Harry Potter and the Power Of Positive Psychology

I JUST READ a good article called Harry Potter and the Power of the Positive by Dave Shearon. He says people often criticize positive psychology (scientific research into the benefits of positive emotion and the costs of negative emotion), but the evidence for its practical value has been accumulating quickly in the last few years.

In the Harry Potter novels, Harry eventually discovers he has something that gives him an edge over the dark lord: Love. As corny as that sounds, researchers from many different fields have found the practical wisdom in that idea, such as the work of Christopher Peterson and John Gottman.

Love is a powerful force for good. It's the best of the positive emotions. And it is not a matter of luck whether you have love in your life. You can take voluntary actions to increase the closeness and affection you feel for others (and they feel for you). Read more about that here: How To Cultivate Closeness.

Positive emotions are positively good for your health and good for your relationships. And negative feelings (and the pessimistic thoughts that cause them) are positively bad for your health. I will leave with a quote from Shearon's article:
Unlike the luck potion in the Harry Potter story, developing a more frequent basis of positive emotions, the capacity to adopt a more positive explanatory style, and other positive traits and approaches does not concentrate “luck” in a few hours. It does, however, seem to have the effect of tipping the odds of good things happening and minimizing the odds of bad things. Even over a fairly short period of time the results can significantly affect outcomes. Over the course of years, or even a lifetime, the consequences in terms of health, well-being, relationships, and achievement can be huge.

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