In recent years psychologists and others have been undertaking research to learn more about happiness and quality of life. The findings thus far are encouraging and useful.

Positive Psychology is the term describing a powerful new branch of psychological research and applied practices connected to the study of happiness and well-being. Researchers have been finding that enhancing happiness and quality of life has pay-offs that are wide-ranging and tie in to many valued physical and mental health domains. A fundamental purpose in this area relates to clarifying the ingredients of happiness.

American psychologist Dr. Martin Seligman, the founder of this division of psychology, has identified three main routes to happiness based on positive psychology research:

  1. experiencing pleasure: good food, tingling the senses, escaping the burden of stress and strain though pleasant events... but these can be fleeting, and can be less ‘effective’ the more we pursue them - how much chocolate can you really enjoy?
  2. finding flow: entering mental states of sustained focus, using your skills to the best of your ability, times fades away... wow, where are you finding this? we can find it daily... in many ‘routine’ events...
  3. meaningfulness: the ultimate and most stable and enriching form of happiness arises when people are engaged in activities, often of a social nature, that give their life meaning and purpose...

Where to look?

Start here:

Let us know what you think:
...from the Psychologists of the Capital District Health Authority