Positive Psychology

When you hear the word psychology, you probably think about the study of mental health and disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). But in addition to helping those who have trouble, psychologists are now also focusing on helping those who don’t struggle as much maintain a healthy level of happiness. This method is also known as positive psychology.

This new focus of psychology concentrates on studying and mastering actions and behaviors that can make others happier in their relationships, more productive employees and just generally happier overall. Studies show that gratitude is linked to happiness and those who practice it regularly are more likely to be happier. Research also shows that happy employees are less likely to be absent frequently or quit and are generally more productive. Being happy can also keep you healthy, as it tends to boost your immune system. Some ways you can work on making yourself happier are to spend time with happy people or people who make you happy and do things that make you happy. It’s also important to build up your emotional intelligence, or your ability to manage your emotions in the moment and use them to connect with and relate to others.

You can work on your happiness through reading books and watching TED talks on the topic. You can also consider taking college courses on positive psychology through universities like Berkley, NYU and Yale. Some of these courses can be taken exclusively online and some are free. The only cost for some of them is a certificate fee.