June 15, 2010

USA: Harnessing the power of happiness, personal strength, and mindfulness

BOSTON, Massachusetts / Harvard Medical School / Special Health Report / June 15, 2010

Tough economic times are the perfect setting to begin using positive psychology to your advantage, says a new report from Harvard Medical School. Positive Psychology: Harnessing the power of happiness, personal strength, and mindfulness is a guide to the concepts that have made "Positive Psychology" the most popular course at Harvard University, and teaches how to put positive emotion to work in your life.

Positive emotions have been linked with better health, longer life, and greater well being in numerous scientific studies. On the other hand, chronic anger, worry, and hostility increase the risk of developing heart disease, as people react to these feelings with raised blood pressure and stiffening blood vessels. A Harvard School of Public Health study found that people who are generally hopeful were less likely to develop hypertension, diabetes, or respiratory tract infection than those who were less hopeful.

Ronald Siegel, Psy.D., offers a preview of Positive Psychology and discusses what it takes to be happy in a video interview.

From this report you'll learn the following:

. Using the positive in your life
. Finding and using your inner character strengths
. Achieving the “flow” experience
. Putting mindfulness to use toward well being
. Developing gratitude
. Savoring pleasure
. Finding the meaningful live

This report was prepared by the editors of Harvard Health Publications in consultation with Ronald D. Siegel, Psy.D., Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School, and Steven M. Allison, Psy.D. 37 pages. (2009)

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