Don’t forget to be happy! The ABC of Positive Psychology Publication date : January 6, 2014
Christophe André is a psychiatrist physician at Hôpital Sainte-Anne, in Paris. His works have met with great success, notably Sérénité, Les États d’âme, Imparfaits, libres et heureux, Vivre heureux, L’Estime de soi and Comment gérer les personnalités difficiles (more than 250,000 copies sold of each of them) and widely translated.
Extract: ‘Positive psychology changed many things in my life. It made me realise that my job was not just to repair what had been damaged in my patients’ minds and souls but also to enable them to become happier and to enjoy life more.
‘Positive psychology does not just make vague recommendations; it is not some sort of screen that allows us to focus on what is joyful and happy in life and to forget that adversity and sorrow are also part of it. Positive psychology is subtler and more ambitious than that.
‘Its goal is to work at cultivating optimism, confidence and gratitude, based on the study of what works well in our minds, and on the mental and emotional skills that enable us to enjoy life, resolve problems and overcome adversity. Life is a gift — one that we often waste.
‘I’m convinced we can learn to be happy — for a simple reason: I learnt to do so myself. There are exceptionally talented students, but I’m not one of them. And then there are ordinary students, not all of whom are very talented. But their efforts can produce results, and make them much happier than they would have been if they hadn’t tried.’ C.A.
• Alphabet books were used to teach children how to read. Here, Christophe André teaches us how to be happy.
• His unique approach allows him to delve further into the quest for happiness.