Raising positivity strengthens lives, organizations and societies. Get ready to learn more about this renewable resource.
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Early this morning, my cup of coffee in hand, I looked out my back window. Way, way back is a pond and a forest preserve. At this time of year, the trees burst with color – buttery golden browns, fiery orange-reds, and fading greens. A female deer and her two youngsters bounded through the yards around the pond. Marveling at this scene of nature, I was filled with a sense of serenity and gratitude for where I live.
Then the phone rang, jolting me out of my morning revelry. It was one of those early morning telemarketers. So much for serenity and gratitude.
Fortunately, positivity is like a renewable resource – I can generate more when I’m running low or when negativity is running high. I can raise my own level of positivity by engaging in activities and with people that generate genuine, heartfelt emotions like serenity, gratitude, and joy.
In my post What Is Happiness? dated 9/19/13, I described positivity as one of five building blocks that provide a foundation for happiness and flourishing. Research shows that positivity opens our hearts and minds, enables learning, and boosts creativity. Research also suggests more specific benefits.
See if you have any interest in any of the following: lower emotional exhaustion, increased creative thinking, more likely to resolve conflict through collaboration, increased motivation, better decision-making efficiency, more inclusive thinking toward others, higher longevity, lower incidence of alcohol or other drug abuse, faster recovery from illness or injury, lower turnover at work, higher job satisfaction, fewer work absences, higher salaries, more likely to be judged worthy of receiving a pay raise. The list goes on.
If that’s not enough of an incentive to take positivity seriously, consider the following quote from a recent Gallup report on well being worldwide:
“Behavioral indicators such as positive and negative emotions are a vital measure of a society’s well being. Leaders worldwide are starting to incorporate such behavioral-based indicators into the metrics they use to evaluate their countries because they realize that traditional economic indicators such as GDP and 40-hour workweeks alone do not, and cannot, quantify the human condition.”
If global leaders can incorporate measures of positive and negative emotions into their leadership strategies to improve well being at a societal level, then we can incorporate them into our daily lives.
That’s why I’m dedicating the next few posts to raising positivity, a renewable resource and one of the key building blocks of flourishing individuals, organizations, and societies.
With gratitude for putting happiness first,
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Biswas-Diener, Robert (2010). Practicing Positive Psychology Coaching – Assessment, Activities, and Strategies for Success. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 41-42.
Clifton, Jon (November 21, 2012). Singapore Ranks as Least Emotional Country in the World – Gallup. Washington, DC.
Fredrickson, Barbara (2009). Positivity: Top Notch Research Reveals the 3:1 Ratio That Will Change Your Life. New York: Three Rivers Press.