What is Positive Psychology? And what’s it got to do with coaching?

Perhaps you know that I’m working towards my MSc Applied Positive Psychology & Coaching Psychology at the University of East London. So what is Positive Psychology, and how can it benefit you? Here’s a quick overview…

Positive Psychology defined

There are many, many different definitions of positive psychology, but I chose this one by Gable and Haidt as I find it is the best summary of what is actually a complex and evolving science: positive psychology is ‘the study of the conditions and processes that contribute to the flourishing (wellbeing) or optimal functioning of people, groups and institutions’. Or put more simply, it’s the science of human flourishing and focuses on enhancing what is already right.

The ultimate goal – to flourish

Here are some descriptions of flourishing that I collected:

  • emotional vitality
  • positive mental health
  • vigorous and healthy growth
  • living an authentic life
  • functioning positively both individually and socially

And studies have shown that when we flourish, we can:

  • feel more empowered, and less helpless
  • develop clear and attainable personal goals, and achieve better results
  • have higher levels of self-control and persistence
  • have less illness
  • experience higher levels of intimacy

What a very worthwhile goal to aim for!!

A diverse science

The science of positive psychology covers diverse topics such as happiness, optimism, strengths, creativity, flow, wellbeing and personal growth. The focus is on what is already right and going well for us, whilst still recognising negative emotions and challenges as natural and important aspects of our lives. And it’s not just to support our individual wellbeing, but when we for example show acts of kindness and enhance our social connections, there are also benefits for group and communities as well.

Positive psychology coaching & its benefits

Applying positive psychology can support us to thrive in all aspects of our lives. That’s why it goes so absolutely perfectly with coaching. Anyone is able to flourish, however sometimes some extra effort and the right support is needed to get there. Positive psychology coaching is an approach to coaching, that’s science-based and includes different strategies or interventions that are implemented to support the clients’ wellbeing. In my coaching practice, my mission is to support my clients to thrive at work. In every session, I apply science-based tools and models to support them, with benefits including:

  • developing meaningful goals
  • becoming more resilient
  • maximising their strengths
  • increasing their self-confidence
  • improving their overall wellbeing.

This is just a very brief snapshot of positive psychology and its relationship with coaching. As I continue with my studies, which I am absolutely loving!, I’ll be very happy to share more of what I learn with you. Over to you… Are you currently flourishing? What do you already know about positive psychology? Have you already implemented positive psychology practices? If you’d like my support to flourish / thrive, then I’d be delighted to hear from you! Please get in touch at hello@kellycampino.com for a complimentary consultation.

How can taking time off make me more productive?

That does sound counter-intuitive and a low priority when we have a lot on our plate.

But by planning regular breaks from work and consciously switching off when we get home, research has shown that this leads to not only reducing stress, but also increasing our performance and productivity.

So there is scientific proof that a complete break is good for us… and our employers!

Brendon Burchard (THE productivity master!) has a great, and easy, technique to incorporate breaks and increase our productivity. He suggests working in 50 minute uninterrupted blocks of time (meaning closing your email tabs, social media alerts, putting away your phone, etc.) then taking a 10 minute break to clear your mind and prepare it for your next 50 minute block of productivity. This break could be grabbing a cuppa, a walk around the building or doing some stretching. He also suggests to do a short meditation in this break, in which you repeat ‘release, release, release,…’ over and over for up to 2 minutes to really close off your previous task before diving into the next one.

Do you think these suggestions could be useful for you?

Do you already plan breaks into your agenda? How about a walk at lunchtime? Even 20 minutes of fresh air and a change of scenery can help.

And do you really switch off when you get home? Unless you have critical work to do, keep your computer and phone off and out of sight.

Give it a go for a couple of weeks and watch how your productivity increases!

I’m off for my cuppa now… 😉