Positive psychology is the study of mental wellness instead of mental illness. It's the study of what helps individuals and communities of people to flourish. In 1879 at the University of Leipzig in Germany, it was Professor Wilhelm Wundt who first founded the academic discipline of "the study of psychology". From that first step, the study of psychology has focused on mental illness and how to treat it. Today many different aspects of psychology are being studied, including 3 general areas of positive psychology.

One of the three areas of study of positive psychology is called "pleasant life". This is the study of the enjoyment of life. Researchers study positive emotions of people who are considered to be living healthy, normal lives. Included in this is the enjoyment of hobbies, entertainment and interacting with people.

Another area of study is called "good life" which looks at the positive impact when people are absorbed in an activity of their choosing but at a heightened level. Another popular term for this is "being in the flow". Professional or Olympic athletes are a good examples of these types of people. Being in the flow is defined as a state whereby there's a perfect match between a task you are good at and how seamlessly you can perform that task.

The third area of positive psychology study is called "meaningful life". This has to do with the positive effects of belonging to a group. We humans are pack animals after all and we need to experience affiliation with others on various levels to feel good.

Positive psychology researchers have identified that positive experiences both internally and externally contributing to good health. Hold on to stress, frustration and anger and over time it will affect your health. Here are the six positive traits that people experience that contribute to them feeling good, healthy and positive; courage, humanity, wisdom & knowledge, forgiveness, being just and transcendence.

Researchers hope that by identifying these traits that health care givers will use this information to treat their patients and clients that are feeling down but are not classified as depressed or incapable of functioning in their day to day lives.

Today positive psychology courses are some of the most popular on American college campuses. If you want to apply positive psychology to your own life, a quick and easy step to take is stop feeding yourself a steady diet of network and cable news.