Abstract and Keywords
Jane Henry is an applied psychologist based in the UK. Her research concerns different paths of adult development and their relationship to lasting well-being. Here she reviews key aspects of spiritual experience, development, and practice, and contrasts these with lay understanding. Notions of well-being in spiritual traditions are generally more concerned with equanimity than the more positive and upbeat notions of happiness that many psychologists address. One implication is that positive psychology could usefully redirect more effort to understanding forms of well-being characterized by lower arousal such as contentment. Spiritual approaches tend to differ from mainstream psychological interventions in their emphasis on retraining attention by quieting the mind. Henry's work investigating effective methods for enhancing long-term well-being suggests ordinary people are well aware of the importance of relaxation, silence, and acceptance as paths to lasting contentment.
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