Positive emotions have been shown to create an ‘upward spiral’ if experienced regularly which can help us build resources. Research is showing the ability of positive emotions to broaden our perceptions. This helps us to see more, respond with more flexibility, makes us more open to new experiences or ideas and be more creative.
Felling good in the short term can also help us feel good in the long term. The greater openness resulting from positive emotions can lead to lasting changes in our lives, for example:
· Feeling an interest in something we read can lead us to learn more about the subject and could lead to a fulfilling hobby or work.
One useful way of thinking about happiness is that overall we need to have more positive emotions compared to negative ones– this is called our positivity ratio.
Research suggests we need to aim to experience around three times as many positive as we do negative emotions. Small efforts over time can make a lasting difference and it is not only the big positives which we should try to pick up on, each small positive can also add up.
There is also some evidence that positive emotions are contagious and when we feel good it can also have an effect on those around us. It is important to maintain a balance between enjoying the moment and doing things that bring meaning and fulfillment in the longer term.
"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom"