First, it should be stated that Positive Psychology is not positive thinking! It is first and foremost a science. So, then why isn't it just positive thinking. It seems that the scientific research indicates that those who did not have other important characteristics and just tried to think positive thoughts, ended up not being happy. Thus, Dr. Seligman added a new dimension to the study of Positive Psychology, the PERMA paradigm:
-Meaning and Purpose
In 2008, Dr. Seligman called or a new discipline "Positive Health". As a sub-discipline of Positive Psychology he called for the scientific community to start looking at how PERMA has an effect on health. It will be the purpose of this blog to explore such questions and to offer the reader a way to be enabled to have greater well-being, in my forthcoming blogs. I will be reviewing each letter of PERMA and describing how increasing ones strength in each of these attributes can increase physical, cognitive, and psychological health, by integrating some positive psychology interventions and adjusting ones diet along with herbs, supplements and nutrition.
One of the most interesting research that has come out is the effect of certain bacteria in the gut that counter-act Positive emotions. The "P" in PERMA! These little bugs in your gut eat the proteins that make serotonin. Serotonin is the happy chemical in your head. If you have the right amounts you dont get sad! I am sure you have heard of Zoloft, SSRI's, Celexa, and Paxel. All of these increase your Serotonin. What if just by increasing the good bacteria in your gut and decreasing the bad bugs in your gut you could get happier, because those bugs wont be eating the food your serotonin needs to grow! While many things contribute to depression, one has to admit if all you have to do is get a colon cleanse and take probiotics to make you and your loved ones smile it might be worth a shot. I would love to flush the things that make me depressed down the toilet wouldn't you! In our next blog, we will be talking about what positive emotion is and how cleansing your colon and gut can make you happier, its a crappy job but someone has to do it!
If you are interested in learning more outside of this blog: http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/Default.aspx