The Importance of Positive Emotions
It’s certainly no surprise that positive emotions have the power to change lives. Emotions play a significant role in our daily lives. Brain studies have shown that having more positive emotions than negative emotions enable us to handle difficult situations more easily, and help us bounce back stronger from those situations, no matter the actual outcome. Feeling positive emotions helps us see options in solving problems, whereas negative emotions thwart that creativity.
As humans, we experience something called the negativity bias. This is our natural tendency to give more attention to the negative emotions we experience than the positive emotions. And from a scientific standpoint, it makes sense. Negative emotions generally point out a problem that needs to be fixed or figured out. They’ve arisen in our makeup to help us survive difficult and often life-threatening situations. That’s a positive side of negative emotions.
But even though these negative emotions are natural, the negativity bias can make it very difficult to let go of the negative thoughts that go along with the emotions. A bad moment turns into a bad day. A small frustration turns into full-blown anger. So, it is useful to have the ability to call up positive emotions to help balance, and hopefully outweigh the negative emotions.
The most important thing you can do to enable your positive emotions is to practice them. That’s right – practice being positive! It’s okay to have the negative emotion or thought. Acknowledge it. Then, turn it around into something positive. Truly every situation has a silver lining if you look hard enough.
By practicing this simple switch-around when you have a negative thought, you are teaching your brain to habituate to positive thinking and positive emotion, thereby balancing the negativity bias. You’ll notice that this is difficult to do at first – the very first step is identifying your negative emotions. Once you can identify them, you can acknowledge them. And once you can identify and acknowledge them, you can then turn each around into a positive.
“Positive emotions impact our lives. These outcomes are not limited to one area of life but rather, span across every nook and cranny of the human experience. Studies show that they improve relationships in the workplace, therapy and counseling, classrooms, families, and also help with individual development and fulfillment (Linley, Joseph, Maltby, Harrington, & Wood, 2009).” from https://positivepsychology.com/benefits-of-positive-emotions/
Like most skills, this will get easier as time goes on, and you practice consistently. Soon, you will naturally begin to experience more positive thinking and emotions throughout your days, even though you haven’t had to identify and turn around a negative emotion to make that happen! This is because your brain has learned a new, positive way of doing things. The result is great feedback in the form of happiness, joy, love, and peace!
How are you applying positive emotions in your life? Let me know in the comments below.
As Mike Kemski always says – Highest Energy Wins.
P.S. Need some more tips to bring up your positive energy? Check out this article – 20 Simple Ways To Bring Positive Energy into Life Right Now