The Power of Positive Emotions
What is Pleasure?
- Physical (eat, drink, be merry, have
- Passion (purpose, ideas, work, friendships,
religion, spirituality, music)
- Service to others
Negative thoughts can
lead to negative emotions
(as negative emotion can lead to negative
thought) can lead to depression, depressed
bodily functions and compromised mind
and body health.
Positive thoughts lead
to positive emotions
lead to happiness, optimism, healthy mind
and body.("Broaden and Build"
... friendships, thoughts, receptivity,
coalitions, creativity, lowered heart
The art of "Positive Psychology"
(Psychologist Martin Seligman) is the
focus on "signature strengths"
- what you already have in your repertoire
(creativity, humor, kindness, bravery,
leadership, integrity, curiosity, love
of learning, perceptivity, humility) to
"create" your mental health
(vs. mental illness.") "Learned
Optimism" talks about choosing and
utilizing your skills.
CHOOSE Positive emotions about the future
(esp. regarding diabetes): faith, inspiration,
determined, attentive, trust, hope, confidence
Note how words like the following make
distressed, upset, guilty, hostile, irritable,
"Insufficient appreciation and savoring
of the good events in your past and overemphasis
of the bad ones are the two culprits that
undermine serenity, contentment and satisfactions"
(Seligman, authentic Happiness)
Mindfulness (conscious joys of present)
Forgiveness to “rewrite history”
Positive psychology research:
- Nuns who expressed positive emotions
in autobiographical sketches lived longer
- Physicians with positive emotions
more accurate diagnoses
- Widows who told happy stories about
spouse more likely to be reinvolved
in life again.
- Optimists live longer than pessimists