Can happiness and positive psychology help you live longer?

Can happiness and positive psychology help you live longer?

The _ã–positive psychology_㝠movement of the late 1990s was launched by Dr. Martin Seligman, a psychologist at The University of Pennsylvania. This movement grew out of the work of psychologists who went before Dr. Seligman, particularly psychiatrist Dr. George Vaillant who has conducted what has been heralded at the _ã–most exhaustive longitudinal study of mental and physical well-being in history_㝠(_ã–The Atlantic Magazine_ã, June, 2009).

Up until the results of Vaillant_ã_s _ã–Harvard Study_㝠became known, the field of psychology was largely influenced by Freud who focused on all that ails the human mind: anxiety, depression, neurosis, obsessions, paranoia and delusions.

Vaillant_ã_s study gave impetus to a monumental shift in the field of psychology from focusing on what ails us to focusing on that which makes us physically and mentally healthier.

When Dr. Seligman came on the scene, as president of the American Psychological Association in 1998, he wanted to change the goal of mental health practitioners; up until then, the goal had been to bring patients from _ã–a negative ailing state to a neutral normal._ã

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