Sustainable Happiness and Well-Being: Future Directions for Positive Psychology


Positive psychology has influenced many disciplines in a very short span of time. This paper argues that positive psychology will realize its most significant and far reaching impact when it is applied to sustainability efforts, locally, nationally and internationally. Such application may accelerate shifts in attitudes, policies, practice and behavior. Specifically, opportunities for integrating positive psychology with sustainability education are discussed including work in the area of sustainable happiness, Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and positive education. Sustainable happiness underscores the interrelationship between human flourishing and ecological resilience. Thus sustainable happiness and well-being are integral to building sustainable futures, and positive psychology could be increasingly influential in leading research and education that heralds a new era of understanding and political will to embrace sustainability.

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O’Brien, C. (2012). Sustainable Happiness and Well-Being: Future Directions for Positive Psychology. Psychology, 3, 1196-1201. doi: 10.4236/psych.2012.312A177.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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