Morgan Park

 Baptist Church

Rev. Dr. Joel Mitchell, Pastor

11024 S. Bell Avenue 

Chicago, IL 60643


Reflection May 7, 2017 

Positive Psychology
Rev. Dr. Thomas Aldworth

     As part of my requirements for remaining a licensed professional counselor - I must take 30 hours of continuing education every two years. One of the 6 hour courses I recently completed was on “Positive Psychology.“ I’d like to note some of what I learned:


“Grateful people report that religion has more importance to them, that they attend more religious services, read the Scriptures more often, pray more, and state having a closer relationship with the Lord than less grateful people.”


“Gratitude is the strongest trait predictor of happiness … gratitude causes happiness … In two studies, gratitude manipulations improved mood state.” (In other words, actively being grateful may help heal depression and other mood disorders!)


“A single action of counting one’s blessings will likely not influence long-term happiness, instead a regular practice of displaying gratitude may yield long-lasting happiness increases.”


“A strongly perceived link between love and marriage suggests that the high divorce rate may be spurred by the attitude that when passions cease, so do marriages … (But) when passion is low in a relationship, friendship is one component that can strengthen the bond and ease the tension of passion’s ebb and flow ... Friendship is therefore a vital component of romantic love, along with passion.”


“Companionate love is the deep affection experienced by two people whose lives are intricately intertwined. Generally, love initiates with the heat of passion and then cools into companionship.”


“Most couples desire just two things from their marriage - love and respect … respect for one’s partner was a significant predictor of relationship satisfaction.”


“Intimate relationships represent one of the most important components of life and close relationships significantly influence health and well-being. Having a large social network is linked to a lower mortality risk. The absence of strong social ties has been found to be a mortality risk factor equivalent to smoking and high blood pressure.”


“Partner loss due to death or divorce can be physiologically detrimental to health and frequently results in large well-being decreases.”


“Partners who are motivated to experience fun and exciting activities together (e.g., outdoor sports and travel), are likely to exhibit higher levels of marital satisfaction.”


“People prefer to interact with others who perceive them as they perceive themselves. Hence, people with positive self-views will choose partners who perceive them positively, while people with negative self-views prefer partners who see them negatively ... Married people with negative self-views over time became less intimate with partners who perceived them more positively than they saw themselves.”


“Feeling understood, which is central to intimacy, may be a key variable for the link between self-verification and intimacy.”


“Closeness requires honesty … truth-telling is the foundation of intimacy. More intimacy and satisfaction is produced when we interact with others who see us as we really are rather than a glorified, less honest portrayal of self.”


“Predictability in the behavior of a partner is a highly valued personality characteristic … the three essential components of trust are predictability, dependability, and faith.”


“Self-acceptance (as one really is) remains central to happiness … acceptance of our deficiencies, imperfections, and full range of emotions is relevant to happiness.”


“To be humble is not to have a low opinion of oneself. To be humble is to have an accurate opinion of oneself. Humility is the ability to keep one’s talents and accomplishments in perspective and to be free from arrogance and low self-esteem.”


“Humility is knowing that you are smart, but not all-knowing. It’s accepting that you have personal power, but are not omnipotent … Inherent in humility is an open and receptive mind … it leaves us more open to learn from others and refrains from seeing issues and people only in blacks and whites.”


“The opposite of humility is arrogance - the belief that we are wiser or better than others. Arrogance promotes separation rather than community. It is like a brick wall between us and those from whom we could learn.”


“Humility is an openness to novel ideas, contradictory information, and advice, while keeping one’s abilities, achievements, and place in the world in perspective by maintaining a low self-focus.”


“People generally take credit for their successes but blame others for their failures.”


“Those who are primed to feel morally superior judged another’s transgressions with more harshness and less forgiveness.”


“Close relationships are the #1 source of happiness in life … the essence of living a meaningful life lies in connection with others and a wider world.”