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Niyc Pidgeon Cover Feature of Preferred Health Magazine

The Perks of Positive Psychology
With triple-certified coach Niyc Pidgeon 
founder of Unstoppable SuccessⓇ and Creator of the Positive Psychology Coach Academy CertificationⓇ Program.

By Rachel Sokol

Photo by Bry Penney 

Can you be “too positive?” 
In a world where the quote “positive vibes” gets over 5 million hits on social media, is it possible that we have simply given up on working through our issues or feeling our feelings, choosing instead to wear rose-colored glasses to get through this thing called life?   

I wondered. 
So, I went to the source, a “Positive Psychology” expert, for some answers. 
Enter Niyc Pidgeon. 

Originally from the UK, Niyc specializes in positive psychology, which centers on how people, organizations, and communities can thrive. It’s known as the science of happiness and success. 
   “The research behind positive psychology says that it’s better to be optimistic than pessimistic,” she explains from her home in Southern California. “It makes you more productive, it means you build relationships more easily, and you reach a goal faster. However, that doesn’t mean that you’re only positive all the time.” 
    According to Niyc, positive psychology was invented in the early 2000s, by Martin Seligman, Chair of the American Psychological Association. “He was gardening with his young daughter, and she said, ‘Dad, you know, if I was able to make a decision not to moan and complain and whine all of the time, then you can stop being such a grouch.’” That comment stuck with Seligman, and from there, he became the mastermind behind positive psychology. 
    “Because previously, psychology had been focused on disorder and disease, and unpacking what goes wrong with us, rather than looking at what goes right with us,” explains Niyc, adding that via this type of psychology, there’s “a lot of validity in doing our trauma work, and being able to understand our conditioning and patterns, which is psychology as usual. And we also have this counterbalance, which looks at human strengths and virtue, and opportunities, and what goes right with us instead.” 


Niyc says positive psychology provides simple, practical, daily tools that can work for you, no matter your circumstances. 
   “You don’t have to go from where you’re at right now or how you feel right now to absolute perfection, because that’s not realistic. When you do something, you take a tiny little step every single day, and that snowballs…and you’ll look back and see how far you’ve come.” 

But is there a downside to being positive? 
Yes, says Niyc. 
Toxic Positivity, she explains, is “bypassing the value of feeling our emotions.” 
An example of this, she said, would be “telling a friend that’s having a bad day: ‘Don’t worry about it.’ But that’s never actually acknowledging that anything bad happens, right? So, what then happens within ourselves is there’s a separation between what we feel and what goes on - on the inside, and this positive perspective or persona, that we are on the outside,” Niyc says about the juxtaposition.        
    “We want to look at how we can reconcile the conflict between these two things and explore the value of feeling and processing the emotion to our body so that we understand that good or bad; we’re here for it all.” 
    While advising others to “let it go” is well-intentioned, she adds, “So much richness can be found in what those emotions are telling us. Our inner guidance system is telling us we have an unmet need, or there’s something that we need to feel and allow ourselves to release and move through.” 
    As much as we like to advise family and friends, it’s crucial to proceed cautiously when applying positive psychology. “Solicited advice can actually shut people down,” says Niyc. “I do think we need positive affirmations, we do need the encouragement and sometimes asking someone questions is the way to go, such as, ‘What is it that you want instead?’ and allowing someone to vocalize what they’re experiencing. ‘Okay. Tell me more about that. How do you feel? Where do you feel it in your body? What is it you want to move through? What would be your best possible outcome from this scenario?’” 

She adds, “We want to move away from assuming that we have the answers for someone else’s challenges and put it back on them so that it can empower them to navigate what they’re feeling in their body and make positive choices for themselves to change.” 
   Of course, Niyc acknowledges it can be hard to stay positive, especially when battling illness. We’re only human, after all! 
   “I went through mold poisoning, which was debilitating and came with a lot of brain fog and different challenges,” she divulged. “One of the pillars of positive psychology is health and vitality. We look at how psychology is not just a neck-up discipline; it’s also about your body.” 
   Since everything is interconnected, she adds, moving your body and your mood can make you feel psychologically healthier. “You’re able to feel those little shifts in your happiness that are effective and preventative for your health. It’s going to give you that extra little bit of faith!” 
This is just the “tip of the iceberg” of positive psychology’s many benefits. Luckily, Niyc is always happy to help others process and apply it. 
   Learn more about Niyc Pidgeon, her class offers, certifications, and her books at She offers luxury transformational business retreats around the globe, including in Los Angeles and Dubai, and is a philanthropist and collaborator with Richard Branson’s Virgin Unite. Her first book, “Now Is Your Chance: A 30-Day Guide to Living Your Happiest Life Using Positive Psychology,” was published via Hay House. Niyc is currently crafting her second title, “One More Day,” a positive psychology-informed approach to suicide prevention, and her third, “Unstoppable Success,” a business success guide to thriving through positive psychology. 

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