The Positivity Posts #1
The Power Of Positive Emotions On Opportunities [Part 1]
“Too much of a good thing” is true for working out (you can get injured) and desserts (you can get sick), but it is just not true for positivity. There is no such thing as too much positivity, and that’s why we’re here. The Positivity Posts are written because there is so much to talk about, research and practice that one post just can’t be enough. Each post will have a different focus but all relate back to the same general idea... positivity. So now as I grow in my practice of positivity, you can too. –Megan p.s. In case you don’t actually like to read and only skim (I’m right there with ya!), all the important stuff is in bold. You’re welcome.
Positivity is a powerful thing. It can change your attitude, your perspective and your world. We all know that person who is uber happy, chipper and always smiling… always. It seems that good things just always happen to them, which makes sense because that’s why they’re so happy. Right? Probably not. That positive, chipper smile-wearer most likely deals with the same struggles and hardships as everyone else. The difference… their mind and how it’s able to think and work when it’s filled with positivity. They see adversity differently.
Positivity and positive thinking goes much deeper than smiling or having an upbeat attitude, it’s the way a person thinks and therefore creates their reality. When you’re experiencing positive emotions, you can open your mind to opportunities, solutions, and answers that your brain might not recognize when it’s experiencing a negative emotion. A roadblock becomes an opportunity and failure turns into learning.
People way smarter than myself have been studying positive psychology and have come to some pretty interesting conclusions. One study did an experiment two groups were shown video clips that created feelings of joy and contentment, happy things. One group were shown video clips that didn’t really create any emotion, they were the control. Two groups were shown video clips that created feelings of fear and anger, negative stuff. They wanted to know how people thought when they had these different types of feelings.
After watching the video clips, everyone was to imagine themselves in a scenario where similar feelings would arise and then write down what they would do. They were all given a piece of paper with 20 lines to write sentences starting with, “I would like to…” The groups who saw the negative-feeling clips wrote down the fewest responses and the groups who got the warm fuzzies wrote down a significantly higher amount of responses even when compared to the control group. What they found was that positive emotions expand your sense of possibility and can bring your mind to think of more options.
So what does this mean for you, the person who is sitting in the office ignoring your work while reading this post and not in some science experiment? It means that when you experience more positive feelings you’re a better thinker! You can be more productive at work, you can better solve problems you’ve been having in your relationships, or you can think of a faster route to the city so you can avoid all the downtown traffic.
That’s all great, but how do you it, what action do you take? When you’re struggling with something, put yourself in a situation or “state” where you experience positive emotions: play the guitar, grab coffee with a friend, watch a cat video. Break the negative feelings by quickly replacing it with something else. Whatever makes you feel good and smile will do the trick, then go back to the situation and create a list of “I’d like too…”s, you’ll probably have more options than before.
Let’s sum up 500 words into 20: When you’re stuck, do something that makes you happy, then go back and come up with more solutions!
Now that you know a little bit of the science behind this, look out for Part 2... how you can take those positive feelings to come up with new solutions for your health and fitness!