Singapore -

Singapore held their third Quantum Perspectives event on 7 November, “What can science tell us about happiness?”

Clients and partners joined us to discuss what makes us happy and listen to our guest speaker, Sha-En Yeo, Founder, Happiness Scientists explain the history of positive psychology and its extension into the science of happiness.

The field of positive psychology was developed operating from the premise that we ought to acknowledge both the light and the dark sides of life.
It focuses on positive elements of life such as character strengths, positive emotion, resilience, purpose, positive relationships, and creative achievement.

The phrase "the science of happiness" refers to this field of social science and contrary to popular belief, it is not "positive thinking" or self-help, but a broad empirical field of research and application worldwide.

The term "Positive Psychology" was originally coined by the psychologist Abraham Maslow in the 1950’s. He used the term somewhat loosely to call for a more balanced view of human nature, to draw attention to human potentialities as well as psychological afflictions.

The Science of Happiness, the scientific study of "what makes happy people happy," was arguably launched by Mihaly Czikszentmihalyi in the late 1980’s, pioneering the "experience sampling method" to discover what he called the "psychology of optimal experience."

Martin Seligman popularised Positive Psychology through his influential works Learned Optimism and Authentic Happiness, defining it as the study of positive emotions and the ”study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive.”

This defined Positive Psychology as largely focused on the study of positive emotions and "signature strengths," yet the Science of Happiness extends, for example, to such areas as the impact of exercise on psychological well-being, or the effect of social media on happiness.

It was interesting to understand Sha-En’s point of view on the parameters of studying happiness and what it is, and is not. Specifying that the key questions to be asked are; what helps individuals, communities and societies to flourish? Rather than something dismissive, frivolous or merely a framework or program.

We also discussed the 5 pillars of well-being: PERMA.
These are positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishment.
Clients shared with us the things that make them happy and we were then able to group the stories under these PERMA headlines. 

It was fascinating to see where this field of science will lead in the future, taking into account how happiness varies across cultures, the increased involvement by Government to ensure there are policies in place for mental well-being and an overall move socially to the a “other people matter” mindset.




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