Free Essay About Positive Psychology
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Psychology is known as the science which treats people to feel better, dealing with disorders, distress and deficits. But of course, psychology has different types of domains and now a new branch of psychology was recently opened. This area improves the main strengths that people have, in order to make them more productive. This branch is called positive psychology and became very popular in the last decade. In this essay, I will approach two of the most important strengths that I have: creativity and social intelligence. I will discuss the method I used to identify my strengths and what impact has those strengths into my life regarding career, education or relationships. Furthermore, I will make an analysis of how these strengths can be developed and I will provide an evidence of self-awareness and ability to self-reflect.
Positive psychology can be describes as “the scientific study related to virtues and strengths that enable communities and individuals to thrive.” (Tartakovsky, 2011). According to Seligman, this branch has three areas of studies: positive individual treats (resilience, creativity, and strength), positive institutions (leadership, parenting, and better communities) and positive emotions (hope and happiness). Positive psychology focuses on personal strengths, wellbeing, imagination, flow and characteristics of positive groups. Furthermore, the purpose of this branch is not only to develop individualistic happiness, in order to grow a narcissistic humanity, but rather to cultivate flourishing and happiness on a group level of wellbeing.
Flourishing is stated as “a state of positive mental help; to fare well, to prosper and to thrive of mental illness, filled with high emotional vitality that could function in a good manner in social and private realms.” (Hefferon & Boniwell, 2011) According to Hefferon & Boniwell, flourishing has several positives lines which correlate, such as higher level of self-control, mastery goal setting, academic achievement, and continued perseverance. In positive psychology exists a huge variety of strengths which are classified under six major virtues: wisdom and knowledge, courage, humanity, justice, temperance and transcendence. Each virtue has under it a wide range of strengths that fit with each virtue. For helping people to identify quickly their strengths, VIA Institute and Character has launched a survey where people can complete 120 questions and after that, a result containing their core strengths, will be sent on their email. During my research for identifying my main strengths, I helped myself with this survey. Some of the answers confirmed what I thought about myself and have reinforced my point of view. My personal psychological strengths that I have discovered are creativity and social intelligence. These strengths came from different virtues. Creativity is associated with wisdom and knowledge while social intelligence is related with humanity.
Creativity is a character strength which provides the ability of generating adaptive ideas and stories that affect positively our lives and the lives of others. Linked to creativity, as an important engine, is curiosity. I think this makes people to be more creative, in order to experiment something new. For example, according to Heffner, “the iconic innovation design firm, the ability to be creative gives us the confidence to meet any problem, challenge, or opportunity that comes our way. Life, both personal and professional, is nothing if not full of challenges, problems, and opportunities.” (Heffner, 2014) Creativity can be achieved in her best way, when people are in a good mood. For example, if a person tries to resolve a problem and the solution hesitates to come, the first reaction is to get angry. For a better result, it is more productive to take a break, to get away from the problem for a while, to do something that makes you happy and then come back. The solution will come. This is one of the ways in which positive psychology acts.
Scientists have found out different ways for developing creativity. After a deep research in this field, Heffner arrived at the conclusion that the best way to improve creativity is to think and to act like a child. Children are disposed to think outside the box and to try things that seem wrong on the first sight, embracing contradictions in normal logic, and sometimes without any sense. The most important thing of all is they aren't afraid of failure or that they could be wrong. They don’t accept constraints and limitations. The curiosity with which children has come into this world drive them to seek out varied new ideas and exploratory actions.Another way to improve creativity is to do different things during different stages in our life. Nowadays, a lot of creative courses are accessible to all people. After work, they can sign up for acting classes or improvisation classes, team sports or a lot of game platform, which involves imagination and creativity to solve the puzzles. These things come along with a good mood which as I said above is another plus in improving creativity.
I think creativity, which is one of my important strengths, helped me to find solution for different problems in a faster time than others. Furthermore, those solutions were unique and innovative, that other persons haven’t thought about it, because they were trying to resolve problems in usual ways. Later in the adult life in career, I think being a creative person will help think outside the box and I will find solution when everyone will think that nothing can be done anymore.
Nowadays, psychologists argue which human abilities are emotional and which are social. In his book, Daniel Goleman has folded social intelligence into his model of emotional intelligence without making much of that fact, as have other theorists in the field. Daniel says:
“I’ve come to see, simply lumping social intelligence within the emotional sort stunts fresh thinking about the human aptitude for relationship, ignoring what transpires as we interact. This myopia leaves the “social” part out of intelligence. The ingredients of social intelligence as I see it can be organized into two broad categories: social awareness, what we sense about others—and social facility, what we then do with that awareness.” (Goleman)
Conventional ideas related to social intelligence, often focus on talent skills like capacity of understanding and extracting rules in a very short time, presence of mind, attention, social knowledge, and norms in order to approach appropriate behavior in a social setting. There are many ways of improving social intelligence but the most important are described below. The first step to become social intelligent is to develop attentiveness to other people. If you are self-absorbed by yourself, you can't develop emphatic feelings that helps you in developing this strength.
The second step is to learn how to interpret the signals that people gave you. For this, people need to develop the ability to interpret language, relevant cultural factors and facial expression. As an example, if I want to interact better with my boss, who is from a different country, I should learn a little about his country and habits in order to approach other subject when we are going to have lunch together. Is an important skill that gives people the feeling that you are closer to them if you are interested and informed about his roots. The third step is self-awareness. People tend to tell everything that they have in mind, without filtering the information. A social intelligent person will be more measured in what he is saying, correlating with the situation. For example, if you have a tensioned situation at home, you can't blurt whatever comes into your mind because it will only worsen the situation. You need to filter the information and adapt it for that precise moment. More precisely, the impact of social intelligence in relationships with other will have a huge impact. I think that, having social intelligence as a strength, it will help me connect with other people, above and beyond the skills to cooperate and interact successfully with them. I think it will be a competence to be aware of, understand and act on emotional information about others that will lead me to effective performance on my career. Also a well-developed social intelligence will help me become popular, attracting in my life a lot of person which will have a chance to become good friends, improving my personal life and the way to connect with others, in order to maintain healthy relationships.
In conclusion, searching and developing your own personal strengths helps on developing a complex personality, with more self confidence in any aspects of life. Those strengths will be consistent building blocks for being observed by companies which are in process of recruitment and selection. Furthermore, it would provide the language to create a strengths culture throughout the organization, providing a logical, progressive flow from initial recruitment and onwards through all aspects of an individual’s career with the organization. Strengths can be defined and measured. By their nature, every individual has natural capacities which he can play in order to achieve performance and optimal functioning. A clear understanding of what these strengths are, in my case creativity and social intelligence, will allow to exploit and optimize the skills that I already have and to gain awareness of the skills that aren’t that strong. Positive psychology encourages people to see their qualities and to work on it for a more organized and fulfilled life. Playing with their strengths and managing weaknesses, people can seek to work more confidence; they can be better parents and entertained better social interactions with others.
Goleman, D. (2006). Social intelligence: The new science of human relationships. New York: Bantam Books.
Hefferon, K., & Boniwell, I. (2011). Positive psychology: Theory, research and applications. Maidenhead, Berkshire: McGraw Hill Open University Press.
Heffner, T. (2014, November 14). Positive Psychology News Daily Be Creative Like a Child. Retrieved from http://positivepsychologynews.com/news/thomas-heffner/2014112430450
Hirschorn, S. (n.d.). Positive Psychology. Retrieved from www.positivepsychology.org.uk/pp-theory/strengths/112-from-what-is-wrong-to-what-is-strong.html
Linley, A., & Harrington, S. (2006, February). Playing to your strengths | The Psychologist. Retrieved from https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/volume-19/edition-2/playing-your-strengths
Positive Psychology Creativity Australia. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.creativityaustralia.org.au/research/positive-psychology/http://www.creativityaustralia.org.au/research/positive-psychology/
Riggio, R. (n.d.). What Is Social Intelligence? Why Does It Matter? | Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201407/what-is-social-intelligence-why-does-it-matter
Seligman, M. E., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist, 5-14. doi:10.1037//0003-066X.55.1.5
Tatakovsky, M. (2011, January 5). Measuring Your Character Strengths | World of Psychology. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2011/01/05/measuring-your-character-strengths/
Wood, A. M., Linley, P. A., Maltby, J., Kashdan, T. B., & Hurling, R. (2011). Using personal and psychological strengths leads to increases in well-being over time: A longitudinal study and the development of the strengths use questionnaire. Personality and Individual Differences. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2010.08.004
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