We all know negativity. It looms large and is easy to spot. Negativity pervades your self-talk and your judgments. It bleeds into your relationships, eroding goodwill. Making matters worse, unchecked negativity breeds health damaging negative emotions – anger, contempt, and depression – that seep into your entire body. You can feel your simmering bitterness eating away at your stomach, raising your blood pressure and turning your shoulder and neck muscles to stone.
What’s more, you move through your day as if you have blinders on. You find fault and blame everywhere. You see no solutions. The downward spiral comes on fast and strong. And none of us is immune to it.
Thankfully the same way negativity affects our psychological, spiritual and physiological bodies so, too, does positivity. It puts the brakes on, working like a reset button.
Build Inner Resources
Recall that positivity is not about putting on a happy face. It’s about resilience. Positivity consists of a range of emotions from appreciation to love, amusement to joy, hope to gratitude, and then some.
The description is purposely broad. It includes the positive meanings and optimistic attitudes that trigger emotions as well as the open minds, tender hearts, relaxed limbs, and soft faces they usher in. While these may sound like words out of a Hallmark card, positivity has captured the interest of science. That’s a big deal and good news for us as the new scientific discoveries about the importance of positivity are nothing short of transformative.
With gratitude to Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D.