Subtractive psychology is a simple but profoundly effective approach to happiness, fulfilment and success. It works on the basis that human psychology functions perfectly; that every person is born with innate resilience, clarity, natural motivation, the capacity to enjoy life, and navigate its ups and downs with ease.
As an individual gets an embodied understanding of this innate capacity, they start to ‘see through’ conditioned psychological habits such as stress, worry, anxiety, procrastination, resentment etc.
As a person has less on their mind, their innate resilience, wellbeing and peace of mind shine through more fully and effortlessly. They experience a clear mind, more of the time, with greater wellbeing and more space for the endeavours and experiences that matter to them
What’s different about it?
All other approaches to improving wellbeing are additive, giving theories, techniques and concepts to remember, practice and apply. While these approaches can be compelling, they rarely yield the desired results, and often require constant vigilance in order to maintain what benefits they bring. Why?
Because they are based on a misunderstanding: the premise that people can be ‘psychologically damaged’, and that good mental health and the psychological qualities we all aspire to have are ‘achievements’ to be worked towards.
Subtractive psychology starts from the opposite position: the recognition that human beings are born with innate mental clarity.
As a person realises this for themselves – that there’s nothing wrong with them psychologically – their levels of wellbeing and peace of mind start to increase dramatically, and they start experiencing the benefits of optimal psychological functioning: peace of mind, natural confidence, better relationships, stronger performance, mental clarity, etc.
Where misunderstanding complexifies, understanding simplifies: as a person gets a deeper understanding of the principles that underpin their psychological functioning, it has a subtractive effect; taking things off a person’s mind and giving them less to think about.
As a result, people experience a clear mind, more of the time, with greater wellbeing and more space for the endeavours and experiences that matter to them.
What does this mean for us?
Clarity, resilience, wellbeing and other positive emotions/attributes are pre-existing capacities in everyone, rather than things to be achieved.