When I go to the grocery store I’m awed and grateful by the abundance of affordable foods available. I know many people live with scarcity, but most of us living today are blessed with an abundance of food. I hope we don’t take this for granted, but appreciate the blessings we share.
But this isn’t a food article.
I had the same feelings of awe and gratitude when recently I visited UC Berkeley’s Greater Good In Action website. GGIA has collected a huge selection of affordable (as in FREE) practices now known to science to be effective positive living practices. They not only list the practices, they tell us how to use them, why they work, and much more (see below).
Positive Living Practices
Browse among the “shelves” of practices, which are displayed under categories ranging from awe to self-compassion. Feeling bad about yourself? Have people told you you’re too harsh on yourself? Clicking the self-compassion link puts three easy practices in your “shopping cart.” Not literally, there’s nothing to purchase and no need to register. Just click on one of the three, such as the self-compassion letter and try it out.
There are clear instructions for how to do it, why you should try it, the evidence that it works (scientific studies), and why it works. If you want more information you can click on “sources” and find links and information about the studies involved.
Not sure what category practices might be helpful for your situation? Type in a search word or two, such as “fear,” and find a practice to help you overcome a fear.
Practices are labeled Intensive, Moderate, or Casual, to indicate the degree of difficulty.
Positive Psychology Reports
We are truly blessed to have easy access to the discoveries of the science of positive psychology. Ever since a small group of psychologists began studying what makes people happy, rather than the traditional studies of mental illnesses, we’ve been bombarded (in a very good way) with scientifically proven techniques for living more meaningful, happier lives.
And the best part? This information is being widely shared, often for free or for the cost of a twenty-dollar book.
Roots of Positive Psychology
The beginnings of positive psychology are best described by Martin Seligman, Ph.D., in his landmark book, Authentic Happiness, Free Press, 2002. Seligman explains his role, essentially fathering new directions for psychological research, as he assumed the leadership of the American Psychological Association.
If positive self-improvement calls to you, begin with Authentic Happiness for background and an introduction to strengths as a core foundation to personal development.
Then take a walk through the virtual supply store of positive living practices at Greater Good in Action.
Greater Good in Action, UC Berkeley website.
Authentic Happiness, Martin Seligman, Ph.D., 2002, Free Press.
Thanks to “Experience Life” health and fitness magazine for introducing me to Greater Good in Action.
Image courtesy Jo Naylor, Flickr CC Attribution License.