you will soon notice a big difference in your experience. Or to put it in the words of Erich Kästner: "There is nothing good unless you do it!"

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