Our understanding of what is means to be in 'good health' is changing. We are increasingly thinking of good health as more than just the absence of disease.
Our goal is now shifting to the idea of flourishing and maximising people’s health in the fullest sense. Indeed, the World Health Organisation defines health as 'a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity'.
Since its establishment during the early days of the COVID pandemic in 2020, RCSI’s Centre for Positive Psychology and Health has taken a unique perspective on health, drawing from the science of positive psychology and the rapidly developing speciality of lifestyle medicine, with the goal of enhancing human health and wellbeing.
The reach of the Centre’s community engagement work has been extraordinary, demonstrating very clearly the public appetite for strategies to improve their health and wellbeing. 39,000 people enrolled in the Centre’s course on the Science of Health and Happiness. More than 150,000 young people connected with the Science of Health and Happiness for Young People and more than 3,000 participants enrolled in a course on ageing well.
Collectively, the Centre’s faculty have published approximately 60 articles in global and Irish publications and participated in more than 80 public speaking events at both local, national and international levels.
A careful balance
Now, a new book from the Centre is the first of its kind to integrate the latest research from the fields of positive psychology and lifestyle medicine. Positive Health gives people access to more than 100 evidence-based activities for people to improve their health and wellbeing, decrease their risk of illness and make lasting change.
Published by Routledge, this important book will be a key text for students in positive psychology and healthcare, as well as an evidence-based reference book for coaches and health professionals who wish to recommend research informed tools to their clients and patients.
Striking a careful balance between theory and practice, it first reviews what is known about positive psychology and health, presenting a novel approach to holistic wellbeing. It goes on to provide more than 100 tools designed to increase physical, mental and social health and wellbeing, and also to decrease the risk of illness and disease.
The tools are shared in groups: calming tools, energising tools, coping tools, feeling-good tools, meaning-making tools, relationship tools, prospecting and emerging tools and concepts.
Each of the tools can be used by people of all ages, whether well or experiencing illness. It includes tools that you can use to improve your nutrition and sleep, to increase your physical activity, to develop positive relationships, to develop a positive mindset and to pursue a meaning in life.
The book is useful to people who wish to improve their health and wellbeing, using tools that have been shown through research to be effective.
It is also a key text for students in positive psychology and healthcare, as well serving as an evidence-based reference book for coaches and health professionals who wish to recommend research-informed tools to their clients and patients.
Positive Health by Dr Jolanta Burke, Dr Trudy Meehan, Dr Padraic Dunne, Professor Ciaran O’Boyle and Professor Christian van Nieuwerburgh can be purchased here.
RCSI is committed to achieving a better and more sustainable future through the UN Sustainable Development Goals.