Tag Archives: Hope

Happiness Experiment No 30: Draw your future

“The capacity for hope is the most significant fact of life. It provides human beings with a sense of destination, and the energy to get started.” Norman Cousins

A very interesting theory I have discovered in the science of positive psychology is hope theory.  C.R. Snyder spent many years researching the theory of hope and its benefits to well-being. Hope is not just wishful thinking or optimisim in the way we say “I hope I will win the lottery.” Hope is a belief that we can change the future for the better, or reach our desired goals. Hope keeps us moving forward when the going gets tough, and helps us to “get back on the horse” when we fall off.  According to Snyder’s theory, hopeful thinking is made up of 3 key elements:

  1. Goals – thinking in a goal-oriented way.
  2. Pathways – finding different ways to achieve your goals.
  3. Agency – believing that you can instigate change.

Snyder found that hopeful

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Somewhere over the rainbow

It is now two years since I first started writing The Happiness Experiment and I thought it was time for a change.  I have relaunched the blog with a fresh new look and I am looking forward to sharing more about my journey to learn about positive psychology.

One thing which positive psychology has taught me is that happiness is not just about having a positive, optimistic outlook to life – although this can be important.  It is also about learning how to bounce back from negative events and to cope with challenging circumstances by practising resilience.  We cannot necessarily control the cards we are dealt but we have a choice in how we respond to life’s challenges.

As positive psychology is about learning to celebrate and be grateful for the positives but also to accept the negatives I have chosen the theme of rainbows for the new blog design.  Rainbows symbolise both sunshine and rain and we need both to live a flourishing life.  … Read the rest...

On The Happiness Experiment Bookshelf: my 20 favourite books from 2013

I have always been an avid reader but since starting my formal studies of positive psychology on the MAPP course at UEL my reading list has increased astronomically. This makes the challenge of narrowing down my favourite book list of 2013 to just 20 all the harder.  As in my previous 2012 Top 20 book list not all of the books were newly published in 2013 but all the books were new to me.  If you think there are any books which should have made it on to the list but didn’t please let me know.  Which books would be on your Top 20 list?

In no particular order here are my Top 20 books of 2013:

1. Pursuing the Good Life

This is a wonderful book by the late, highly respected, positive psychology researcher Chris Peterson, who together with Martin Seligman co-created the VIA Character Strengths survey. The Book Pursuing the Good Life: 100 Reflections on Positive Psychology is a compilation the best articles written by Christopher Peterson.… Read the rest...