How Positive Emotions Impact Our Lives
To live a good life, it is not enough to remove the things that are wrong in your life. There will always be something wrong. The nature of existence is wild and chaotic.
Rather, take time—or more appropriately, invest time, in exploring what you need to add to your life to make it good.
When you shift from passively observing your life (or mourning it) to actively engaging in your life, your learning accelerates.
Positive emotions are tiny engines of growth.
Every experience (positive or negative) stems from a change in circumstance. Interpretation is the gate keeper of experience. This is not a suggestion to mask the reality of any given situation, but rather a suggestion to train your mind’s eye to always consider the positive side of a situation. Your mind will automatically consider the negative.
Why do your brains automatically consider the negative?
Simple evolution. It was a matter of survival—it was necessary to pass on their DNA, and to survive day-to-day threats like predators and natural disasters. While encountering things like sex, shelter and food are nice, if you don’t have an opportunity to have of those great experiences today, you could likely encounter one tomorrow. As an animal, or an early human, not succeeding at one of those experiences, “back in the day” could literally have resulted in death.
Enter what scientists call a “Negativity bias.” The negativity bias has been described as “Velcro for the bad and Teflon for the good.” For example, negative information is more memorable than positive information—insert the plethora of negative political ads. In relationships, “studies show that a good, strong relationship needs at least a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative interactions.”1
This is a call to action. Positive action in any form kills helplessness. What are some positive actions you can take, you ask? Here are some suggestions for you:
- Join a Tribe-Use code TRIBE50 for 50% off—SHFT has a number of different tribes to support different areas of your life and help you move forward in a positive direction
- Schedule a free 20-minute consultation with a Catalyst and discuss positive ways to take action and meet the goals you outlined for 2017
- Read a book
- Take a class, learn a new skill
- Exercise, go for a walk
- Call a friend or family member to catch up
- Volunteer, visit the animal rescue league, cuddle with newborn babies or assist seniors at a nursing home or hospice facility
- Help a friend or neighbor in need—taking the focus off yourself and placing it on others is a great way to turn things around
We all have the same brain capacity and access to the same tools. Sometimes we just need some help with the tool kit.
Positivity is not a cure, nor is it a stand-alone answer. It is a brain regulator that will give you a calm, steady outlook, enabling you to get shit done.
Here’s to productivity and positive interactions in our relationships. We deserve it.