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Positive Psychology, in simple terms, is a scientific study that delves into what makes life most worth living. It brings scientific reasoning to the study of human thoughts, feelings, and actions, and emphasises on the strengths of individuals more than their weaknesses. It focuses on improving the good in life, rather than getting rid of the bad, and its main objective is to elevate average lives of individuals, into great ones, rather than simply focusing on making the bad better.

The main focus of positive psychology is on the more positive aspects of an individual’s life. This includes experiences and emotions that are, inevitably, positive, such as joy, love, inspiration, motivation, excitement, and happiness. It also focuses on the positive qualities of individuals such as empathy, kindness, resilience, and gratitude. Finally, it focuses on imposing positive principles on institutions and entire organisations.

Medfuture discusses how this objective led to the initiative of positive psychology interventions that went on to change the trajectory of psychology.

Positive Psychology Interventions

Positive Psychology Interventions, also known as PPIs, are groups of scientific tools and schemes that push for the improvement of the positive cognitions and emotions of individuals, focusing on their happiness and overall, wellbeing. These interventions are not meant to be quick-fixes and provide temporary relief, but rather, they facilitate an everlasting impact on the individuals that practice them, by diving into the core of the issue, and allowing individuals to understand where their issues stem from and everything that can be done to fix that.

Research over the years has shown that the majority of the focus of psychologists have been to treat those suffering with mental illnesses, rather than focusing on preventing these illnesses in the first place.

Rather than providing solutions to issues that individual already had, like depression, anxiety, stress, trauma and other mental illnesses, PPI’s can be paid for as early positive psychological interventions. As mentioned, this shift of focus is meant to elevate the positive feelings, emotions, thoughts and actions of individuals.

There are 2 essential purposes for positive psychology interventions- one being the shift of focus through positive mindsets and feelings, while the other one is to maintain and withhold the effects of this treatment also in the long term.

Some of the methods in which happiness can be achieved, and nurtured are through a number of channels, such as social communication, cognitive reformations, sensory awareness, and gratitude practices. These factors were grouped together, and classed as “positive psychology interventions.”

This type of treatment was applied to those who were already in clinical distress, as well as the non-distressed population.

The Different Types of Positive Psychology Interventions

Reviews show that the types of positive psychology interventions [PPIs] can be separated into seven categories.

Savouring PPIs are interventions that direct the focus of individuals on particular experiences that delve into, and allow them to explore the very same physical, sensory, emotional or social feelings that they felt at the time of that very experience, no matter how little or insignificant they may seem. This is to ultimately improve the effects of maximising their happiness.

This PPI is used reliably in order to combat depression, as well as other mood disorders, as it taps into simple experiences that individuals go through on a daily basis, like smelling, observing, and eating, but with more awareness and consciousness of what they are doing in that moment.

Gratitude Interventions are gratitude-based, just as the name suggests. This feeling is one that triggers intense feelings of positivity in both the involved parties, and can be categorised into two parts- Self-reflective practices, and interactive methods. Self-reflective practices are activities that can be adopted in order to track down, and review your thoughts and feelings, allowing you to declutter your mind and work towards being a more grateful and positive individual. One such practice would be maintaining a gratitude journal. Interactive methods on the other hand are the more expressive methods, wherein individuals actively convey their gratitude by acting upon their feelings of thanks towards other people. It could be a simple “thank you” note, or even a little gift.

Kindness Boosters are another type of intervention. Happy people are kind, and it is often found that the traits of happiness and kindness are synonymous with each other, and tend to exist in the same people. Kind people often enjoy doing little acts of services. This could be doing a favour for someone, helping someone in need, or buying something for someone they love, gifts.

Empathy PPIs are based around the act of growing the more positive emotions in interpersonal relationships. It is imperative that healthy social bonds are formed and maintained in order to be happy and fulfilled, and empathy-based interventions help form relationships via communication, broadening an individual’s own perspective, and reaching out to others to build connections.

Optimistic Interventions enable individuals to set realistic targets and expectations for themselves, by envisioning where they see themselves in the future. This self-assessment and self-review of sorts pushes individuals to drive focus to their strengths, everything they’ve achieved, and all the areas of their lives that they have found success in. This method also assists individuals to figure out where they may go wrong, and fix themselves to reach the objectives they’ve set for themselves.

Strength-building Measures delve into the internal aspects of individuals. It has been proven that self-awareness of the internal strength and power an individual holds within themselves, assists them in increasing their self-confidence, and leads to a reduction in the symptoms of depression. It is because such acknowledgement allows a person to feel more in control and in touch with himself, with the knowledge that they have the strength to overcome their helplessness at any given point.

Meaning-oriented PPIs assist individuals in comprehending the meaning in life, and in identifying what they feel is important to them. By doing so, they are able to also conclude why they hold something in such high regard, and what they can do to accomplish, achieve or retain it. An individual who is aware of their objectives, has a clear sense of direction, holds themselves by a standard of expectation and strongly wishes to pursue their goals, is one who is more likely to be both content and happy with their lives.

In today’s world, the positive psychological interventions are being utilised in numerous fields such as in life coaching, counselling, and even in general psychotherapy, in order to improve the quality of their investigative skills and outcomes.

In Australia, there is an increasing awareness of the existence and benefits of positive psychology, and positive psychology interactions, as institutions and individuals are beginning to understand the ways in which this theory could potentially change their entire outlook in life, and consequently, lead to an improvement in their overall well-being. The interventions have the ability to motivate and empower not just individuals, but full communities to excel in what they do.

For jobs as a psychologist, look to Medfuture!Medfuture, a reputed medical and healthcare recruitment agency, is an institution that connects qualified and experienced healthcare professionals on a global scale. From International Medical Graduates or Psychologists who wish to pursue their careers in Australia, to individuals looking to specialise in positive psychology, Medfuture is here to help.

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