Toxic Relationships: Who is to Blame? The first step in detoxifying your life is figuring out whether the negative influence is you, your friend, or the relationship. In the workplace, in your relationships, and in everyday life, there are ways in which negative thoughts and bad feelings can actually be good for you. Here are 7 research-based examples. How to Prove You're the Best By Donna Barstow Expecting others to treat you right always starts with you treating yourself like a special snowflake.
But is positive thinking getting us where we need to go?
The Value of Positive Emotions
The answer may surprise you. Diane Barth L. She spends time with friends and family. She exercises and watches her diet. So what is making her feel so bad?
Sure, your anger should be controlled—but don't try to obliterate it either. It's not bad to have negative thoughts. The problem is when we believe them. Why to be a "defensive pessimist".
Beware of Optimists! It is actually possible to think too positively. It's not expressing your anger that will hurt you; it's repressing it. It turns out that research supports the idea of creativity sneaking up on us. News U. HuffPost Personal Video Horoscopes. Newsletters Coupons. Follow Us. Part of HuffPost Wellness.
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First of all, positive emotions broaden our attention and thinking, which means that we have more positive thoughts and a greater variety of them. When we are experiencing positive emotions, like joy or interest, we are more likely to be creative, to see more opportunities, to be open to relationships with others, to play, to be more flexible and open-minded.
Mild joy and contentment can eliminate the stress experienced at a physiological level. Enjoyment, happy playfulness, contentment, satisfaction, warm friendship, love, and affection all enhance resilience and the ability to cope, while negative emotions, in contrast, decrease them. Positive emotions can enhance problem-focused coping and reappraisal, or infuse negative events with positive meaning, all of which facilitate fast bouncing back after an unpleasant event.
Far from having only a momentary effect, positive emotions help to build important physical, intellectual, social and psychological resources that are enduring, even though the emotions themselves are temporary. For example, the positive emotions associated with play can build physical abilities; self-mastery and enjoyable times with friends — increase social skills. More than that, just as negative emotions can lead one into downward spirals of depression, positive emotions can trigger upward developmental spirals towards improved emotional well-being and transform people into better versions of themselves.
The broaden-and-build theory urges us to consider positive emotions not as an end in themselves but as a means of leading a better life. A lot of interesting research highlights the benefits of positive emotions. In one study with people who had lost their partners, researchers found that laughter and Duchenne smiling predicts the duration of grief. A Duchenne smile is a genuine smile characterised by the corners of the mouth turning up and the crinkling of the skin around the corners of the eyes.
The Positive Side of Negative Emotions
People who laughed and smiled genuinely were more likely to be engaged in life and dating again two and a half years later, compared to those who felt angry. The faces of the women in their college photographs were coded for smiling behaviour and results showed that Duchenne smiles related to less negativity, greater competence, more positive ratings from others and greater well-being in their later lives.
Another study demonstrated that physicians experiencing positive emotions seemed to make more accurate diagnoses. So how much positivity do we need to have for a truly thriving existence? It appears that the ratio of or above of positivity to negativity results in the experience of flourishing, while anything below this ratio e. So make sure that for every one negative emotion you have at least three positive ones. But beware, too much of even the best thing can be simply dangerous.
The Positive Side of Negative Emotions
Experiencing positivity at above can have counterproductive effects. Positive emotions can certainly help us on the rocky path to well-being but that does not make the negative emotions irrelevant or unimportant. They may not feel quite as good, but they can bring about very positive effects nevertheless. In defence of negative emotions I propose the following:. Some scholars think that putting all the emotions into two loose bags of positive and negative is hardly a wise move.
Hope, for example, is best conceived as a combination of a wish that a desired outcome will occur with anxiety that it might not. What is it then: a positive or a negative emotion?
Related The positive side of negative emotions
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