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4th Canadian Positive Psychology Conference - Major themes (my perspective)

I attended 4th Canadian Positive Psychology Conference, and it was a great learning experience. There were so many exciting and thought-provoking engagements; it is challenging to capture it all in a post. With this post, I am summing up the major themes and concepts which stood out for me. My intention is that reader can learn from it and take away something meaningful.


1. Positive Psychology 2.0 - Accepting and embracing negative emotions as part of positive psychology. As a Gestalt Practitioner, I am delighted to see this 2.0 wave in Positive Psychology, as it completes the picture. Positive Psychology is not limited to only positive emotions or focusing on the positive side instead it is focusing on what is present in the moment with a positive lens. It is challenging as well as very crucial. To talk about death, sorrow, and suffering by looking at the bright side of it.


2. Accepting corporeality and finite-ness of life - Accepting that our time is limited on this planet, gives us a sense of purpose and makes us value time. It also reminded me of Buddhism, where first noble truth is "Unsatisfactoriness and suffering exist and are universally experienced." Building acceptance for challenges and suffering in life. This acceptance helps us be prepared for it and gives us a deeper understanding of life.


3. Mindfulness and Meditation - Giving importance to present moment as this is the only moment which is real. Mindfulness and meditation can improve the quality of life and can add to the vertical depth of experience of life. Savoring each moment, by being mindful and fully present in 'here and now.'


4. Strength-based approach - Focusing on strengths leads to positive growth. This framework is quite the opposite of otherwise famous deficit-focused approach. To see the practical implications and varied applications of this strength-based approach was an eye-opener.


5. The mind is not located only in the brain - This statement might seem little confusing, but it merely means that body has a lot of wisdom. Our cognitive side is just one aspect of our brilliance. Our body, movements, etc. play a crucial role in defining our confidence, satisfaction, and overall well-being.


6. Other takeaways:

  • Embracing adventure and excitement to expand the experience of life.

  • Taking care of self, to take better care of others

  • Accepting ourselves completely and letting go of critical self.

  • Letting go of old baggage (mental baggage)

  • Appreciating small happiness and successes

  • Acknowledging others and their efforts

  • Follow Purpose in life, rather than chasing passion. Trying to convert passion into something meaningful for self and others.

  • Conscious Capitalism - moving beyond financial profit

  • Using technology to connect with ourselves and others; rather than disconnect

At last, as John Helliwell showed research evidence that 'people are more trustworthy than you think". It gives me hope for not just a happier and positive personal life but also reliable and flourishing societies for all of us.


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