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PodcastPositive Psychology

Positive Psychology

Sam explains how we can use positive psychology to make every day better.

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Better mental health starts with Headspace. Unrivaled expertise to make life feel a little easier, using guided meditations, mindfulness tips, focus tools, sleep support, and dedicated programs.

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Better mental health starts with Headspace

(bright music) Head Space Studios. (gentle music) Hello, happy Wednesday. It's Sam here and welcome back to Radio Head Space. Today I wanna talk to you about a field that has fascinated me for many years, positive psychology. Positive psychology is a subfield of psychology and it focuses on the art and science of thriving. So think about it as the difference between just getting through your day, surviving versus having a day full of purpose, meaning and presence. Mindfulness is a subject often studied within positive psychology as are factors that lead to a high quality of life. So Martin Seligman is one of the founders of the field of positive psychology, and he's outlined five core aspects that contribute to wellbeing. They're captured in an acronym he created called PERMA, positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishment. So let's break this down. Positive emotions are all about paying attention to the good things in life. We can think about cultivating positive emotions by reflecting on the past with gratitude and forgiveness. Looking forward to the future with optimism and savoring the present moment through mindfulness. Engagement is all about feeling connected to a task one that makes you feel fulfilled. So for example, maybe it's something small like trying a new recipe or something big like completing a project for a job that you love. Next is nurturing relationships, and we can do this in many ways that increase our wellbeing. We can start by sharing what we appreciate about people in our lives and performing acts of kindness like texting a friend you haven't seen in a while or even mailing them a physical letter. We can also remember to be fully present when we're with those we care about and use our innate curiosity to learn more about their interests and points of view. In conversations, you can ask questions like, what led you to that decision or why do you think you feel that way? And then learn something new about the people close to you. For meaning, simply take a moment to think about what gives your life meaning. For example, maybe it's your family or spirituality, or causes you care deeply about. Whatever it is, we derive meaning from being an integral part of something bigger than ourselves. We can also reconnect with the meaning in our lives just as it is by reflecting on how our daily actions contribute to the wellbeing of others or the betterment of the world. Lastly, we have accomplishment. Accomplishing a task or skill is intrinsically motivating as we enjoy the benefits of gaining competence and mastery. We can do so through games, a work related skill or a hobby. We can also take time to reflect on our accomplishments to remind ourselves of our efforts and strengths like perseverance, patience, and creativity and reflecting on our efforts and accomplishments motivates us to keep at it. So in the spirit of positive psychology and all we do...


Duration5 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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