The Science of the Positive is the study of the ways in which positive factors impact culture and experience. It is based on the core assumption that the positive is real and is worth growing, and its aim is to systematize the identification, measurement and growth of the positive—in ourselves, our families, our workplaces, and our communities.
But looking for the positive does not mean to see the world through rose-colored glasses. The Science of the Positive is about accurately perceiving the world around us, and that includes understanding that the the things that make our lives good and difficult, joyful and full of struggle, also characterize the lives of others. Research continues to demonstrate the importance of feeling this kind of connectedness. It is critical for healthy child development, marriages, partnerships, suicide prevention, and basic civility. It is part of what a new study calls “common humanity,” which is the perception that your feelings and experiences are part of the larger human experience, rather than something unique only to you. Seeing ourselves as a part of a larger whole helps us to treat ourselves with more compassion, since we know that difficulties, insecurities, and setbacks we experience are also experienced by those around us – no matter how great their lives may look on Facebook.
This understanding of our common humanity doesn’t just make us kinder to ourselves; it is also correlated with happiness. So work to BE PERCEPTIVE of all the ways you are connected to others, good and bad, and know that you are an important piece of a larger puzzle.
Read more about this new research here.