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Discovering the effects of positive psychology

Last month, we explored some key elements of Positive Psychology and the links that have been found between a positive mindset, well-being, and success. A number of A-level psychology students and our psychology teacher, Dr. Claudia Cipolla, attended an interesting talk at Oxford Brookes University.

The talk was given by Dr. Claire Burgess who discussed some of the research findings on positive psychology and suggested strategies to develop and use a more positive mindset.  The talk was very interactive and inspiring as Dr. Burgess asked the audience to discuss the meaning of well-being and success. It was interesting to see how each one had a different point of view about what success and well-being meant to each individual.

For example, some of the audience members thought that success was being happy in the small aspects of everyday life while others thought that success was having money and a good job. The ideas that were shared during the discussion made me really think about what real success in life means to me.

Dr. Burgess also told us about practical things we can do to feel more positive about our lives, tips that I will certainly follow! For example, she suggested starting a happiness playlist and a gratitude diary. Another great tip was going outside to enjoy nature and finding new ways to avoid negativity. All in all, the message was clear – developing a positive mindset can improve your well-being and success in life.

I learned that happiness is a state of mind, and if we choose to be sad, we will actually be sad the whole day and therefore won’t reach success. After this talk, I feel like I can choose to be happy and successful every day. Here’s what my friends thought about it:

“The lecture was a great opportunity for me to learn how to maintain my social well-being and I learned a lot on how to deal with negative thinking. Moreover, it helped me understand psychology in a more realistic way which I really appreciated. Overall, it was a wonderfully insightful experience.”
– Mumtaza Chairannisa

“We could see how psychology can be used to improve our mental and physical health. The best part was that all those things are supported by actual researches, which increased their validity and credibility.”
– Peijun Yu

“It was a great speech where I have learned so many things and theories I have never heard of. It was really interesting to learn about the mindset and well-being and I would love to take other opportunities like this again! The quote I liked most from this talk is ‘Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way’ by Viktor E. Frankl.”
– Hsuan-Chieh Chen

“The talk got me one step closer to achieving a state of happiness that doesn’t depend on my hedonic treadmill. It was a great talk.”
– Natasha Saputro


How would you define happiness?

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