Elaine Tarantin O’Brien, MAPP
Power of Positivity & Enlightened Action: Activating Joy & Positive Connections
What is Positive Psychology?
Positive Psychology is the empirical study of what’s right in the world. It is the study of optimism, happiness and well-being. With well being as a societal goal, studies have shown that we can increase our levels of happiness and wellbeing by embracing positivity, recognizing and harnessing our character strengths and virtues, having faith, building a strong social network and embracing the power of gratitude daily.
Positivity and Positive Emotions are crucial in building physical, emotional, cognitive and spiritual resources. The fleeting states of positive emotions affect the inner workings of our hearts and minds. Negative emotions are a part of life. They are necessary, as in times of loss, but having ample positivity allows us to flourish. Positivity is to our minds, what sunlight is to flower. Positive emotions like joy, contentment, and hope, expand our thinking and attention. This is the “Broaden” effect. Prolific researcher, In Positivity, Fredrickson, reveals there is a “Build” effect to positive emotions that helps us shape personal and social resources and fuels learning; this creates greater life satisfaction.
Broaden-and-build theory posits that positive emotions broaden momentary thought-action repertoires and build enduring resources. Specifically, Frederickson (2006) speculates that joy and play foster broadening and building.