Is the Art of Happiness about positive thinking?

Before answering this question we think it is important to define what most people perceive as positive thinking. In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, positive thinking became a big concept. The idea behind positive thinking was to think positive thoughts irrespective of what you were experiencing at that moment in time. So if you had just lost your job and you were feeling disappointed, discouraged, and upset the positive thinking movement encouraged you to start thinking positive thoughts so that you start to feel better. We do not believe it is healthy for human beings to suppress natural emotions.

During The Art of Happiness program we encourage and stress the importance of a concept called “Permission to be Human”. Permission to be human means that you give yourself the permission to experience both positive and negative emotions. At times, people have difficulty and remain stuck with their negative emotions like anger, frustration, sadness, disappointment, victimization, etc. What we teach people during the program is once they have experienced a negative emotion is to rebound and recover from it and move on in life.