Success Habits For Dummies
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In positive psychology, science tries to answer questions about what makes people happy, what a good life is, and how to increase life satisfaction. This Cheat Sheet gives you some ways in which you can make positive psychology work for you.

Using positive psychology to AIM for a positive life

According to positive psychology, you need to take three main steps to achieve health and well-being. They are covered by the acronym AIM:

  • Attending: Pay attention to the genuinely good stuff that happens to you. Don’t just filter it out.

  • Interpreting: Don’t always view experiences in a negative light. See the positive wherever you can.

  • Memorizing: Remember positive events and paint positive mental pictures of your experiences.

Learning resilience through positive psychology

There are seven main skills that can help you bounce back from any adverse experiences you may go through. Keep them handy to stay resilient.

Learnable Skill of Resilience Applying the Skill
Emotional awareness /Regulation Identifying what you’re feeling.
Controlling your emotions.
Impulse control Tolerating uncertainty.
Taking time to think about decisions/actions.
Optimism Having a realistically optimistic explanatory style.
Causal analysis Looking at problems from all angles.
Considering all the factors.
Empathy Recognizing and understanding the emotions of others.
Building social support through well-maintained relationships.
Self-efficacy Knowing your own strengths.
Using those strengths to cope with adversity.
Reaching out Taking appropriate risks.
Trying new things.
Accepting failure.

Using positive psychology to respond in healthy ways

Remember that harmful repetitive habits are the bane of the well-lived life. Taking the steps in this table can help you to tackle bad habits head-on.

Habit Healthy Response
Stop being angry. Anger is a primitive emotion geared to the fight or flight
stress reaction. Cut down the amount of time you spend feeling
hostile.
Cheer up, it may never happen. Start looking on the bright side of life. Find the joy in
ordinary things. Don’t waste time on negativity.
Get a life. Engaging in activities with other people is good for you. Having a variety of activities to fall back on can reduce the negative impact of challenging times.
Cut back on harmful habits. Habits like drinking too much or smoking, especially when they’re connected to feeling low, are really destructive. Get help to change.

Identifying your signature strengths with positive psychology

Psychologists have identified 24 key strengths under six main headings. You have at least some of these — you really do. Identify them by using this list.

  • Wisdom and knowledge: creativity, judgment, curiosity, love of learning, perspective

  • Courage: bravery, perseverance, integrity, enthusiasm

  • Love: intimacy, kindness, sociability

  • Justice: sense of responsibility, fairness, leadership

  • Temperance: forgiveness, humility, caution, self-control

  • Transcendence: appreciation, gratitude, optimism, humor, spirituality

About This Article

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About the book author:

Dirk Zeller has been a real estate agent, investor, coach, and speaker for more than 25 years. He helps others improve their time management and sales techniques to reach peak performance. He's authored ten books, including several Dummies books.

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