Discover more from Super Sunday
Reasons Why Positivity Can Help You Be Creative, Resourceful, and Resilient
Use these life applications today.
Hello friend! 👋
It is the last Super Sunday of the Mental Health Awareness Month and I thought it would be good to wrap it up with some positive notes.
This week I will try to sell you on one of the main building blocks of positive psychology.
Let’s dive straight in!
Positivity leads to creativity
In 1998, at the time where Positive Psychology was just about to get established as a distinct division of Psychology, Professor Barbara Fredrickson developed the Broaden-and-Build theory of positive emotions.
Soon this became the groundbreaking foundation for expanding research on positive emotion.
According to Fredrickson, people who experience negative emotions tend to have a narrow-field of view when it comes to problem solving.
This tendency is a natural and due to our survival instinct; where we would be looking for the quickest solution.
On the other hand, people who experience positive emotions tend to have a wider-field of view.
They can develop creative solutions to the problems faced.
Fredrickson also tells us that positive emotions help us broaden our cognition which helps us build new resources
Hence the Broaden-and-Build name.
For example, when we are positively engaged with others, we build supportive relationships that can further help us with our social interactions.
Or when we are exploring creative solutions to problems, we build new cognitive analytical skills.
Moreover, as we build more resources we broaden our perspective further.
This generates an upward spiral of positive growth and skills development.
When faced with a problem see if it is possible for you to embrace a positive attitude as you look for solutions. This can help activate the broaden-and-build upward spiral as you seek creative solutions.
Cushion to absorb negativity
Positive emotions have the power to melt down negative emotions.
Fredrickson tells us we want to operate with a slight bias for positivity in our daily lives.
Specifically her research showed that 3 positive emotions for each negative emotion can strike the right balance.
These positive emotions can literally fight back the negative ones.
Based on her research for 2 decades, she shared with us the top 10 main positive emotions that we want to prioritize in our lives.
These emotions are: joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe, and love.
With Love being the most powerful emotion of all of them.
This has led her to release a groundbreaking book aptly named “LOVE 2.0” which we briefly unpacked in previous issues (remember the micro-moments of positivity resonance?)
Seek out your own special ways to design in these 10 emotions in different aspects of your interaction with yourself and others throughout the day.
Starting with Love (towards yourself and others) to create positive relationships.
Moreover, positive emotions can act as a cushion to “protect” us from the damages of future negative emotions.
Which brings me to the next section:
Happy people are resilient
Research shows that optimism works.
Not because it is cool, but because optimistic people are more resilient.
They are the ones who manage to brush off themselves after a failure and get back up again.
They cultivate positive emotions and hope for a brighter future.
And they view challenges as obstacles for which they can find creative solutions to overcome.
This stands in big contrast to what we normally do to build resilience.
Usually resilience is seen as “toughening up”
Or “being hard”
While in reality it is much more effective to look for positive motivators to help build resilience.
Professor Angela Duckworth, responsible for coining the term GRIT, tells us.
Grit = Intense Passion + Intense Persistence
That is, to cultivate that level of high resilience we want to find what positively motivates us (intense passion) and stick with it consistently (intense persistence).
Cultivate Grit in your own life by identifying what it is that you are intensely passionate about and make the commitment to stick with it daily.
Start small so you can maintain daily commitment, and build on top as you accrete more grit.
That’s all we are covering for this week’s newsletter.
I hope you manage to bring more positivity to yourself, your work, and your relationships.
Have a Super Sunday! 💪
With much joy,
Awareness Strengthening via Mindfulness Workshop is opening up for month of June. Sign up to the upcoming FREE 90-min workshop, to explore the science-backed benefits of mindfulness. (Click the yellow title to access the registration link! 🙌)