Week 1: Cancel out the Negative
Positive emotions, by definition, feel good. People enjoy feeling the pleasant emotional states of joy, inspiration, gratitude, serenity, and the like. So much so, that they often seek out opportunities to feel good in these ways. Yet do most people do this enough? And is feeling good the only reward? Absolutely not.
According to Dr Martin Seligman, commonly known as the founder of Positive Psychology, Positive Emotion is one element that can help people reach a life of fulfillment, happiness, and meaning. Excellent. So how do we get there?
To start off with, find the things that make you happy and can make you fully engaged. We’re trying to hit some of the all time greats: happiness, life satisfaction, pleasure, comfort, warmth, laughter
For me, things that promote positive emotions at home and work include cute, comfortable clothes, upbeat music, and taking time to joke around with colleague on a Zoom meeting or sending memes and TikToks to my long-distance bff.
It might sound simple and even silly, but because of our natural negativity bias, it’s almost impossible to avoid negative emotions. However, offsetting those with positive interactions can have a powerful effect. John Gottman, Ph.D., (I’m a big fan) suggests seeking out five positive emotions for each negative encounter. This can include practicing gratitude or self-compassion, doing something you love or even just making a point of being mindful of the positive emotion you’re feeling. Turns out there’s more to this whole ‘feelings’ karma than you think — it’s science!