wellbeing | about positive psychology

Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. The field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within them, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play. (Positive Psychology Center, University of Pennsylvania )


Key Concepts

Character Strengths

Character strengths are the psychological ingredients for displaying human goodness. Psychologists have found that every one of us has certain signature (or character) strengths that describe the best of who we are. They have found 24 universal character strengths, divided into six virtues: wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance and transcendence. Students ‘discover’ their individual strengths and see how they change over time.

More information on the 24 character strengths can be found here.



Mindfulness is an ancient practice that simply requires one to attend to the present moment, rather than allowing one's mind to flit between past, present and future. There are many things that can be used as a focus for mindfulness, from the breath to walking, from sounds in the world around us to sensations in our body. There has been a lot of scientific interest in mindfulness. It is perhaps best known for the link between the practice of mindfulness and stress reduction (MBSR) or treating depression (MBCT), for which it has been shown to be particularly effective. Research over the last few years has also made a strong connection between mindfulness and happiness. It seems that those who meditate regularly exhibit higher levels of activity in the left pre-frontal cortex of the brain, which is associated with positive emotion. There is also a proposed connection between mindfulness and creativity.



Gratitude is simply “the quality of being thankful.” Gratitude is closely related to happiness (people who feel gratitude on a regular basis self-report being happier), and many studies show, for instance, that happiness is not dependent on income, social position or age.



Resilience focuses on how we deal with stressful situations and adversity - the more resilient we are, the better we manage adversity. Resilience has been described as "the capacity to cope with change and challenge and bounce back during difficult times.



Wellbeing is a dynamic state, in which the individual is able to develop their potential, work productively and creatively, build strong and positive relationships with others, and contribute to their community. It is enhanced when an individual is able to fulfil their personal and social goals and achieve a sense of meaning and purpose in their society.



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