Author: Dr. Lilian Jans-Beken

Dr. Lilian Jans-Beken is founder and ceo of the Thriving Human Science Center. She graduated in lifespan psychology, received a PhD in positive psychology, and she became an expert in gratitude and mental health. She is a scientific researcher who writes and talks about human thriving in general and gratitude specifically. In 2019, she wrote a book Een zoektocht naar dankbaarheid which is available through her personal website

Gratitude in times of crisis

Now, we see many actions in our society to support people in healthcare and other important branches. Entrepreneurs who have products left, give this to the elderly, vulnerable or people in the healthcare sector. Others give their time to help people with babysitting, running errands and walking dogs. All these actions are partly due to our gratitude that we all feel during this time of crisis.

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“Patience is a virtue”

The character strengths of Peterson and Seligman (2004) are personal characteristics such as leadership and perseverance. There is also criticism of this collection. The vast majority of these strengths are linked to thoughts, feelings and behavior that encourage us to avoid setbacks. From positive psychology 2.0 there are researchers who, for example, put patience forward as a character strength that can help us deal with setbacks without running away from our problems.

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Spirituality and gratitude

As a gratitude researcher, people ask me sometimes if you need to be religious or spiritual to be grateful. This assumption is quite understandable as all religions and major worldviews consider gratitude a core virtue. Research shows that religious or spiritual people do report higher levels of dispositional gratitude than people who say they aren’t spiritual or religious. To answer this question, we need to look scientifically at the origin of spirituality of humans. How did spirituality evolve and how is it associated with gratitude?

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Harry Potter and Positive Psychology 2.0

With closing the book of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, my Christmas holiday is over. It had been a few years since I had read the Harry Potter books and I was looking forward to reading the entire series again. A Christmas holiday is the perfect period for that, and I enjoyed reading the books very much. I just couldn’t help not only to enjoy it this time, but also to look at it from the perspective of positive psychology 2.0.

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