Unlocking the Power of Positive Emotions for Enhanced Well-being
Updated: 3 days ago
Now that we've got a better grasp of happiness and well-being, let's dive into the specifics. Dr. Martin Seligman has gifted us with Well-being Theory, a scientifically-grounded framework which outlines the key ingredients for a thriving individual. Seligman identified five components that form the foundation of this theory. These components work in harmony to boost our sense of well-being and reduce feelings of psychological stress and overwhelm.
The first facet is Positive Emotions. These go way beyond what we commonly label as 'happiness'. Positive emotions include a rich spectrum including hope, interest, engagement, joy, love, compassion, pride, amusement, gratitude and many more. Positive emotions act as reliable indicators of flourishing and they play a crucial role in our overall well-being.
The best bit? They can be nurtured and cultivated to enhance our well-being.
Now, here's where it gets interesting. Because science. When we actively engage with, savour, and incorporate positive emotions into our daily lives, and visions of the future, it has a huge impact on our day-to-day thought patterns and actions. But nurturing positive emotions does not mean repressing and ignoring negative feelings. Instead, it means accepting all experiences but choosing to focus on, and expose ourselves to experiences where positive emotions might more naturally arise. Positive emotions act as powerful antidotes to the adverse effects of negative emotions and contribute to building resilience. This means when challenges invariably arise, people who nurture positive emotions can far more easily overcome the negative bumps and dips.
So, how can we go about enhancing positive emotions deliberately and consciously? Here are some ideas:
Connect with the People Who Matter: Hang out with the friends who mean the world to you. They're like emotional vitamins!
Follow Your Passion: Savour the arts of your work you really enjoy. Or dive into hobbies and creative stuff that makes your heart dance with joy. It's like giving your soul a high-five!
Let the Music Move You: Whack in your earpods and crank up the tunes that make you feel like you're on top of the world. Bonus points for dancing. Music is like a magical mood elevator!
Count Your Blessings: Take a moment to appreciate all the good stuff in your life.Landed a new client? High five! Successfully submitted a project on budget? Give yourself a pat on the back.
Now, set aside 5 minutes and create your own ‘positive emotions list’ - activities which bring on all the good feelings (hint: you can use your earlier ‘happy’ list as a base). Incorporating even one of these practices daily can pave the way for a more emotionally enriching and resilient life.
Funded by the State Government of Victoria, Business Victoria, Mental Wellbeing of Businesses Grant Round 2.