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Should We Aim For a 100% Heartfelt Positivity All Day, Every Day?

The Impact Of Heartfelt Positivity

Heartfelt Positivity doesn’t just feel good. Research suggests that it improves our health, wellbeing and performance. Positivity activates parts of our brain that support us to be more resourceful, more creative, and ultimately more successful. Barbara Fredrickson’s book ‘Positivity’ is a great read is you’re interested in learning more about this fascinating line of research.

“With positivity, you see more possibilities, bounce back from setbacks, connect with others and become the best version of yourself” – Barbara Fredrickson

Does this mean that we should aim for a 100% of Heartfelt Positivity all the time? And avoid negative and neutral emotional states? Definitely not! Read on to find out why.

Heart-Straining Negativity

I like to see our emotional experience on a wide spectrum that ranges from positive to neutral to negative emotional states. We move along this spectrum all the time, which adds to the richness of our experiences and our existence.

As mentioned in an earlier blogpost, the most common positive emotions are: joy, interest, pride, amusement, awe, serenity, gratitude, hope, inspiration and love.

Negative emotions on the other side of the spectrum include: stress, anxiety, overwhelm, fear, anger, guilt, shame, sadness, distrust and hate.

I like to suggest that there’s no such thing as “negative emotions”, because all emotions have a purpose and provide you with opportunities to learn something new about yourself, others or the world around you, which allows you to grow and develop on a personal level.

For example, fear prepares you to fight or flight in case of danger, overwhelm tells you to take a step back and to preserve some energy, and guilt makes you reflect on something you did (or didn’t do) and encourages you to take action on improving the situation.

So even though negative emotions don’t feel good and can be extremely painful, it’s good to realize that they’re useful. It’s also helpful to realize that all emotions, including the negative ones, are transient (we constantly move along that spectrum, remember!), meaning that they come and go.

BUT…sometimes we get stuck in our negative emotions and they no longer serve us. And sometimes we experience too many negative emotions as opposed to positive ones, causing our health, wellbeing and performance to drop. Make sure to stay tuned if you’re interested in learning more about those situations. We’ll talk about this next time!

For now, I’m inviting you to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Reflecting on your week, HOW OFTEN DID YOU EXPERIENCE NEGATIVITY? Can you estimate it as a percentage?

  • What or who triggered these emotions? Notice WHAT’S CREATING HEART-STRAINING NEGATIVITY FOR YOU.

  • What might the negative emotion be telling you? WHAT IS ITS PURPOSE?

Feel free to share your answers with us. You might inspire others to take control over their wellbeing!

Next time

  • When negative emotions are no longer serving you..

  • Positivity Ratio

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